The Cadillac Escalade is a luxury, standard sport utility vehicle (SUV) engineered and manufactured by General Motors and marketed under the Cadillac brand. It was Cadillac’s first major entry into the popular SUV market. The Escalade was introduced for the 1999 model year in response to German and Japanese competitors and to Ford’s 1998 release of the Lincoln Navigator. The Escalade project went into production only ten months after it was approved. The Escalade is built in Arlington, Texas. The name Escalade refers to a siege warfare tactic of scaling defensive walls or ramparts with the aid of ladders or siege towers.
The 1999 Escalade was identical to the 1999 GMC Denali, but was redesigned for the 2002 model year to make its appearance fall more in line with Cadillac’s “art and science” design theme. Escalade production went on hiatus for the 2001 model year. The Escalade ESV (based on the Chevrolet Suburban) and its former sibling the Escalade EXT (based on the Avalanche sport utility truck) were made in Silao, Mexico, before the 2006 redesign; the new Escalade ESV is sourced from Arlington, Texas. The Escalade competes with the Infiniti QX56, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Lexus LX, and Lincoln Navigator.