A unibody crossover branded under the Escalade nameplate is under consideration by Cadillac’s top brass.
“I think there’s a lot of equity in Escalade,” Bob Ferguson, senior vice president of global Cadillac, told Automotive News. “I’d like to explore the notion of other vehicles that would carry that brand name.”
While there hasn’t been a decision made yet regarding the possibility of a large unibody crossover sold under the Escalade name, Ferguson said he recognizes buyer interest in a large, luxurious utility vehicle with more car-like handling characteristics. He also said General Motors product planners are still looking at a large unibody crossover to compliment the Escalade.
Introducing such a product would offer fuel economy advantages over the truck-based Escalade just unveiled in New York. It might be closer than you think, too. GM already markets three crossovers with seven seats: the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse.
It isn’t the only unibody crossover opportunity Cadillac might soon capitalize on. Past reports suggest the company is also expected to introduce a small utility vehicle that would sit beneath the SRX, which is Cadillac’s top-selling model.
The company is making an aggressive play to mark itself as a “tier 1” luxury brand by offering products that compete more directly than ever with German luxury vehicles. The ATS, introduced in early 2012, aims squarely at the BMW 3 Series, while the all-new CTS will be sized and priced to fight the 5 Series when it reaches dealers soon. Meanwhile, the Elmiraj concept Cadillac unveiled during this year’s Concours d’Elegance is powered by a 4.5-liter twin-turbo V8 further underscores the brand’s lack of a true flagship sedan.
Late last month during the State Fair of Texas, GM president Mark Reuss said that General Motors had too many holes in its product portfolio to focus on especially niche products. His comments were directed at questions about the possibility of an answer to Ford’s F-150 SVT Raptor pickup, but they underscore something more important. GM still has major holes in its high-volume product lines.
“The problem is that the gaps are there and they have a huge plan to totally redo most of their crossovers so that when you walk into a Buick-GMC dealership, you don’t have overlapping products, which is a big problem,” AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan said in a telephone interview last week.
“Almost all of their crossovers are going to be sized like the competition,” he said. While some would praise the Escalade for remaining a truck-based true SUV, the fact remains that other large SUVs like the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee make a strong argument for at least offering large utility vehicles without truck architecture.
GALLERY: 2015 Cadillac Escalade Live Photos
[Source: Automotive News]
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