GM to Rebadge Buick Enclave for Cadillac?

2010 Buick Enclave

Oh boy, here we go again.

When GM declared bankruptcy in 2009, the company told the auto world that the days of badge engineering were gone for good. Swapping out logos and leather was a prime reason GM collapsed. In the months since bankruptcy, new models and chopped brands pointed toward a new era that didn’t include rampant rebadging.

Looks like the temptation to create sales volume (and spread development costs) is too great, though, as reports indicate that Cadillac is set to get a version of the seven-seat Chevy Traverse, built on GM’s well-received Lambda architecture.

If that indeed happens, it means a version of the Lambda will be sold under all four of the General’s brands (joining the Traverse, Buick Enclave, and GMC Acadia.) There is no official word on the new Caddy’s drivetrain or engine, but it’s not that big a leap of faith to assume it’ll be the same as all other Lambdas: a choice between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive powered by the 3.6-liter V6.

The architecture underpinning the Lambda family is admittedly good and is selling very well, with over 70,000 finding new homes this year. But that doesn’t sell me on the fact that this is a good idea. The Enclave is already the luxury version (actually, so is the Acadia), and a Cadillac will just create dilution. Why do we need three luxury versions of the same car?!?

I’d rather see Caddy go down the road of developing world-class rear-wheel-drive performance vehicles to compete with the Germans than add another redressed FWD/AWD variant.

This is simply old GM thinking, and I hope American consumers are smart enough to recognize that.

Does Cadillac need a Lambda-based SUV, too? Where would that leave the Escalade and SRX?


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  1. The one steady constant about GM is that they never learn. Cadillac, in particular, has a fleet of nearly identically-styled vehicles, in different sizes. And the styling is BORING. Every new vehicle is a chance to produce exciting new styling, but with GM its the same-o same-o. They call it “brand” marketing. Worked great for cookie-cutter brands like Pontiac, Saab, Hummer, and Saturn, didn’t it?

  2. If they give it a sharp-edged body like the rest of the Cadillacs, it could be a great thing. I’d hope they’d pump up the engine choice, too. I think the Enclave is one of the ugliest vehicles out there. The body on the Acadia is so much nicer looking, but Cadillac needs to do something even more cutting edge!

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