Cadillac Escala REVIEW (2019) ULTIMATE LUXURY SEDAN CAR

Cadillac has put a price on loyalty: $10,000. That’s the discount GM’s luxury brand is offering certain owners as an incentive to take home a new 2018 Escalade SUV.

That hefty price-cut on the 2018 Cadillac Escalade isn’t mere generosity, it’s a ploy to keep owners from defecting to the Lincoln Navigator. Redesigned for 2018, that model poses a serious threat to Cadillac’s decade-plus dominance of the full-size luxury SUV market.

To shave a whopping $10,000 off of the price of a new Escalade, shoppers must have in their driveways a leased 2016 Escalade. Owners and lessees of different model-year Escalades qualify for a $7,500 incentive. The 2018 Escalade starts at about $76,000—before discounts.

LMC Automotive analyst Jeff Schuster pointed out to Bloomberg that the rebates have a single target in mind.

“GM is trying to keep Escalade buyers out of Navigators, for sure,” Schuster said in a phone interview. “You’ve got a fresh Navigator and you’ve got an Escalade that is not new, and is starting to age.”

Last fall, when the new Navigator first hit showrooms, Cadillac offered a $5,000 discount on its 2018 Escalade. It still offers that discount to would-be Escalade owners if they currently own any 1999 or newer Lincoln product.

Through the first quarter of 2018, Escalade sales rose 17 percent compared to last year. Demand for the Navigator has skyrocketed 63 percent year-over-year, although the Escalade still significantly outsells its Lincoln rival.

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