Cadillac Brand Chief: Escalade “Brand In Its Own Right”
Iconic SUV Won’t Lose Recognized Name for Alphanumeric Symbol
As General Motors’ Cadillac brand goes through a reorganization and restructuring that will see its headquarters move from Detroit to New York City, one of the first orders of business for Cadillac CEO Johan DeNysschen and brand chief Uwe Ellinghaus is to do a top-to-bottom revamp of the brand’s model names, which will re-brand all sedans under the “CT” protocol, followed by a numeric value. The first of the models to be named under the new protocol will be the upcoming 2016 CT6, expected to be revealed in April at the New York Auto Show. All of Cadillac’s crossover models will fall under the “XT” protocol. But there’s one brand and model within the Cadillac lineup that has strong enough equity and recognition that the newcomers know to leave well enough alone. Ellinghaus, in an interview with Automotive News, referred to Escalade as “a brand in its own right.”
The ELR extended-range electric will also not be forced to conform with the new naming protocol. There was discussion at some point about expanding the Escalade sub-brand, with the possible addition of a next-generation Lambda-based large crossover, but it’s unknown if that model will receive an “XT” or Escalade designation. Both DeNysschen and Ellinghaus have said a massive expansion of Cadillac’s crossover and SUV offerings is in the works to counter the numerous models offered by competitors. Other than the fullsize, body-on-frame Escalade, the only other current SUV offering is the midsize two-row SRX.
Ellinghaus said the model name changeover will be gradual, unlike Infiniti, which abruptly changed its entire lineup for the 2014 model year, with sedans and coupes adopting the “Q” designation, and SUVs and crossovers getting the “QX” treatment.
Source: Automotive News