By on April 16, 2018

2018 Cadillac Escalade

They might not happen as often as they once did, thanks to deregulation leading to mergers and consolidation, but fare wars once were a regular occurrence as airlines fought to snag passengers by dropping prices.

The automotive industry isn’t immune to battles waged on price. Even luxury makes sometimes have to offer deep discounts to keep the competition at bay.

Which is what Cadillac is doing to stave off a challenge from Lincoln. Sort of.

Cadillac is offering up to $10,000 off the Escalade because the rival Lincoln Navigator is selling well. Except, as per usual, there’s a catch.

The $10K discount is only offered to lessees of 2016 Escalades (all versions), while owners are being tempted by a $7,500 discount, according to an Automotive News article that cites a memo obtained by Bloomberg News. The offer expires May 31st.

Automotive News cites an analyst’s estimate that the Escalade makes $1 billion in profit for the General. Given that the Navigator was recently redesigned and the Escalade is aging, it makes sense for Cadillac to throw money at current owners in an effort to keep them from straying.

The Escalade still outsells the Navi, but Lincoln’s large SUV has seen a sales increase of 63 percent over the past year, with an average on-lot time of 10 days. Black Label models are lingering on lots for only about a week. Not only that, but the average price paid for a Navigator was up over $25K.

With an estimated per-vehicle profit of $20,000, GM has a cushion that allows for incentives. Cadillac already offered a $5,000 incentive for Lincoln owners to trade in any post-1999 models last fall.

Like it or not, the Escalade remains an important flagship vehicle for both Cadillac and GM. The company doesn’t want to lose ground while waiting for the next Escalade, which is expected as a 2020 model.

Sorry first-time luxo-barge buyers – this discount doesn’t appear to apply to you. But given the Escalade’s importance, you might be able to get a good deal just by asking nicely. Or, more likely, by suggesting you might check out that hot new Navigator.

[Image: Cadillac]

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45 Comments on “Price Wars: GM Drops Cadillac Escalade Sticker by $10K...”


  • avatar
    dal20402

    The only possible move. The new Nav is just plain nicer than the Slade, and it’s not close.

    • 0 avatar

      BDB

      Escalade
      Navigator
      Land Cruiser

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        In King Kong vs. Godzilla both giants live while Tokyo gets distroyed.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I dunno about the others, but burn that damn Land Cruiser. Ancient, lousy mileage, too many buttons all over the dash, and has weird flip-up third row seats. ;)

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Burn them all and buy a GMC Yukon Denali. Just as nice, 6.2l motor if you must, 1/10th the level of tackiness.

        I’ve never quite gotten the lovefest for the Land Cruiser. Incredibly overpriced and underwhelming.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The best things about an LC/LX, especially the current 200 series, are found under it. Zero shortcuts in engineering the drivetrain and suspension. Mechanical components are thick and heavy, designed for much harsher duty cycles than US consumers almost ever require. Even the body steel and windshield are thicker than typical automotive applications.

          There’s a race team that has put a mechanically nearly stock LX570, modified mechanically only with wheels, tires, a lift, and a switch back to LC-style conventional shocks from the stock hydraulic ones on the LX, through the last two Baja 1000 races. It finished both of them with only minor breakage, going toe-to-toe with custom-built desert rigs.

          Back on the street, the trucks are still worth five figures even after they pass 200k miles, provided they’ve been maintained reasonably. The only weak spots are radiators prone to a hairline crack in one spot (usually occurring after 100k) and hydraulic struts that eventually start leaking.

          Is that level of engineering needed here? No. Is it a big selling point anyway? You bet, just like a 500 hp engine or a super-luxurious interior.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            dal’s got this one covered.

            I’d definitely do the buy on the Land Cruiser. Oil undercoat the underside and I’m set for about 4 decades. Khrodes is right of course in regard to the pricing on these things. Much more thoroughly engineered adn overbuilt than the GMs in terms of durability of every inch of the vehicle so if you can appreciate that aspect okay, but even then $85k is just excessive. Should be more like $65k IMO.

            Burn Escalade since I just don’t care for the exterior styling, but offer me a Yukon in SLT trim with the rationally sized wheels and I’ll put the Navigator up in smoke. There’s just a brutishness to the styling and V8 bellow (even the “plebian” 5.3L) that’s missing from the Navigator now. In laws had a Yukon rental in Vegas last summer and it was the perfect vehicle for the environs. Pure Americana.

