NAIAS 2017 | Episode 2 : General Motors Group

This year, most of the companies elected to separate their premium brands from the core high volume products. The Lincoln stand was located away from Ford; Alfa Romeo separate from Fiat/Chrysler; both Buick and Cadillac on individual display areas.
Not much new at Buick or Cadillac this year, but Cadillac did display the Escala concept previously debuted at Pebble Beach. This bold flagship product is quite striking and would be a welcome addition as an aspiration car at the top of the brand. Let’s hope that it will become a commercial reality one day soon. The Escala is quite a large car, with a long, pillarless greenhouse giving an “open”, clean look. There are some strong body feature lines, but this concept shows some welcome evolution from the present brand styling ethos. The large front grille is perhaps rather lacking in brightwork for the brand, (especially alongside the very small headlights) and the interior rather simplistic, but these are just details. All in all, the car is elegant and commands a presence. An interesting small feature is the bright trim at the lower leading edge of the front door that mirrors the wider greenhouse moulding at the C pillar. With the addition of a full height B Pillar; a reduction in the trunk lift-over; some larger mirrors (unfortunately) and few other minor changes the Escala probably could be a viable production offering.

Needless to say, SUV’s and Crossovers continue to be a major factor in the US market. GM is clearly working hard to blanket this very broad market with a wide range of products covering every size category. Chevrolet replaced two key products in this market with an all-new compact Equinox and an all new mid sized Traverse. These products fit between the smaller Trax (also freshened) and the larger, body-on-frame Tahoe. The Traverse and Equinox are not exceptional in terms of design, but they are competent products tailored for their particular role in the line-up.