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How Cadillac Is Playing Sneaky Escalade Sales Tricks

Sales / 10 Comments

Not everything is as it seems.

For the first time in a long time, the Cadillac Escalade has a serious competitor, the recently redesigned Lincoln Navigator. Although it was the Navigator that started this whole luxury large SUV segment two decades ago, the Escalade ended up becoming the dominant market force for a number of reasons, mainly that Lincoln lost its identity. Thing is, that identity has now been found and the Navigator is, once again, a serious threat. So how does Cadillac respond, prior to launching a completely redesigned Escalade?

It plays around with the sales figures, though they are still 100 percent accurate. GM Authority examined those numbers more closely and discovered that while Escalade sales dropped in the US in the first business quarter of this year, Cadillac has done something that causes a discrepancy in the sales figures to make it show Escalade sales are actually up. What does it do?

Cadillac simply bundles the regular-length and extended-length variants together. The latter, known as the Escalade ESV, is not even sold in some markets, such as South Korea, where the regular-length model is available. Here's a more precise US market sales breakdown: In the first quarter of 2019, Escalade sales were "reported" to be up by 35.43 percent while Escalade ESV sales were down 100 percent. So GM is saying absolutely zero Escalade ESVs were sold in the first three months of 2019?

No, it's just grouping both variants together as a single sales unit. It didn't always do this but in light of the Navigator threat, it does make sense to pack the sales numbers together to make it appear the Escalade remains as strong as ever.

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It's not selling horribly, mind you, but it's also no longer the only game in town. A total of 6,819 Escalades were sold in that time period, both regular and extended length, while second place did not actually go to the Navigator, but rather the Infiniti QX80 (5,789). The Navigator came in third place (4,469), followed by the Lexus LX (1,214).