IHS Markit had expected 2018 U.S. car and light truck sales to end up at 17 million, about half a million short of 2016’s record. But after September’s seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 17 million, the analysis firm is increasing that number.
How? It’s statistics. “Seasonally adjusted” means just that.
“This September bounce back, and expectations that the pace of sales in the fourth quarter should not move drastically from this level will likely push full-year light vehicle sales volume to 17.1 million units in total,” says Christopher Hopson, manager of IHS Markit’s North America light vehicle forecasting.
Seasonal adjustments mean that July and August historically are very strong sales months as consumers take advantage of warm weather and end-of-model-year prices, while September traditionally is a transitional month as new model-year cars and trucks arrive.
Even though Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Sales, American Honda, and Nissan North America saw
The heyday of the full-size luxury SUV may well have passed, but no vehicle born of that era has become more ingrained in the popular culture than the Cadillac Escalade. (A quick aside: Do we think this would have been the case if the Escalade had been named the ULX or some other nonsense amalgam of letters and numbers? No.) Even though the Escalade’s biggest-volume sales years may be behind it, this vehicle still looms large in the public consciousness, and the general perception of Cadillac.
Cadillac bosses might prefer that their brand be defined by newer models like the CTS, the CTS-V, or maybe the SRX. But the fact is that as the biggest and most expensive model in the lineup, the Escalade remains the flagship — it’s the mack-daddy Caddy.
One of my favorite things about the Cadillac Escalade is that it is incredibly relaxing and easy to drive. The leather seats are as wide and cushioned as a couch, very little sound permeates the cabin, and the steering has enough power assistance to make changing course a breeze. The soft suspension and lazy engine create a serious sense of disconnection from the road. You don’t drive an Escalade, per se, you just sort of sit around and occasionally offer suggestions as to the SUV’s direction.
Even though our tester was upgraded to the Platinum trim level, which brings top-spec upgrades like nicer leather and wood trim, the Escalade’s interior cannot hold a candle to three-row competitors from Germany or Japan. As nicely finished as it may be, the Caddy’s cabin just doesn’t have the sumptuous, expensive feel of some of its rivals. Our particular Escalade was the
The Escalade has loomed large in the public consciousness—and in the public’s rear-view mirrors—as the high-riding, high-profile Caddy with the mostest. As the brand’s overseers view it, though, the division’s center of gravity has shifted away from the Escalade toward Cadillac’s fresh portfolio of passenger cars. Still, the Escalade is a highly profitable model, and it was number two in the luxury-SUV derby last year. With General Motors redoing its Chevrolet and GMC full-size SUVs (from which the Escalade springs), the big Caddy came along for the ride, polished and improved but definitely not reimagined.
Cadillac did consider moving the Escalade to the GMC Acadia/Buick Enclave platform of three-row crossovers, but consumer clinic participants deemed the resulting vehicle Not An Escalade. So the new Escalade hews to the same familiar formula: body-on-frame construction, suspension of front coil springs and a
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