Cadillac's Throwing Shade at Lincoln (and Money at Lincoln Owners)

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
cadillacs throwing shade at lincoln and money at lincoln owners

Despite the addition of a corporate split grill a few years ago, there’s no denying Lincoln’s outgoing Navigator is one old piece of kit. As such, the glitzy premiere of the new-for- 2018 Navigator heralded greater full-size Lincoln SUV sales not just from new buyers, but returning ones.

Having seen what Dearborn was up to, it seems some inhabitants of the Renaissance Center decided to try and spoil Lincoln’s fun. If you’re the owner of a 1999 or newer Lincoln vehicle who’s thinking of maybe getting into a new Navigator, Cadillac would like you to know there’s 5,000 smackeroos waiting for you on the hood of your nearest Escalade.

A memo detailing the month-long, nationwide discount was just uncovered by Bloomberg, with GM confirming its authenticity.

With the revamped Escalade currently rolling into dealerships, Cadillac’s venerable Escalade is no longer the new kid on the lot. As tarted-up versions of lesser models, the Escalade and Navigator’s high MSRP represents big profits for both companies. It seems Cadillac wants to lure a few would-be Navigator buyers away.

The $5,000 discount on the purchase or lease of a 2018 Escalade can be combined with other GM offers. (Cadillac’s website now shows the offer, targeted at “customers with a Lincoln in the household.”) A base 2018 Navigator carries an MSRP of $73,250, including destination. Ford Motor Company has also applied a $1,000 lease incentive. The Escalade, on the other hand, starts at $75,290 after delivery.

With standard wheelbase, rear-drive Escalades now cheaper than a comparable Navigator (at least to Lincoln owners), what’s left for consideration is styling and content. Both models carry a jointly developed 10-speed automatic. The Cadillac, dressed in a sharp, slab-sided body that’s aging well, carries the revered 6.2-liter V8 under its hood, making 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Its Lincoln rival, wearing a newly angular and imposing Ford Expedition-derived body, receives a massaged version of Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, tuned for 450 hp and 510 lb-ft.

Will the gambit work? GM must feel it’s worth it, and a representative couldn’t resist the chance to kick some sand in Lincoln’s face.

Speaking to Bloomberg, GM spokesman Jim Cain remarked, “I don’t know that this will hurt their launch. But it is a way for Lincoln customers step up into something more meaningfully luxurious.”

Ouch. The Navigator’s decline in status, which Cain alludes to, is something Lincoln hopes to address with its new model. In any given year since the recession, Lincoln has sold roughly one-quarter to one-third of the Navigators it unloaded at the beginning of the century. Meanwhile, Cadillac regularly sells more than twice as many Escalades in a year. In October, the outgoing Navigator sold 656 units to the Escalade’s 2,079.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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5 of 24 comments
  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Nov 07, 2017

    Rising oil prices are very good for Russia, very good I tell you. Sanctions go away. Russian gangsters can buy Navigators and Escalades again.

  • DenverMike DenverMike on Nov 07, 2017

    If they weren't so scared they'd hand out $5,000 even if they bought another Navigator, as long as they test drove the Escalade in the 30 days prior. So this is very telling. In '03 I was totally oblivious to the truck market so the 1st time I saw the new generation F-150 was in the total carpet bombing by Silverado, Dodge Ram and Tundra commercials, all letting me know exactly how/where theirs are better, more capable, etc, etc. So this screamed of how I needed to go check out the all-new F-150 directly. And I bought one. GM would do themselves a huge favor by just laying low.

    • See 2 previous
    • EBFlex EBFlex on Nov 08, 2017

      @DenverMike The Escalade isn't an old dog. It was brand new just a couple years ago

  • Wjtinfwb How does the ICE mid-engine C8 platform work for... anything else? A sedan? SUV? With a mid engine configuration? A mid-engine SUV will have to be Suburban sized to offer the utility of a CRV. GM should dust off the Omega platform designed for the Cadillac CT6 for an SUV/Sedan offering with exceptional handling, Rear or AWD capability and acceptable space utilization. They also need to focus on interior fit & finish, trim choices and high quality final engineering and assembly. What GM doesn't need is another half-baked product with a storied and prestigious badge on the decklid and a premium price on the Monroney. No more Cimarron's, Allante's or X-cars needed to tarnish the reputation of Corvette.
  • InCogKneeToe BUILD It and they will come.By Build It, I mean a Vehicle that the Customer Wants and it works for them. It could be called Chevette for all that that matters. The Mach E's success isn't because it totes the Mustang on it.Just build what people want, the next Caravan/Taurus/Beetle/Maverick (truck).
  • YellowDuck do you make a mid-engine crossover? Or even a 4-door coupe? Me not get.
  • 28-Cars-Later Thanks Corey. The head stud job on NOrthSTAR-T was $3K *years ago* as it involves an engine pull so rear wheel arch rust in and of itself isn't a show stopper. I'll be sure to check out the trunk as it may start to add up on deferred maintenance. Supposedly this was garaged so the underneath the rockers etc. should be decent but if those are shot its not gonna work.
  • Mark 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, G4NG engine with connecting rod bearing issues. Engine needs to be replaced, but Hyundai is denying warranty claim. I have all maintenance records from mile zero. It has been in Hyundai Service department 5 time in 4 months. They added the knock sensor and software update to let you know the engine is about to blow up. They kicked the can down the road doing patch work until the car was past the 120k extended extended warranty. I have that documentation too. So how can I join the class action law suit or find a Lawyer that handles these types of issues?