I am a fan of well expressed opinions, even if I disagree with them. I think that our level of discourse is very important, and the better the debate the more actual information and truth sneaks in.
Keith Ritter over at Consult Keith blogged a nice thought piece which at heart contains this statement:
Cadillac’s brand message is not about environment-friendly or great gas mileage. A Cadillac has always been A STATEMENT about who you are and that you’ve “made it.” It’s about Kate Walsh and your vehicle turning you on and not about gas mileage.
I would like to disagree. Cadillac has always been a vehicle for the Affluent. But more to the point, Cadillac is about precision, technology, performance, and luxury. Cadillac has had many WORLD firsts in technology, starting with the electric starter for example. Cadillac has traditionally had the best, the latest, and the most innovative. Although in the 80s GM lost their way a bit with badge engineering, the latest and newest technology is an important part of the Cadillac DNA.
The hybrid powertrain in a Cadillac Escalade is no more amazing to me than having the new lane change detection system in the Cadillac STS or heads-up displays in the STS-V and XLR-V. Cadillac gets the latest technology, premium powertrains, and luxury accessories that GM as the World’s largest vehicle manufacturer can bring to the streets.
Also, keep in mind that most people are not choosing between a Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, which is a fullsize SUV, and an economy car. There is a valid and necessary market for these vehicles among people who need the room, want the up-high driving position, storage space, need the towing capacity, etc. Not all vehicles fit all people; there are a variety of markets. IF you NEED or WANT a fullsize SUV, and you want it to get the best MPG possible, the Escalade Hybrid is a good choice.
The only surprising thing in the current markeing plan is that the new E-flex technology started out in a Chevrolet Volt instead of in the new smaller-than-a-CTS upcoming Cadillac model. And I suspect we will see the E-flex powertrain in a Cadillac as the next production example.