By on May 27, 2010


No details yet, just an Inside Line confirmation from GM’s Karl Stracke that a seven-seat, Lambda-platform crossover “is absolutely a go.” It has long been rumored that the Cadillac Escalade would be replaced by a Lambda-platform crossover. The Cadillac crossover will join the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia, as the Lambda becomes the only platform shared by all four of the General’s “core” brands (and previously, the Saturn Outlook as well).

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

44 Comments on “GM Throws Another Lambda On The Fire: Cadillac Confirms 7-Seat Crossover...”


  • avatar
    Samuel L. Bronkowitz

    Out damned badge-engineering, OUT!

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Is it realistic for a company to make a unique platform for each product so that people won’t be able to claim “badge engineering” ?

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      I don’t have a problem with the good/better/best model, but you also have the GMC Acadia. Don’t you think four versions of the same vehicle is overdoing it a bit? I think that takes us back to the bad old days of GM when the Olds 88/98/Park Avenue/LeSabre/Deville or the Olds Cutlass/Buick Regal/Pontiac Gran Prix were all essentially the same car with essentially the same driving dynamics.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Sigh. So are they killing the Escalade as a grasp at achieving the new CAFE standards?

    My future M-I-L made an interesting comment this weekend. We were talking about some of the vehicles she’s owned and she mentioned driving some of her bosses vehicles (he’s a Cadillac Deville/DTS/Escalade kind of guy) she said; “My Buick Lesabre (2000) and Oldsmobile 98 (1995) were nicer than his Cadillacs on the inside.” Now his Cadillacs were of a newer vintage… but still that made me reflect on GMs modus operandi.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    At least the current Lambdas are all differetiated quite well. Hopefully the upcoming Cadillac will reflect the Cadillac brand and fit in with the rest. If it’s done right, I have no problem with it.

  • avatar
    Syke

    If they’re smart, the Cadillac Lambda will be badged Escalade.

  • avatar
    lawmonkey

    First reaction – blurgh. However, I rented an Acadia, and it was a nice ride, just a little chintzy on the inside. Since there is little hope of GM ever issuing an incremental mid-cycle update to the interior of one of their vehicles, I will just think of this as GM’s quaint way of evolving the platform instead of actually, you know, focusing on improving existing product. Make it butch, make it posh, and there might be a good case for it.

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      If GM is going to do to cadillac what Ford is doing with Lincoln they need to be honest about it (you don’t see ford going around saying that lincoln is the world class of anything, just a nicer ford at this point).

      Mid-life product refreshes – I wouldn’t be surprised if we see quite a bit of those from GM over the coming years (for the positive) as they can now afford to on a cost basis.

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    Probably not a bad idea because it will sell and make $$$. However, it just goes to show that GM’s strategy looks more and more like Ford’s every year, i.e., drivetrain and parts sharing make GMC, Buick and Cadillac mere incremental sales for Chevrolet in the same way L-M does for Ford. Nothing wrong with that as long as it makes money. But GM should drop the pretense about Cadillac being a German brand alternative. Cadillac would have to have its own platforms, engines, powerful management and be sold worldwide for that to happen.

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      I said that on another board. Although there is nothing wrong with sharing some of the underpinnings, everything the customer sees and experiences should be different than Buick and Chevrolet. That means everything from the design of the keys and the door handles to the signage in front of the dealership.

      In the old days, I understood how it made little financial sense to run five or six separate car companies, but now we are down to where we only need two. GM needs to have two autonomous divisions:

      1. Chevrolet
      2. Cadillac

      A case can be made for throwing Buick/GMC in either division. On the one hand, they are sharing Chevy platforms so it makes sense to throw Buick and GMC into that mix. On the other hand, Buick/GMC can be positioined as a more affordable Cadillac and might just as easily go into Cadillac dealers to do what Mercury used to do for Lincoln in terms of driving volume.

      I tend to believe option one makes more sense, carving out Cadillac as its operation. That would go a long way toward creating the aura of exclusivity again.