          • 0 avatar
            ernest

            I’m reminded of the time my neighbor up the hill pulled his (early ’00’s) Land Cruiser out of the garage in the middle of a freezing rain event. Damn thing wound up sideways in the middle of the street, and no matter what gear you hit, the VSC/TRAC wouldn’t allow the wheels to turn (glare ice).

            Local redneck in the ‘hood (Moi) drove his old F150 to the top of the hill and winched the LC up to safety. Up until that point, I had nothing but the highest respect for Land Cruisers.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            ernest it’s truly infuriating when technology impedes mechanical capability like in that case rather than assisting. Toyota had a streak there in the early 2000s and went way overboard with a bunch of chimes and warning lights as the VSC/TRAC overreacted and just tended to choke the car up. I think they’ve gotten a lot more refined with that stuff on the newer Offroad-centric models, and the current ATRAC systems help rather than hinder. I’m thankful that my generation of 4Runner predates that era: a selectable locking rear differential instead of traction control, a manual lever shifted part time transfer case (kind of sort of, 4Hi is engaged with a vacuum solenoid on the front axle shaft). The only semi-modern system my truck does have is ABS, and that is automatically disabled in 4-Low.

            Glare ice after freezing rain is no joke in general, we had it this winter and I tip-toed my way to work in my ’03 Pilot on Michelin LTX MS2 all seasons, should have just stayed home. It felt just like a skating rink, anything over a crawling speed felt very out of control. Nothing short of studded snow tires would have helped.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Traditionally, the Yukon Denali had the less tacky/blingy sheetmetal, but Cadillac did a decent enough job toning it down for the current Escalade.

          Plus, the Escalade got a distinct Cadillac interior treatment; for the price GM is charging for the Denali, the interior bits should be a good bit better.

          As for the new Navi, Lincoln did a much better job than previous efforts (MKC, MKX, etc.) and it not only beats the Escalade in ride/comfort, its interior is a whole step up (I’m sure Cadillac is working to outdo the Navi with the next Escalade).

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            The Yukon Denali and Cadillac Escalade have basically the same body work just different chin and grill.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          “1/10th the level of tackiness”

          (chuckle)

          I agree, but apparently not everybody does- some people pay more for tackiness.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Sales YTD:

    Escalade – 8,111

    Navigator – 4,062

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m rooting heavily for the Escalade to win this showdown.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve seen some build quality issues on them already, on Twitter and in real life on the Expedition.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’d like them both to lose, kinda like the last Superbowl.

    • 0 avatar

      Why? The Escalade is one of the most unreliable vehicles on the market despite using pretty basic technology. It doesn’t drive well. It doesn’t ride nicely. Plus, it’s typical drivers seem to be some of the most obnoxious on the road.

      • 0 avatar

        Very unimpressed with the Escalade’s ride quality. VERY.

        • 0 avatar
          ernest

          When’s the last time you’ve driven one? And where?

          • 0 avatar

            I rode in the back of one just three years ago, on the smooth streets of Phoenix, AZ.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I rode in one about two months ago. Uber in NYC. Not only is the ride poor, but the back seat sucks too.

            Corey’s right. Anyone who thinks the GM BoF SUVs are comfortable and luxurious has never actually been in a vehicle that is comfortable and luxurious.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Agree with this. My LX570 rides better than a Slade despite having Afghanistan-ready off-road hardware bouncing around. The Expedition/Navigator are far more comfortable on-road.

          The 6.2 is a very nice engine, if not as reliable as it should be, but not enough to make up for issues in ride, packaging, and interior quality unless you are towing >6000 lb. I’ll grant that GM builds the best full-size SUVs for heavy towing.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Cadillac engineers bungled the suspension tuning; even Magnetic Ride Control couldn’t save it.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The Cadillac has the 6.2 and the Gator uses the Ecoboost V6.

        I love the GM motor. I don’t care for the Ford one and all the fancy ‘Yacht Club’ interiors in the world won’t make me like it.

        • 0 avatar
          zamoti

          Don’t knock it ’til you try it. I thought the notion of a blown 6 in a truck was silly–until I drove one. It is rather good. You may lose a drag race to the Escalade, but I don’t think that these boats were meant to be stop light racers. I have a 12 Navi and while you CAN romp the gas and get moving, you’ll pay for it with single digit MPG if you do so consistently.

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            well ’12 Navigator still has the 5.4 Triton right? Coming from that modular motor even a 5.3 GM V8 would feel like a rocket ship.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I haven’t driven the newest version of the 3.5EB, but I have driven the SHO, Explorer Sport, and an ‘older’ F-150 EB.

            It just ain’t happening. Against the GM 6.2L I have zero desire for the Ford V6T.

