The American brand that isn’t interested in pickup trucks


General Motors has sold luxury pickup trucks before under its flagship Cadillac brand, but its global design boss says it has no plans to return to the segment.

“We would not do a pickup at Cadillac,” said Michael Simcoe, GM’s vice president of global design.

“That would be a waste of an entry, we’d spend that sort of capital and that sort of showroom spot on something much more exciting and much more appropriate to Cadillac.”

That’s despite GM having not only two combustion-powered pickup truck platforms – underpinning the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra, respectively – but a new electric vehicle (EV) platform that underpins various pickups.

These comprise the GMC Hummer EV and Sierra EV and Chevrolet Silverado EV, while this platform also underpins the upcoming Cadillac Escalade iQ SUV.

Cadillac has offered pickup trucks before, related to its largest SUV: the body-on-frame Escalade.

However, the Escalade EXT pickup – a more luxurious version of the Chevrolet Avalanche pickup – lasted only two generations and was discontinued in 2013.

While Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, and Ram pickup trucks have been reaching further and further upmarket with glitzy, fully loaded models wearing nameplates like Limited and Denali, American luxury brands have struggled to sell pickups in the past.

According to Good Car Bad Car, the Escalade EXT’s best year for sales was its first, 2003, when Cadillac sold 11,256 examples. That saw it account for around 18 per cent of total Escalade sales.

Sales gradually declined, before picking up again in 2007 with the launch of a new generation. Cadillac sold 7967 examples that year, or around 13 per cent of Escalade sales, before sales once again continued to slide.

Rival luxury brand Lincoln’s first luxury pickup – the 2002 Blackwood, which came standard with an unusual wood-sided, carpeted tub – was a complete flop despite the success of the related Navigator SUV that had spurred Cadillac to introduce the first Escalade.

Lincoln nevertheless launched a replacement pickup based on the following generation of Ford F-150 called the Mark LT, but it was axed after three years due to slow sales in the US and Canada.

However, its popularity in Mexico saw Lincoln introduce another generation exclusively for that market.

It appears that while buyers want luxurious pickup trucks, they don’t want them from established luxury brands. That may also help explain the failure of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class.

No country is arguably more associated with pickups than the the US, and the American Big 3 have been major players in this market for decades.

Stellantis sells pickups under its Jeep and Ram brands; Ford under its namesake brand; and GM under its Chevrolet and GMC brands.

That leaves Chrysler, Dodge, Buick, Cadillac and Lincoln without pickups. Dodge offered them for decades before its Ram nameplate was spun off as a separate brand.





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