    • 0 avatar
      Rusted Source

      Buick could turn out to be a viable brand if they can successfully push for a younger audience. If I were to play Sesame Steet’s “One of these things is too much like the other”, I’d say GMC makes no sense to keep around.

      A Buick Lambda and a Cadillac Lambda could both be luxurious but differentiated by body style – “Sir how would you like your crossover, curvy or pointy?”

      I’m not sure what the Acadia stands for unless they modify it to have stupidly squared off wheel wells, then your choice is curvy, pointy or blocky.

      I wonder if GM will do what Ford did by ditching the Lincoln truck and just offer a top of the line version under Chevy (or GMC) to replace the Escalade SUT (if it still exists, because it’s not something I’m watching for).

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      @Rusted

      Buick could turn out to be a viable brand if they can successfully push for a younger audience. If I were to play Sesame Steet’s “One of these things is too much like the other”, I’d say GMC makes no sense to keep around.

      I’m a huge fan of Buick and what they’re trying to do with that market niche. The only problem with Buick before was they didn’t have product worthy of that market niche. As long as they keep the product nice enough and differentiated enough from Chevrolet, I think Buick will be a winner. Same thing goes for GMC … I just think the Acadia is the odd man out. Great looking, but who needs two of basically the same thing in the same showroom?

      I think Cadillac should be split out so it can better develop it’s own identity. Treat it just like a separate company … maybe even sell a minority interest to the public. If you create a psychological separation from the rest of GM, the entire line will benefit.

  • avatar

    When the Fleetwood died, the Town Car got a boost. You never know, this might be another vote of confidence for the Lincoln Navigator.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    At what point does badge engineering end and variations on a platform begin? The Enclave looks like a well sculpted vehicle. The Traverse looks like a cheapened Enclave, with the fender bulges and other details removed. At least the Acadia has enough new sheet metal to look like a truck. What’s Cadillac’s “cutting edge styling” version going to look like? What are the odds that, despite the front clips and other variations, they’ll be competing with each other for sales?

  • avatar
    cmoibenlepro

    My father owns a Saturn Outlook and I must say that it is a nice vehicle.
    I think they could differentiate the Cadillac version by replacing the standard engine by a V8.

  • avatar

    Desperation. Sheer and utter desperation.

    Nice move, Gov’t Motors!

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    Looking forward to the new Cadillac Enclavade.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Yeah, it’s going to be called the “Cadillac Duplicity”!

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    We had an Enclave as a rental last year and it really is a nice looking vehicle. Unfortunately that is the only real positive IMO. I didn’t find the interior all that spacious considering its exterior dimensions. We have an Odyssey and it has way way more usable interior space than the Enclave despite being almost identical in terms of exterior size. The interior was OK, pretty good leather seats (better than the Ody’s). But the rear visibility was horrendous. But these cars sell well so obviously enough people like them. Not sure we need 4 variations however.

  • avatar
    boyphenom666

    You are going to still end up with one too many. The Acadia, though the best looking of all of them, ends up being superfluous in my opinion.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Not a bad idea at all. Practical, considering Lincoln has a large MKT crossover to go along with the long-in-tooth Navi. The Caddy should out-look (no pun intended) and outrun all its Lambda bretheren. I wonder if they’ll woo buyers who don’t want something too unapologetically trucky, like the new GX or QX.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    Seriously, how far up-market are soccer moms going to go? Because other than families hauling a passel of kids, how much of a market is there for 7 seat CUVs? I can see going as far up-market as the Buick version, but is a Cadillac version really necessary given the brand dilution that goes with it?

    • 0 avatar
      superbadd75

      There are Escalades that serve as mommymobiles, a Lambda would be a step down. Fan example of a 7 passenger CUV that works, see the Acura MDX. It’s been around for quite a while now.

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    I agree that GMC is the oddball here, even though the Acadia does look great. These are crossovers, i.e car based SUV’s. Last time I checked, GMC doesn’t make cars, they (are supposed to) only make trucks. So they should be limited to trucks and truck based SUVs like the Yukon.

  • avatar

    It won’t be replacing the Escalade which is getting another generation, thank goodness.

    But, the strategy of Cadillac selling a Lambda is highly highly debatable. Considering Buick already has one and it’s very expensive loaded. So does GMC.

