During the bankruptcy days of General Motors Company [NYSE:GM], there were rumblings the automaker was looking to axe its Cadillac Escalade SUV and replace it with a large crossover with third-row seats. The new crossover was to be based on the Lambda platform found in the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse, and was devised in response to the financial crisis at the time and a spike in world oil prices.

GM ultimately launched a new generation of its highly-profitable Escalade, and plans for the crossover were canned. Well, that might not entirely be true as there are suggestions GM is once again looking at launching a large Cadillac crossover with third-row seats—thanks mostly to China.

Speaking with Car and Driver, Cadillac chief marketing officer Uwe Ellinghaus explained that the luxury market in China is largely driven by sedans and SUVs. Cadillac already has two impressive sedans in the form of the ATS and CTS and will soon add a larger flagship sedan currently doing the rounds as the LTS. However, in the SUV department Cadillac only has the Escalade and SRX.

“The two bodystyles that are really driving the luxury market in China are sedans and SUVs—and nothing else,” Ellinghaus explained. “That implies that our aspirations are not limited to SRX and Escalade on the SUV side—we are discussing further SUV derivatives for Cadillac.”

These further derivatives are likely to include the larger crossover with third-row seats as well as a compact crossover to take on the BMW X1, Lexus NX and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class.

Interestingly, during his interview with Car and Driver, Ellinghaus also explained that Cadillac’s future is in rear-wheel-drive vehicles, suggesting that the large crossover may share the Omega platform with the flagship sedan instead of adopting the Lambda platform. Such a move would help differentiate the vehicle from GM’s other large crossovers as well as help recover investment in the Omega platform.

“Our future is rear-wheel drive and, of course, all-wheel drive that we will offer where required and appropriate,” the former BMW exec said. “So expect future SUVS from Cadillac to be rear-wheel-derived, particularly big ones.”

Stay tuned for an update.


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