For anybody that was worried about the Cadillac Escalade breaching $100,000 in price on higher end trim levels, there appears to have been little cause for concern. As it turns out, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade Platinum – by far GM’s most luxurious and technologically sophisticated automobile that it sells today – is beyond the automaker’s current capacity to keep up with demand. This is likely because take rates for the Escalade Platinum trim level have never been historically as high as now, and may have come off as a bit of a welcome surprise.
Cadillac Escalade Platinum Demand At All-Time High
“This time around, buyers are disproportionately going for Platinum,” said Dave Schiavone, Cadillac Escalade global marketing manager in an interview with MC&T. “That vehicle starts over $100,000, and we can’t build enough Platinums right now for that demand… I can tell you it’s way higher than it’s been in the past.”
It’s quite the champagne problem for Cadillac, which saw sales grow 43 percent in Q1 2021 compared to Q1 2020. Cadillac is also seeing its average transaction price (ATP) grow to a Q1 record of $58,550 USD, largely on the back of the new 2021 Escalade, which starts at $76,195, has an ATP of over $102,000 USD, and saw a 127 percent year-over-year increase in retail deliveries, while currently enjoying a market segment share 8 percentage points higher than the closest competitor.
A Wide Range Of 2021 Cadillac Escalade Trim Levels
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade also introduces the brand’s new Y-Level trim strategy to the nameplate, which lets customers choose a path between either muted looks and athletic driving dynamics, or a more chromed aesthetic and a softer ride.
“What’s interesting is that 2 years ago or so, Cadillac came out with the Y-level trim strategy,” said Schiavone. “We’ve got about 55-60 percent going for Escalade Sport over the Premium Luxury or the traditional chrome over the bright exterior, and the younger buyers are going for the Sport. It’s not a real big dichotomy, but it’s interesting to see the younger buyers go for sport.”
It’s a much newer look for Escalade, and it’s also what a lot of dealers have been doing to the Escalade anyway, so we’re just tapping into demand that’s already there.
The Future Of Escalade
In early 2020, MC&T exclusively reported that Cadillac may be exploring options and trim levels beyond the range-topping Escalade Platinum, and with early data supporting that well-heeled customers will come if built, we wouldn’t be surprised to see more exclusive variants of the Escalade very soon.