Cadillac Escalade Keeps Its Name, Other SUVs, CUVs Christened XT

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Cadillac’s new alpha-numeric scheme has entered the crossover and SUV space, with the brand’s future offerings to be dubbed XT. However, like the Lincoln Navigator to the MKs, the Escalade will keep its name among the CTs and XTs.

According to Forbes, Cadillac CMO Uwe Ellinghaus says both CT and XT models will have a number appended at the end of the designation to signify the size of the vehicle in relation to the rest of the lineup. The designations — created a year ago by Ellinghaus soon after becoming the brand’s CMO — form a framework for Cadillac to expand and overhaul its lineup while also eliminating consumer confusion on the showroom floor:

It’s a logical thing to give some mental space like this in your naming scheme. So many other brands have done that sort of thing, across industries. It’s not rocket science. It doesn’t fit our immediate business needs, but this simple logic will help us build this brand and enhance recognition over the long term.

One exception to the new scheme is the Escalade. According to Road & Track, product manager Dave Schiavione explained that there had been a plan to move the SUV onto the Lambda crossover platform, but was punted because Escalade owners wanted their SUV — with all of the power, towing capacity and other associated aspects — to remain an SUV. Representative David Caldwell summed it up as such:

Escalade remains. No reason to mess with it. Everything you say about it is valid.

The premium SUV will likely remain the brand’s default halo vehicle until the flagship CT6 arrives in the near future.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • VenomV12 VenomV12 on Oct 01, 2014

    So the best selling vehicle is the one with an actual name, hmm. God I hate this idiot JdN, he really can't figure it out. That was one of the things Cadillac had going for it, some pretty great names for their cars. I really like Eldorado and Seville.

  • Lie2me Lie2me on Oct 01, 2014

    "Representative David Caldwell summed it up as such: Escalade remains. No reason to mess with it. Everything you say about it is valid." This is GM Cadillac-speak for "Try as me might to screw-up our biggest, longest-running money maker by rebadging yet another lessor Chevrolet and try to pass it off as a Cadillac Escalade, someone with half a brain stepped in and stopped us, even though it's traditionally what we do" *sigh*

  • Alluster Alluster on Oct 01, 2014

    The new slogan should be "If you don't drive an Escalade, FU" Too big, too thirsty, too expensive, and too ancient! A $27K Charger comes with an 8 speed ZF transmission. A $25K F150 will be all aluminium. An $80K Escalade will have neither. My parents bought an AWD Tahoe LT for $38K and some change in 2010. The same truck is now priced at $54,000! I would love to see GM's inflation calculator.

  • Chicagoland Chicagoland on Oct 02, 2014

    The only people who get bent out of shape over alpha-# names are hobbyists and tire kickers, not actual buyers.

    • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Oct 02, 2014

      Caddies should have names, not numeric descriptions of how big the engine, type of fuel, driving how many wheels, the owner's organ size and credit card tier. I want an ElDorado...a Seville...a CoupeDeVille....a Cimarron...(ok, maybe not that one :) STS sounds like a social disease, but Caddy still has my favorite car name of all time...the ETC. Don't forget one great reason for Escalade sales is that the GVWR is over 6,000 lbs, so it qualifies for way better tax write offs if you own your own business. The X5, MDX (newer ones), the XC (only the top version, thank you Volvo), the big MB SUV, etc all get writeoffs that more practical conveyances only dream about.