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The Take Rate Is Higher Than It’s Ever Been Before

2021 Cadillac Escalade Sport Platinum
Image copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

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.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Sport Platinum
Image copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

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.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Sport Platinum
Image copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

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.

LT4 supercharged V8 engine luxury SUV Cadillac Blackwing Escalade
Image via KGP Photography for Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.


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  1. Nice problem to have. I would love to see a super-ultra Escalade variant to take on Cullinan & Bentayga in the future.

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