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First Look: 2015 Cadillac Escalade

Bling, bling…bling, bling.

by on Oct.08, 2013

Cadillac's global chief Bob Ferguson with the 2015 Escalade during its NYC debut.

The bling is back – or so Cadillac is hoping as it gets ready to launch the long-delayed fourth-generation Escalade, a massive SUV that, to fans, once defined the pinnacle of luxury while, to critics, was a symbol of wretched excess.

Whichever side you’re on, an all-new version of the ‘Slade — as it was known among the hip-hoppers who became a major market — will reach showrooms early next year and, Cadillac promises, will deliver the latest in performance, technology and, hard as it might be for some to believe, the newest in fuel economy-enhancing powertrain systems.

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“The 2015 Escalade is completely new and elevated in design and technology, inside and out. The clear objective is to once again assume the leadership position among luxury SUVs,” said Bob Ferguson, the head of Cadillac’s global operations, during a preview of the 2015 Cadillac in Manhattan, traditionally one of the big ute’s largest markets.

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GM Offers Sneak Peek at 2015 Cadillac Escalade

Full unveiling to follow next week.

by on Oct.01, 2013

Cadillac offers a sneak peek at the interior of the 2015 Escalade full-size luxury SUV.

The world won’t get its first full look at the long-awaited replacement for the Cadillac Escalade until next week, but General Motors is offering up a sneak peek at the full-size luxury SUV’s interior in an effort to build interest in the upcoming announcement.

The big Caddy ute became a symbol of roadway “bling” when it made its original debut back in 1998, an even more stylish version generating strong demand among the hip-hop community two years later.

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But in an industry where change occurs at an increasingly rapid pace, GM had let the so-called ‘Slade linger without much change for the better part of a decade – in part due to delays caused by its 2009 bankruptcy.

The new model is expected to share the same underlying platform as GM’s other restyled full-size SUVs, such as the GMC Yukon Denali. But it also promises the 2015 Cadillac Escalade will get a unique look and an extensive range of upscale features, both inside and out, in line with the overall remake of the Caddy brand.

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Lincoln Working Up Rear-Drive Options

Wave of additional models could follow if MKZ clicks.

by on Dec.03, 2012

A Lincoln video on Youtube hints at the future with a quick snippet of a Mustang hinting at a RWD offering to come.

While Ford Motor Co. officials want to shine the spotlight on their near-term plans for a Lincoln renaissance, they are already working up some aggressive product programs that would include the addition of one or more rear-wheel-drive models to the luxury brand’s line-up.

The strategy would continue to see Lincoln share most of its underlying platforms with the mainstream Ford brand, however, including the next-generation Mustang.

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“Rear-wheel-drive is definitely in the works,” one of Ford’s top executives confirmed in a background conversation with TheDetroitBureau.com.

That executive downplayed rumors that Ford might look to partner with another luxury brand on one or more future products, however.

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Forward Into the Past for Newly Renamed Lincoln Motor Co.

Old name for a newly updated brand.

by on Dec.03, 2012

Lincoln launches its name change -- and the new MKZ -- with a new multimedia campaign.

What difference does a name make? No, that’s not the beginning of an essay on Shakespeare, though Ford is hoping a new name for its long-struggling Lincoln brand will make it smell as sweet as a rose.

The Detroit luxury marque is taking a step forward into the past by reviving the name it first had back in 1922, the Lincoln Motor Co.  Ford officials are hoping that the subtle change – which it plans to heavily promote as part of a new multimedia ad campaign – will help signal the broader changes coming at Lincoln, starting with the launch of the new MKZ sedan.

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“Befitting this new chapter in the life of Lincoln we are making a complete new start in every aspect of consumer communication to emotionally welcome our new target customer into our brand,” said Matt VanDyke, Director of Global Lincoln Brand.

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Lincoln Looking at Compact Sedan as Well as Small Crossover

Strategy is to hit volume segments “quickly.”

by on Aug.15, 2012

Could Lincoln find a way to turn the mainstream Focus into a new compact luxury sedan?

Expect to see Lincoln continue to downsize even as it expands, several company sources suggest.  That’s not some Zen mantra but an increasing interest in smaller models that can flesh out the brand’s currently modest line-up.

Among the offerings likely to reach market over the next few years, the most certain is a compact crossover that will be based on the all-new Ford Escape platform and which may be sold as the MKC.

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“That’s where the real growth in the luxury market is coming from,” said a senior source with Ford Motor Co.’s luxury brand.