    And the Chevrolet version which was the last one to be released looks dire inside and out (showing how poorly planned it was).

  • avatar
    carguy

    Will it be called the SRXcalade?

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    I see the rationale behind giving a Lambda to cadillac. These cars are popular. The last few auto shows I’ve been to people flock to these things. It makes sense to give your top marquee a piece of this popular segment. Same rationale in giving a lambda to the main brand (Chevy) If the original lambdas (Acadia, Outlook, Enclave) had been a dud- GM probably wouldn’t have made a chevy or caddy version. But they don’t need 4 of these now.

  • avatar
    Monty

    If GM continues with the “Art & Science” design on the Lambda, and goes overboard with the bling, they will sell more than enough to make it profitable.

    The Lambda platform is used in four vehicles, if you include the Outlook. There’s enough difference in the sheetmetal and interior appointments that to most of the car buying public, the four, soon to be five, CUV’s are totally unrelated to one another. My wife has no idea that they’re all the same vehicle. This is much better rebadging than GM has ever done.

    • 0 avatar
      Rusted Source

      Hover over the picture and take a look at the caption and then you’ll recognize why this is a problem.

      Obviously it costs money to generate a whole new vehicle even if you’re able to recycle a chassis/power train. You might argue that it doesn’t matter as long as it’s profitable. Indeed it may be profitable but you have to make sure that doesn’t come at the cost of lost sales on other in-house vehicles (cannibalizing sales). Robert Farago used to highlight this and Edward is carrying the torch. If the profit margin is similar on the Cadillac as it is on the Buick, then you’re not ahead because of the cost spent in developing the new model.

      Of course there’s being big for the sake of being big, which is something that GM is famous for (and more recently Toyota is starting to be accused of). Is Cadillac an incomplete brand without yet another crossover? I think not.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The CTS is toast.

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      Yup, and so is the Escalade, it will only be a few months before they both join the XLR, the STS and the DTS.

      How long before Cadillac is nothing more then entry level FWD crossovers, utes and “wanna be” FWD/AWD 3.0L V6 Sedans.

      I’m truly surprised at the number of people who think this not only is a good idea, but that it makes business sense.

      It is NEITHER.

      It is stupid and it is a huge mistake.

      If GM was going to give GM yet another Cadillac that lacks a unique platform and unique power trains… How about we re-badge a tarted up Holden Statesman?

  • avatar
    Styles79

    WTF is that above the front wheel? I think the whole “gills” thing has gone too far!

  • avatar
    lawstud

    Using the same platform, so what? As long as the sheet-metal and interiors are differentiated beyond changing the badge then more power to them to make more money and meet the CAFE standards. This helps explain why the new SRX dropped the third row and moved to a new platform.

    However, Cadillac is going to need some more HP, like 40-80hp and AWD to really handle the power and to retain whatever little badge prestige it has left after this. If any.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    What should GM call the new rebadged car. How about Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Hummer Cadillac?

  • avatar
    Greigert

    This could be a very nice Escalade. Here’s a tip. Recycle your 4.6L block and do the whole DI and twin turbo thing. Don’t cheese it out like you did the SRX and CTS wagon with weak, weaker, weakest engine choices (relative to the mass of course). I mean seriously; CAFE is a harmonic average, no? How many of these markup mobiles are you REALLY gonna sell? CAFE shafe when it comes to Cadillac I say. Otherwise I’ll shop elsewhere.

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    Good to see rebadging is alive and well at Government Motors.

    Travers, Outlook, Acadia, Enclave.

    Now it’s Travers, Escalade, Acadia, Enclave.

    All have 3 rows, same underpinnings, same engine and drivetrain, similar interior dimensions and can be priced accordingly to overlap one another. Woopee.

  • avatar
    nevets248

    The more things change at Obama Motors, the more they remain the same.
    Roger Smith must be smiling over this.

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Any word on Cadillac’s version of the Cruze? Shouldn’t ever let a crisis go to waste so you can try things you’ve never…….oh wait. Never mind.

    New GM meet Old GM….


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India