More evidence emerges of Cadillac’s return to Australia
General Motors appears to be making preparations to relaunch the Cadillac luxury brand in Australia with a three-model line-up of electric SUVs, as indicated by a new round of trademark filings locally.
US luxury brand Cadillac appears as if it may return to Australia with a three-strong line-up of electric SUVs.
Drive broke the news of the Cadillac Lyriq name being trademarked in Australia in December 2022, around the same time as Managing Editor Trent Nikolic was invited by GM to drive a Lyriq in Detroit.
The petrol-powered Escalade is well established as an extra-large luxury SUV in the North American market – with the current model measuring 5382mm long – and the as-yet-unseen Escalade IQ confirmed as the name of the electric version.
For comparison, the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series is 4980mm long.
Cadillac also offers a long-wheelbase version of the Escalade – badged as the ESV – which is 5766mm long, though it’s less likely this variant reaches the Australian market, if it gains an electric variant.
Meanwhile, it appears as if the Cadillac Optiq will be a medium-sized electric SUV when it debuts, which may happen this year.
The electric vehicles could provide GM with a strong three-model line-up in Australia – a medium SUV, a large SUV, and an extra-large SUV.
Above: The current petrol-powered Cadillac Escalade.
The possibility of a three-car line-up lends further evidence to the theory that GM will manufacture right-hand-drive versions of those models, rather than converting them to right-hand drive once they arrive in Australia – as is done with the Chevrolet Silverado pick-up.
Furthermore, in February 2023, a video was published showing a prototype of a right-hand-drive Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV in testing in the US. GM also manufactures the Chevrolet Corvette in right-hand drive for the Australian market, among others.
“The conversion between left-hand drive and right-hand drive becomes something we have to design and develop up front, but it’s much more simple [in an electric car] than having an engine in front of you,” Shilpan Armin, General Motors Senior Vice President and President of GM International told Drive at a media event in July 2020.
In December 2022, a spokesperson tried to downplay the trademark application for the Cadillac Lyriq – telling Drive it was “common practice” – despite being the first Cadillac model name to be trademarked locally in more than a decade.
Of the six Cadillac models currently on sale in North America, only the Lyriq name has been trademarked in Australia.
Above: The Cadillac Lyriq.
Though GM has yet to confirm Cadillac’s re-entry into the Australian market, the evidence is growing of the US car giant making preparations.
If so, this would be the third time in recent memory GM has tried to launch the Cadillac brand in Australia.
In 2008, plans were abandoned at the 11th hour due to the Global Financial Crisis, despite signage being made for dealerships and the first shipment of 100 cars already in Australia.
The signage was sent back to GM headquarters in Detroit, while the right-hand-drive Cadillacs were shipped to New Zealand to be sold.
In 2015, Drive reported on plans to relaunch the Cadillac brand in Australia by 2020 – plans that were shelved, possibly due to a combination of Holden being axed by GM and the onset of the pandemic.
As reported by Carscoops in February 2023, Cadillac revealed it has plans to unveil three electric vehicles this year – with the Escalade IQ confirmed to make its debut on 9 August.
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