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            ajla,

            I agree. Personally I am a Hemi person but even Ram faithfuls acknowledge the unique position of the 6.2 in the 1/2 ton segment.

            EB? Lets see how much gas it actually drinks now that Ford had to add port injection on top of direct injection just to address carbon problems.

  • avatar
    TwoBelugas

    “The $10K discount is only offered to lessees of 2016 Escalades (all versions),”

    I sure hope they are offering 10k off on unsold 2016 inventory.

    /s

    (I know it meant to say 2018)

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Yeah these are oddly specific terms.

      “Only valid on odd numbered Tuesdays and sunny days in Oregon. Must take delivery from valid dealer stock by 10 min after this ad airs. Prices MUCH higher in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.”

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        I saw a rebate the other day that took the cake, it was something like “non-Prime credit rebate”, basically you have to have credit score BELOW 620 to qualify for a 4k discount.

        yeah I know.

    • 0 avatar
      PwrdbyM

      It’s saying people who currently lease a 2016 are eligible for the additional discount (since many of them are coming up on the 36mth turn in).

      • 0 avatar
        Jackson the cairn

        That is so much truer than the title….”Price Wars: GM drops Cadillac Escalade sticker $10K”

        How about “Cadillac offers up to $10K Loyalty incentive.”

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    i’d like to see them both win!! but if it came down to one………………its the Escalade all the way for me. im rooting for lincoln to survive and i’ve owned vehicles from both. but it’s Cadillac that has my loyalty first. these are the closest vehicles we have to the days when they were kings and kings drove them. all you haters go pick up your Land rovers at the dealer…they claim the problems fixed.

  • avatar
    ernest

    So basically- Cadillac has 25.7% market share in this segment. Lincoln has 12.9% market share…

    which leaves EVERYBODY ELSE to fight over the remaining 60%.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Always tacky, now cheap(er) and tacky. Yeah!

    Will be even more of the wrong sort of people from away cluttering up Maine with them this summer.

  • avatar
    la834

    Rebates and $10,000-off sales bashes are great for juicing short-term sales, but are devastating for a brand’s long-term image. You never see Audi, Lexus, or BMW offering $10,000 cash back if you buy a Q7 or X5 do you? There’s a reason why not: they don’t have to. GM should remember the days when Detroit couldn’t sell a car unless there was a hefty rebate. All it did was peg their vehicles as undesirable to shoppers. If the cars and trucks were any good, they wouldn’t need to pay you to take them off their lots.

    FWIW, I’ve driving both the Escalade and Navigator, the Nav wins on comfort (thanks, IRS !), 3rd row legroom (thanks again, IRS !), and interior luxury and appearance. The Escalade wasn’t even close. Haven’t driven a recent Land Cruiser or the Lexus equivalent.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Eh, a year or so ago, one could get a decently equipped 7 Series for $15k under MSRP w/o even trying too hard.

      Discounting is not out of the norm when a model ages and/or a totally redone competitor(s) hits the lots.

      Better for Cadillac to still make (with the incentive) $10k off that sale, rather than make nothing and lose the sale to Lincoln.

    • 0 avatar
      RSF

      The GM SUV’s still are king when it comes to resale value, except for maybe the LX. Not many LX’s out there though. I hate having to break the news to someone about what there one or two year old BMW, Audi, or Mercedes is worth.

    • 0 avatar
      Jackson the cairn

      You never see huge incentives from Audi Lexus or BMW, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

      BMW has $10K on i3 in April if you look around, and $5000 to $7500 on 6-Series and 7-Series.

      So, they are not X5s, but the game is the same.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    So, Buddy rolls his Navigator spilling empty beer bottles on the highway, and GM suddenly needs to offer discounts on the Escalade? Something is missing from this story.

  • avatar
    TheEndlessEnigma

    What a fuging butt-ugly sack of spit. Luxury buyers? Oh, ok. If by luxury you mean bling bling ghetto wannabees then yes. Who, with any sense of class and self respect makes a conscious decision to buy a Escapade? You buy one of these things and you are also willfully buying a vehicle with a (what was it, $20000 profit) 20% – 30% margin? I don’t care how closely you negotiated the price, you still got ripped off….for a blinged up Tahoe.

    • 0 avatar
      ernest

      While I’m not disagreeing with you, we all know there’s more emotion than reason going on in a car purchase. If it was all logic and practicality, how many C-Class’s or 3-Series would actually get sold?

  • avatar
    socalduck

    In 10 years, the LC/LX is the least likely to be a work truck for gardeners or painters.

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