It’s not easy being at the top and the Cadillac Escalade, one of the brand’s success stories with 36 percent market share of the uber-lux SUV category, will soon face competition by Mercedes-Benz.

The reasons boil down to money and market share. While most SUVs sales fell last year, the market for luxury large SUVs has actually increased. Land Rover saw its sales rise by 30 percent last year. And this year's sales of the Cadillac Escalade, according to Cadillac spokesperson Kevin Smith, have been above expectations with dealers reporting they have already pre-sold their allotted vehicles. Mercedes-Benz is hoping to tap into that market especially since it saw between 8 to 9 percent of ML-Class owners abandon the brand for larger SUVs such as the Escalade.

But analysts think the German automaker may have a tough time with its new GL-Class (pictured). One of the appeals of the Escalade is its exterior design, which is considered bold. The SUV is also easy to customize with aftermarket items like 22-inch wheels. Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, with its  “subdued” look, is more appealing to European tastes.

Mercedes-Benz, however, counters by going after a different segment of the market, catering to families who have outgrown their ML-Class SUVs and want a large luxury vehicle instead of a vehicle with flash.

[Source: Detroit News]

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