Warren Brown on Escalade Hybrid: "I Am Questioning Their Sanity — and Mine"

Richard Chen
by Richard Chen

Washington Post columnist Warren Brown shares his thoughts on last week's Escalade Hybrid (EH) press conference. Not suprisingly, Warren's aware that now my not be THE best time to be launching a $79k SUV– even if is less thirsty than its less expensive gas-only variant. Still, in the end, Warren joins GM in their luxury barge as it drifts down denial. "Big tricked-out SUVs… retain considerable market pull, even in a market where monthly fuel bills are beginning to rival monthly amounts due on vehicle finance notes. There appears to be a cadre of hard-core fans, influenced by needs real and imagined and guided by a passion for motorized might and luxury, who are keeping the big rides on the road and in the showrooms." Warren is happy to parrot GM's sales projections for the EH (say it like you mean it). "With 60,000 Escalade sales last year, Cadillac was the undisputed leader of the luxury SUV market. But even with its new Platinum and hybrid models, Cadillac will be lucky to sell 40,000 this year, GM officials conceded. But 40,000 is still good business." This from the same company that overestimated '08 U.S. new vehicle sales by some two million units– so far. And just in case you'd think that Warren would call GM on this turkey, no. "The 'hybrid' tag comes with a hefty price premium — $5,000 to $8,000 more, depending on the model. Will hard-core SUV buyers go for that? Maybe they will." For sure, they won't.

Richard Chen
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  • 1138 1138 on Jun 23, 2008

    My friend has his Escalade for a bout a year and a half now and he hates it. It's nice out of the showroom but after a while things rattle and and you can see how shoddy the bodywork is. it really is a an awfully produced car. And GM wants to tack on another $5,000-$8,000? For a Hybrid? yeah my friend is already crying at the pump! Like a Hybrid is going to help!

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Jun 23, 2008

    So is it built for rich people who want the bragging rights or to take advnatge of some gov't funded corporate rebate program? If I can buy an Escalade I won't worry about it's mpg. Actually if I can buy an Escalade, I'll buy something like a BMW wagon or an Audi wagon and be happier. Okay GM - read the news. Gas is $4+ now. Nobody wants your SUVs. Time to change your production lineup... RF: You are selling our comments to GM right? I mean we'd make a GOOD focus group - alot better than the white bread, vanilla, suburban types that I imagine the big 2.8 hires...

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Jun 23, 2008

    Stupid me! I just remembered that GM is Big Oil and they exist to maintain demand for all of the oily by-products like diesel and gasoline and plastics... OF COURSE they will keep buildings SUVs. No reason for GM to make and sell a 40mph hybrid CAR or WAGON now is there? Nobody would want to buy a GOOD hybrid minivan would they?

  • Durask Durask on Jun 23, 2008

    TTAC commenters a good focus group? Heh. It's pretty much a chorus of: Die, Ford, die. Die, GM, die. Die, Chrysler, die. What's the point? Oh, and where is that GOOD hybrid minivan from Toyota, where can I buy it?