2015 Cadillac Escalade

Crossovers are one of the hottest automotive segments on the planet. Apparently, the idea of mixing the practicality of a station wagon with the looks of an SUV appeals to people whether they are in Cleveland or Shanghai because nearly every automaker is jumping into the market. So it was no surprise when early rumors suggested Cadillac was planning two, new CUVs to fit above and below the SRX. But things might have changed since then.

New rumblings indicate Caddy is taking a different route. Instead of two crossovers, only the compact is on the way, and the larger, three-row CUV on the Lambda platform to sit between the SRX and Escalade may be a goner. According to Ward's Auto, General Motors thinks that the other three-row, Lambda vehicles like the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia compete too closely with the proposed Cadillac. The decision comes fairly close to the 2017 intended production date.

As far back as 2010, this Lambda-platform based CUV was considered highly likely for production. However, Cadillac Senior Vice President Bob Ferguson was somewhat cooler about it when he discussed the new crossover briefly last year. He said the model could use the Escalade name, despite its unibody chassis, but no decision had been made yet to actually produce it.

Cutting off the larger model now could actually be a good idea for Cadillac. "It would be coming to market somewhat late," Stephanie Brinley, senior analyst at IHS Automotive, told Autoblog. She predicts that growth in the segment tapering off in 2019-2020, not long after the Lambda-based Cadillac would launch. There will still be sales there, but it will be a "market more like midsize sedans," she said, which will mean more competition and less annual growth. The real expansion in the niche will come over the next three years. Maybe Cadillac has seen the writing on the wall.