Mercedes GLS, BMW X7 Chip Away At Cadillac Escalade Sales

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There was a time when Cadillac and Lincoln were the undisputed leaders in the full-size luxury SUV space, with Cadillac Escalade sales dominating the market. But over the past decade, German automakers have nosed into the segment. Mercedes-Benz was first to enter the fray with the GLS-Class (formerly GL-Class), followed by the BMW X7. Both of these have been steadily increasing sales volume, eating into sales of the Escalade.

It’s impossible to ignore the fact that German marques like Mercedes-Benz and BMW typically lead all segments where Cadillac completes, with the Escalade’s full-size SUV space historically being the key exception. Today, however, Bimmer and Benz are within striking distance of previously-untouchable Cadillac Escalade sales.

Sales Numbers – Full-Size Luxury Utility Vehicles – 2023 – USA

In fact, the X7 outsold its primary rival, the regular-length Escalade, by over 300 units during the 2023 calendar year. Meanwhile, the GLS-Class sold approximately 3,000 units less than the regular-length Escalade, which is cause for Caddy to keep a close eye on it in the near future. Meanwhile, both the X7 and the GLS-Class outsold the Navigator, which has historically enjoyed a second-class showing in the segment, tailing only Cadillac Escalade sales. Note that in the table above, Navigator sales include both the standard Navigator and the extended-length Navigator L.

Sales Numbers – Cadillac Escalade – Q4 2023 – USA

MODELYTD 23 / YTD 22YTD 23YTD 22YTD 23 SHAREYTD 22 SHARE
CADILLAC ESCALADE+8.10%26,25724,29063%60%
CADILLAC ESCALADE ESV-3.29%15,43215,95737%40%
TOTAL+3.58%41,68940,247

It’s worth noting that the GLS-Class and X7 are both a bit smaller than the regular-length Escalade, and substantially smaller than the extended-length Escalade ESV. This, however, doesn’t seem to have dissuaded the public from purchasing the GLS or X7, which sold more than the Navigator and more than the regular-length Escalade.

BMW X7

Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

With Mercedes-Benz and BMW outselling Cadillac in nearly every other segment and now encroaching on the Escalade, it’s safe to say that they are a not-insignificant threat to the seemingly indominable Escalade.

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What’s more, the Escalade is now in its fifth generation, compared to the GLS-Class, technically in its third generation (counting the first-gen GL-Class and first-gen GLS-Class) while the X7 is in its first generation. A midcycle refresh is on deck for the 2025 Escalade, and it will need to be enough to prevent more buyers from going to BMW and Mercedes.

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