Two things seem inevitable as we muddle through the 21st century: the wave of electric vehicles has only just begun, and every automaker will have pickups and SUVs galore. Even Cadillac. While it chose to dump its Escalade EXT pickup in 2013, as it shaves its product lineup of sedans, it needs something to make up the volume. Why not give a Cadillac pickup another shot?
Is Cadillac really bringing back the EXT?
And it appears that is exactly what is happening. GM just reapplied for the EXT trademark. Sure, a trademark owner must reapply every few years to help protect it. But it also must be used in commerce. Use it or lose it, as they say. So GM has no right to the EXT name without using it.
Putting all of this together, that is what’s going on with this latest trademark registration. Looking at the apparent success of the GMC Hummer and Chevy Silverado RST EV pickup, it makes sense to spread the love Cadillac’s way. It is pretty much what GM has done for its entire existence.
And what is an Escalade anyway? It’s a rebadged and glitzed-up Suburban. So the precedent has already been established for the brand. It’s what GM does.
When did the EXT first appear?
When the Escalade EXT made its debut in 2003, it was expected that it would follow the success path of the Escalade SUV. But in its 11 years, it never achieved nearly the sales of its sibling. In truth, it was just a rebadged Chevy Avalanche, which was just a cut-down Suburban.
But since the EXT’s last appearance, there have been big changes for both Cadillac, and the auto industry in general. Back then, Cadillac had five models. Those were the CTS, Seville, and DeVille sedans, the Escalade SUV, and EXT.
In 2022, it has but three models. The CT4 and CT5 sedans, and the Escalade. In a year or so the Cadillac line will have added the Lyric EV. With a new EXT, that brings the lineup back up to five models.
Sedans are out, trucks are in
And the industry itself is shedding anything sedan-like. That means the CT4 and CT5 have a tough road ahead. The only other GM division making sedans is Chevy. Correction: “making a sedan.” It will stay in production possibly until 2024. We expect some of that extension is because GM needs to amortize the expensive tooling.
Regardless, Chevy has Silverado trucks to fall back on. For Cadillac, that’s not possible right now. So it is pretty much a no-brainer to add a pickup to its dwindling models, volume, and relevance.
There is a fair amount of spit-balling here, but adding a new pickup for very little tooling costs, combined with everything else, paints a strong picture of this happening within the next year or so. As usual, GM isn’t saying as it has an edict of not talking about future models until corporate gives spokespersons the OK. So, we’re doing it for them.