But, he quickly added, “We’re looking at our options in the compact sedan segment, as well,” which the source stressed is likely to be another high-growth segment in the coming years.

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GM Gives Cadillac Escalade a Reprieve

Reversing course, maker plans to intro new 'Slade in 2014.

by on May.22, 2012

GM has decided it needs to keep the big Escalade -- the 2010 hybrid shown here -- in its line-up.

General Motors has reversed course and will bring an all-new version of that hip-hop segment favorite, the Cadillac Escalade, to market in early 2014.

Worried that the big luxury SUV might hurt the updated image Caddy is trying to craft for itself – and questioning demand for full-sized SUVs as fuel prices skyrocketed — the maker had been ready to pull the plug on the ‘Slade.

However, GM decided the Escalade was simply too profitable to let die, and will now turn out a new model sharing platforms with its next-generation Chevrolet and GMC full-size trucks.

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The Escalade built a significant market among hip-hoppers and sports stars, something Cadillac initially embraced, but “We were finding that for everyone turned on by that image there were four (potential luxury buyers) who were turned,” a senior Caddy official told TheDetroitBureau.com.

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Report: Lincoln Gets Its Own Design Studio

Luxury brand to also get unique interiors and powertrains.

by on Aug.10, 2011

Lincoln has recently shown the Lincoln Navicross concept, but future Lincolns will be designed in a new dedicated studio.

It would appear Ford is getting serious about plans to revive its flagging Lincoln brand. The automaker will give Lincoln its own design studio within the Product Development Center in Dearborn.

While Lincolns will continue to be based on Fords – something most automakers do successfully between their mainstream and luxury brands – new Lincoln Design Director Max Wolff will be charged with giving the luxury versions a unique look.

According to Autoline Daily, Ford will also invest in unique interiors and powertrains, adding that those powertrains will offer big improvements in fuel economy.

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The news comes on the heels of Ford’s recent announcement that it will invest $1.2 billion in new Lincoln models, with seven new vehicles planned for the next four years.

What remains to be seen is how much of an impact the new design studio can have on those new vehicles since the designs for at least some of them must already be set because of the auto industry’s long lead times.

But a unique design studio could be the key to resurrecting the luxury brand.

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Ford Reveals $1 Bil Investment for Lincoln

Maker promises dealers it will make luxury brand competitive.

by on Jun.21, 2011

The Lincoln Concept C small luxury car offers a hint of what's to come from the Ford brand.

Ford Motor Co. has promised its frustrated dealers that it will invest $1 billion in a bid to make the struggling Lincoln brand competitive, with an assortment of new products coming to market by 2014.

Once locked in a bitter, ongoing battle with Cadillac for dominance in the American luxury market, Lincoln has become little more than an afterthought in recent years. It currently holds less than 1% of the overall U.S. market, despite the addition of new and updated models like the MKS sedan, and MKX and MKT crossovers.  At the current sales pace of barely 7,000 vehicles a month, Lincoln could end the year with volumes of less than a third of luxury market leaders BMW and Lexus.

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The “question is whether Lincoln will be viable,” IHS analyst Rebecca Lindland told the Detroit News, which revealed the new management commitment to Lincoln.

That was a relatively charitable way of putting things.  Earlier this month, General Motors CEO Dan Akerson suggested Lincoln is “over,” and that Ford might as well “sprinkle holy water over it.”

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About Face! Ford Abandons Trucks at Michigan Assembly Plant, Once the World’s Most Profitable

Better late than never as Ford agrees to build the latest version of the award-winnning European Focus in the U.S.

by on May.06, 2009

Out with the now money losing old, in with the new Focus.

Out with the money losing old, in with a new Focus.

Loss making Ford Motor Company unveiled this morning a $550 million changeover at its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne from building trucks to assembling smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The changeover represents a historic about face for executives at the struggling automaker, which has relied heavily on its truck line for the past 20 years. At one time Michigan Assembly, aka Michigan Truck, was said to be the most profitable auto plants in the world, as the Dearborn-based maker reaped billions of dollars in profits from the gas guzzlers that were produced there.  

Subscribe to TheDetroitBureau.comThe revamped “lean, green and flexible” manufacturing complex will build Ford’s next-generation Focus and a new battery-electric version of the Focus for the North American market. Ford executives had previously objected as “too expensive”  a plan  for assembling the latest version the award-winning European Focus in  the U.S. Instead a warmed over version of the old generation Focus was kept in production and bodystyles cut back — just as demand shifted sharply to compact cars as fuel prices sky-rocketed here.    (more…)