Cadillac Moves To NYC – Where Does This Leave Escalade?

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According to The Detroit News (and now confirmed by GM), Cadillac is moving their headquarters to NYC. Evidently, they need to “get away” from the rest of GM if they’re ever going to take on BMW, Mercedes-Benz, etc.

2015 Escalade

The Escalade is a big part of Cadillac sales – how does a NY headquarters understand the Escalade?

While the notion that moving a corporate headquarters can somehow “fix” an automaker is more than a little bit laughable, the real question here: Where does this leave the Escalade?

Personally, I’m not a fan of the $71k Escalade (give me a Tundra CrewMax and $30k instead). However, Escalades are kind of important to Cadillac:

  1. As of the end of August, 2014, Escalade sales represented 15% of Cadillac’s total sales volume.
  2. What’s more, dealers report that Escalade sales (and margins) are brisk following the recent re-design.
  3. Escalade sales are up year over year about 30%

While it’s true that finding an Escalade in NYC is about as hard as finding a little old lady wearing a fur coat (Escalades are everywhere in NYC, sometimes with diplomatic plates), New York City isn’t Escalade country. Outside of livery drivers and diplomats, most New York City residents find little value in owning a big giant SUV in a city where parking is a nightmare and driving 7 blocks across town can take an hour.

If Google’s nifty “trends” search data is any indicator, “Escalade Country” is the Gulf coast of the USA. Or maybe Texas. Or – dare I say it – but maybe even Michigan. But NYC? Not a chance.

The point? Cadillac’s move to NYC smacks of desperation. Cadillac has struggled to sell decent (albeit not spectacular) vehicles that are comparable to German cars, but it’s not because Cadillac is headquartered in Detroit. The reason is much simpler: Cadillac vehicles cost too much. Why buy an ATS Luxury Sedan for $40k when you can have a BMW 328i for the same figure? The BMW has cachet. The Cadillac (for a lot of reasons, some of which aren’t really fair) does not.

Cadillac Fleetwood

This is a Cadillac Fleetwood, circa 1993. It’s going to take some people a long time to forget that this was an actual Cadillac.

Don’t get me wrong (I’m not weighing in on the 328i vs ATS debate here), but the calculation the average consumer is making is pretty simple. Option “A” is a cool car from an established and coveted brand. Option “B” is a Cadillac.

Until Cadillac prices their vehicles to undercut the competition, they’ll be forever behind. NYC headquarters or not.

Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. mk says:

    agree, why buy a Caddy when a Chevy will be the same engine and frame (within reason) as say the former chevy caprice classic at 1/2 the cost.

    I’d rather drive my 290 hp hyundai santa fe 7 passenger getting 26.5 avg mpg and zippy to drive and easier to park/drive vs. a 50-60K cadillac suv. Yah, it has a full truck frame unlike my mid sized suv, but is 2x’s the cost and if I wanted to pull anything, my tundra at 30K will easily outpull the cadillac suv at also 1/2 the cost.

    My neighbor next to me bought a used cadillac off white escalade guessing paid 50K for it vs. 70K new and all he does is complain of the horrible gas mileage even with the hybrid version he has of it getting 17 mpg or so. Prior, he owned the 6.0L non hybrid version of the caddy suv and was getting 13 mpg average. He said at least 17 with the hybrid version is tolerable much like our tundra’s but at what cost to purchase???? 50K used is NOT a bargain if you ask me. He owns his own insurance business and am sure he can use it as a tax writeoff since visits clients with it and owns it as a status symbol pretty much. Plus, his wife likes to look good and thinks she is high class above the rest. I have a newer tundra and newer suv vs. his one gas guzzler expensive suv. 2 for the price of 1 is a better deal and still riding in style for my needs.

  2. mk says:

    my opinion ONLY, but GM should have scrapped GMC and Cadillac since Chevy is the same exact thing for the most part. To drop Olds and especially Pontiac was a huge mistake I think for GM. Olds not so much, but Pontiac is tailored to the youth and sporty crowd that won’t buy a Buick (old school looking but are making styling changes finally now)

    GMC and Caddy are supposedly ‘higher end’ vehicles vs. chevy and they are not in my opinion only in mindset is all. I’ll gladly save 1 grand buying a silverado vs. sierra and over 5 grand easily buying a suburban/tahoe over an escalade.

    Moving to NY is dumb where only a few rich well off people will buy a huge expensive caddy. I’m sure there has to be some other alternative reason to do the move but can’t think of one off hand.

  3. RIck says:

    All GM full-frame trucks and SUV’s need an 8spd to improve MPG. The Tundra is another truck that needs the extra gears.

    As for Caddy moving to NYC, the person responsible for moving their operations to the highest taxed city in the nation, should be fired. It’s a no-brainer. Go to Texas.

  4. mendonsy says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t pull a Burger King and move to Toronto. A lot of their pieces come from Canada.

  5. Randy says:

    GM and its Caddy Division are a bunch of chickens. They might as well complete the move to Berlin.

    More money after bad.

    This would facilitate much faster money transfers (laundering) in the Billions to the EU. GM’s Peugeot Transfer was merely a “token” of that they truly want to do.

  6. Larry says:

    This just shows how dumb people can really be.

    I was just in an Escalade last week. What a scam. Call it what you like but it’s made by GM and it’s a Chevy Suburban with a Cadillac sticker and the buyer is paying how many extra grand for it? Suckers.

    GM has more problems then it can count and instead of fixing any of them they move offices around.

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