We've heard a lot about GM branching Corvette off into an independent sub-brand — GM, we should note, calls the report "speculative." And according to Car and Driver, the Corvette won't be the only GM icon becoming a sub-brand. Their GM Source says the company may also be planning to spin off Escalade into a separate family of vehicles.
Car and Driver speculates that the new Escalade family could include a smaller three-row crossover to rival Porsche's upcoming three-row SUV. Another vehicle could be a "more carlike modern-luxury segment fusing all-terrain Escalade," which perhaps could be described more succinctly as a "wagon." An Escalade minivan could materialize too, though perhaps only for the Chinese market.
The new vehicles would join what is already an Escalade family of sorts with the standard and longer wheelbase Escalades and the new high-performance Escalade V model. And don't forget that an all-electric Escalade — which may be called the Escalade IQ — should be inbound for 2024.
Escalade meets the basic sub-branding criteria; it has more resonance as a premium brand than Cadillac. And one could argue Escalade is the only part of the Cadillac lineup that has worked over this century while the brand has faltered and undergone multiple rebranding initiatives.
But branching out Escalade may also be a more complex endeavor than Corvette would be. Adding practicality to the Corvette brand is a no-brainer. Having a four-door Corvette and a Corvette SUV that don't exist yet would open the brand up to more buyers.
The proposed vehicles for an Escalade expansion will be framed as exciting new vehicles. But it may feel more like sprinkling Escalade dust on already extant vehicles. A three-row crossover Escalade sounds a lot like a rebadged XT6. And "more carlike modern-luxury segment-fusing" vehicle sounds like a trendy "not a sedan" that Cadillac would build. Expanding the Escalade brand could mean dilution if the vehicles aren't reimagined to fit it.