The Cadillac Escalade is a full-size luxury SUV engineered and manufactured by Cadillac. 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 word "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 nearly identical to the 1999 GMC Yukon 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 was skipped 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 2007 redesign; the new Escalade ESV is sourced from Arlington, Texas.
As of 2015, the Cadillac Escalade is available in every country that Cadillac is available in, except Israel. The Escalade ESV version is available in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East. It is Cadillac's largest luxury oriented, passenger and load carrying vehicle which was previously served by the Cadillac Commercial Chassis.