General Motors is currently benchmarking the Lincoln Navigator, GM Authority has learned.
A series of recent spy shots, which show the next-gen 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe undergoing testing outside GM’s Milford Proving Grounds, corroborate our sources’ intel. Just behind the Tahoe prototype, we can clearly see a Lincoln Navigator, following the Tahoe IREV down the same path. Though the two are taking the same route, the Navigator isn’t there for the Tahoe. Instead, it’s there to make sure GM has a leading product in the upcoming next-gen Escalade.
Indeed, GM is very much aware of the latest Navigator’s sudden success in the highly-lucrative full-size luxury SUV space. The Lincoln Navigator entered its fourth-generation for the 2018 model year as an all-new model, and overall, sales are up. Way up, in fact.
In 2018, GM’s cross-town rival sold 17,839 units of the Navigator in the U.S., a colossal increase of 70 percent or 7,316 units compared to the 10,523 units sold in 2017.
Sales Numbers - Full-Size Luxury SUVs - Q4 2018 - USA
|MODEL||Q4 18 / Q4 17||Q4 18||Q4 17||Q4 18 SHARE||YTD 18 / YTD 17||YTD 18||YTD 17|
|CADILLAC ESCALADE ESV||-100.00%||0||4,081||0%||-100.00%||0||14,700|
In the first six months of 2019, Lincoln Navigator sales fell 3 percent to 8,856 units.
Sales Numbers - Full-Size Luxury SUVs - Q2 2019 - USA
|MODEL||Q2 19 / Q2 18||Q2 19||Q2 18||Q2 19 SHARE||YTD 19 / YTD 18||YTD 19||YTD 18|
The rising sales figures justify the Lincoln Navigator’s impressive reviews, with the Navigator posting top scores from various publications, including U.S. News and Edmunds, among others.
Meanwhile, Escalade sales are down 8.5 percent to 16,251 units during the first six months of 2019. In other words, Escalade sales are falling faster than Navigator sales. Of course, much of that is due to the fact that production was down at the GM Arlington Assembly plant in Texas as the facility was retooled to prepare for the new fifth-generation Escalade, which is set to arrive later in 2019 for the 2021 mode year. As such, Escalade production was offline for several weeks.
Regardless, the Escalade remains the best-selling model in its segment, with a 42 percent segment share during the first half of 2019. By comparison, the Infiniti QX80 is in second place with a 28 percent segment share, while the Lincoln Navigator is in third place with 23 percent segment share.
So here’s the takeaway: while the Lincoln Navigator is definitely a worthy rival to the Escalade, the situation isn’t dire. GM is taking stock of what the Navigator brings to the fight, and this latest round of spy shots confirm The General is busy covering all its bases. As well it should, considering the Escalade is believed to be GM’s most profitable product line on a per-unit basis.
To help cement its leading position in the segment, the future Escalade will bring a new design, new engineering, and new features, such as a digital shifter, a huge center screen, and up to three engine choices, including an all-electric model. Stay tuned, as more information on the next-gen Escalade is expected to drop very soon. In the meantime, subscribe to GM Authority for more Cadillac Escalade news, Cadillac news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.