In the current pickup truck landscape, does it make sense for Cadillac to create a pickup truck of its own? This isn’t the first time for such an idea.
Is the third time going to be the charm for a luxury pickup? A Cadillac truck, built on the Escalade platform, has been part of the automotive market twice before. The first time was from 1999-2000 and then again from 2002-2013.The Escalade ESV was offered as a pickup truck version of the luxury SUV with the traditional V8 engine, while the EXT model came in 2008 to offer a hybrid powertrain for this pickup.
Neither version of the Cadillac pickup truck sold well enough to be successful, but things could change this time around.
Why would things be different this time?
When the last version of the Escalade truck left the market, the only truck that came close to luxury driving levels was the GMC Sierra Denali. There was still a spread between what the Denali pickup could offer versus a luxury SUV like the Escalade. Today, things are different. Ford, Ram, Chevy, GMC, and Toyota all offer luxury truck trims at the top of the market. These trucks typically cost nearly $80,000, which puts them in the price range of a Cadillac pickup truck.
Should a new Escalade pickup be electric?
Another way to bring a luxury brand name into the truck market is with an electric vehicle. GM already has two high-priced versions of the electric Silverado and Sierra trucks. Ram is coming to the market with the Ram 1500 Rev soon, and the top trims of the Ford F-150 Lightning reach close to $100,000. Cadillac could slip an Escalade EXT EV into the mix, and we might not notice. Of course, that could be counterproductive because adding a luxury truck will require notice for the truck to survive.
Let’s get even more imaginative
Even if the Cadillac pickup truck isn’t an electric model, another way to grab attention with a luxury truck might be to use the Escalade-V as the foundation for this new pickup. The Escalade-V is the most powerful full-size SUV in the entire market, gaining 682 horsepower from the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine. This could put a new truck into the same class as the current Ram 1500 TRX and Ford F-150 Raptor R trucks. GM doesn’t have a truck that competes with these two high-powered pickups yet; an Escalade-V EXT could be that truck.
What could a Cadillac pickup truck offer?
If GM were to put a truck in the Cadillac lineup and use the Escalade as the foundation for this new machine, would it be a true luxury vehicle? The Cadillac brand name on a new truck would certainly suggest that it should be a luxury vehicle. This means smooth driving on any road, a luxury-laden interior, and at least marginal truck qualities. The ride and cabin should be the focus of a truck wearing the Cadillac badge because this truck should be aimed at a different part of the market than traditional trucks.
In the past, luxury trucks from Lincoln and Cadillac attempted to break into the current truck market with little to no success. These pickups lacked some of the necessary qualities to make them useful, and the market didn’t have luxury-laden pickups. Could a new Cadillac pickup truck actually find success in the current market? Possibly.
What does success mean for an Escalade pickup?
Although GM has the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, if they were to offer a new Cadillac truck, expectations would be different. This pickup could be a sport-utility truck with a unibody construction and a short bed. In fact, altering the Escalade body style to turn the cargo area into the bed might be all that’s required. This would give some shoppers a useful vehicle with cargo-carrying ability and plenty of towing. GM has the platform, but that doesn’t mean a new Escalade truck will be a success.
Before dumping millions of dollars into the development of a new Cadillac pickup truck, GM should ensure there’s a market for this truck. Instead of thinking the “third time is the charm,” this might be more of a “fool me once; fool me twice” scenario. What happens when you get fooled a third time?
Does the market need a truck bearing a luxury name, or is the thought of an Escalade-based truck just foolish? If history is any indicator, this is just foolishness and fun to talk about, but not something that can realistically be successful.
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