General Motors has big plans for its next generation of full-size SUVs like Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon Denali and Cadillac Escalade and they don’t relate only to the traditional U.S. market.
The US automaker forecasts the exports of the big sport utility vehicles would grow to more than a quarter and plans to build them at its re-tooled assembly plant in Arlington, Texas when the new 2015 models launch production in the months to come.
“Twenty-five percent to 30 percent of the vehicles will be exported,” predicted Jeff Luke, GM executive chief engineer for full-size truck and sport utility vehicles. “They do real well in the Middle East. I was in Dubai (recently) and all the police agencies were using them,” he said.
And the No.1 US maker sees further opportunities outside the US, as Cadillac’s global market chief Bob Ferguson thinks there are “very good” business opportunities for the brand’s new Escalade model, set to garner good sales in China once it goes into production next spring.
GM expects to begin assembly of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and the GMC Yukon and Yukon Denali models next January, several months ahead of the more luxurious Cadillac Escalade.
GM truck engineering executive Luke added the upgraded Arlington plant is ready to churn out around 200,000 of the big sport utility vehicles and GM expects to profit from all of them. Cadillac manager Ferguson even bullishly said he thinks the Escalade alone will come up with “double-digit” sales gains after its launch.