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Cadillac's Vehicle Naming - Inside Joke?


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John Goreham
Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com

When the new head of Cadillac came from Infiniti, he brought the failed model naming methodology along. At Infiniti, even memorable cars and crossovers ( and they now have many) are difficult to converse about. Every one of them is a "Q." Wait, doesn't Audi use Q as well? Even autowriters and fans of the Infiniti brand cannot keep up. The effect at Cadillac was not as significant, until now.


At Cadillac, the cars have been converging onto fewer nameplates. Excuse our mis-capitalization, but we want illustrate an effect: Ats is easy to differentiate from Cts. Different first initial, and most importantly, when you pronounce them "Aye tee ess" and "See tee ess" they don't sound alike. On the written page, or the back of a moving vehicle, they are also easy to tell apart because an A looks quite different than a C. The conventional wisdom holds that if one is able to see a vehicle that one likes, or read about one, or hear about one, the new fan might then look deeper, or even purchase one. Knowing the name helps.


Another school of thought is that the models should NOT be different in the eyes and ears of the consumer, and in fact, the BRAND, in this case, Caddy, is all that should matter. Hence the new method of having all the model names be indistinguishable. Consider the Cadillac XT5 and XTS. A 5 and an S are the most similar two characters in the English lexicon aside from the number 0 and the capital letter O. These two vehicles, a huge sedan and a mid-sized crossover, have the same name for all intents and purposes. Cadillac's newest 2017 sedan model is named CT6. How different are the CT6 and CTS names? Add one little dot on the tail of the S and they are identical. They also roll off the tongue the same. Still, we have managed.


Now the newest Cadillac prototype has been revealed. However, you won’t be able to find it on the internet. Its name is Escala. That is not a typo. The newest model name from Cadillac is the exact same name as a current model with the two last letters left off. The Escalade is one of the most iconic names and images in American motoring. It is a huge, square, body-on-frame luxury SUV. The new Escala is a low, sleek, sedan prototype. Why in the world would Cadillac use the same first six letters of an existing model to identify this new model concept? Johan de Nysschen, president of Global Cadillac, said of the new vehicle, "Escala is a statement of intent for the next iteration of the Cadillac design language, and also technical concepts in development for future Cadillac models. Secondly, Escala builds Cadillac’s aspirational character, signaling the brand’s return to the pinnacle of premium.”


If you search in your browser for "Escala" you will see images of the vehicle at the top of our story. But that is not what the Escala is. It is the vehicle shown below. We assume that this is not an accident and that Cadillac intended this to be the case, or it is the funny marketing team over there just having a laugh at our expense. Which do you think it is?








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Let the sales speak for the success, or lack there of, of an idea.


And sorry, I have never seen anyone that looks like the people in the ad drive a Cadillac. I think, perhaps, those people are just trying to remember where they left their Aston.

Edited by SnakeEyes
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I still like names, with a suffix like SS or RS for the submodel. Makes things a lot easier to remember.


The Escala looks like a Ford Fusion.


Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

So you like Beretta Z26?
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does anyone remember.. DL and GL

volvo, subaru, ford escort...

and more.


I would say he brought japan with him from infiniti.

which is not infinite, far from. :)

Funny you mention this...the "XT6" was subaru's first sports car...and all their current turbo model Forestors are "XT".


Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

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  • 5 weeks later...

I hate the numbers/letters of models. It's like we ran out of cool names for cars.


It matters to me, because I work at a job where I have to spot different cars in parking lots. I often have to think to myself, "Self, are you looking for an RX350 or 330? Or was it even a Mazda? Was it an Infiniti QX30 or 50?"



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