General Motors may be preparing to export the Cadillac Escalade full-size luxury SUV to Australia, if information coming from that country is to be believed.
Australian publication whichcar recently quoted unnamed “informed sources” as saying that the 2021 Cadillac Escalade is a “contender” for the local market, due partly to its “gangsta rapper” appeal. The immediate problem with this is that Australia is a right-hand-drive country, while the Escalade is built only in left-hand-drive form.
This has not prevented Cadillac from opening pre-orders for the vehicle in Japan, another right-hand-drive market. In Japan, however, Cadillac will sell the Escalade as a left-hand-drive vehicle, which will likely not be the case for Australia.
The solution could lie in GM Specialty Vehicles (GMSV), the successor company to GM’s former Australian arm, Holden, which is already planning to import several of The General’s products. One of these is the Chevy Corvette C8, which will be available in right-hand-drive form direct from the factory for export markets. The others include the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, which will not. In those cases, GMSV will convert the vehicles to RHD itself before sending them to dealers.
Since the Cadillac Escalade is built on the same GM T1 platform as the Tahoe and Suburban, it should be straightforward enough to perform the same work on the Escalade too, though the curved, LHD-focused OLED display which incorporates the gauge cluster and center screen might present an obstacle.
Although whichcar does not mention this, it’s reasonable to imagine that an RHD Cadillac Escalade might also find its way across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand. New Zealand’s population is only one-fifth that of Australia, but increasing the size of the potential market by 20 percent couldn’t hurt.
This speculation about the Escalade potentially coming to Australia follows on from news that the SUV will officially be sold by GM/Cadillac in the Middle East as well as the U.S., Canada and Japan, and that Australia may receive an adapted right-hand-drive version of the all-electric GMC Hummer EV pickup.
This post was created in collaboration with our sister publication, Cadillac Society.