I started to look around for a candidate for replacing my ageing car about three weeks ago. An equivalent replacement for my current car, a Chevrolet Tahoe (a real Chevrolet and not that Daewoo crap) is not so easy to find in Europe. Thanks to the bean counters at General Motor real Chevrolets are no longer sold in Europe for instance. Thus I have so far focused on the Cadillac Escalade which is the only direct replacement for the Tahoe.
Unfortunately Cadillac do not really seem to be very eager to sell anything around here. When I first approached the authorized dealer in Geneva everything was wonderful and I would get a quote next week. He was going to fix everything including the French plates etc. etc. I told him already then that I didn’t think he could fix my diplomatic French plates since that has to be done my me and CERN. Anyway, by the end of next week I didn’t have a quote and was told that he hadn’t received answers to his questions about my plates.
So I told him that the local French authorities here didn’t really know how that worked since it’s done between CERN and the authorities in Paris. I even forwarded him the proper procedure to follow from the CERN documentation outlining how it was done. Then I waited another week without any quote in sight. This time he was busy with the Geneva Car Show but I should get a quote next week.
We are now at the end of the third “next week” and guess what…I still do not have a quote. This week the deal is that the local dealer is waiting for price information from Cadillac. I guess this can very well be so since these cars are not really imported and kept in stock and I am asking for a diplomatic price without customs fees and taxes but it is still fairly amazing. Not only is the car industry in somewhat of a crisis but Cadillac, especially their Luxury SUV’s is not exactly selling in droves here in Europe. The number of Escalade sold in most countries can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand. One would have though that the sales people would be trying a bit more aggressively to sell these things but I get the impression that they really do not care instead.
Well, I’m not really in a hurry. I have kept my Tahoe for 10 years already after all. However, the kind of service I have received so far certainly ends up on the minus side for Cadillac when it will come to decisions time.
In the mean time I have asked for quotes from the nearest competitor, the Grand Cherokee. It is slightly smaller and have a more European style than the Escalade which actually is a drawback as far as I am concerned. On the positive side is that it certainly have better road handling and you can actually get it with a bigger engine in the SRT8 model. The catalog prices are pretty much the same in Europe so it really boils down to what kind of quotes I will finally get and what kind of service I feel I will get. So far Cadillac is definitely lagging behind on the latter point.