The Cadillac Escalade is a full-size luxury SUV engineered and manufactured by Cadillac. It was Cadillac's first major entry into the SUV market. The Escalade was introduced for the 1999 model year in response to competition from the Mercedes-Benz ML-Class and Lexus LX 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 and its former sibling the Escalade EXT 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. The Escalade ESV version is available in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Russia and the Middle East. It is Cadillac's largest luxury oriented, passenger- and load-carrying vehicle, which was a niche previously filled by the Cadillac Commercial Chassis. On October 7, 2013, Cadillac unveiled the fourth generation Escalade and Escalade ESV at a star-studded event in New York City, just nearly a month after GM unveiled their next-generation SUVs from Chevrolet and GMC. Cadillac began its campaign to promote the Escalade on August 14, 2013, and started posting teasers online on September 23, 2013, with help from photographer Autumn de Wilde, who helped reveal more images ahead of the unveiling. On November 25, 2013, Cadillac began spreading the word of mouth about the 2015 Escalade by placing a front facsimile cutout of the vehicle on display at Sak's Fifth Avenue's New York City flagship store during its annual Christmas promotional campaign, which shows the SUV being frozen in wraps. Production on The Escalade began in January 2014 at GM's Arlington, Texas assembly plant and went on sale in April 2014 as a 2015 model, and available in only three trims: Base, Luxury, and Premium. International sales are scheduled to start in the Summer of 2014. But in July 2013, a series of spy shots revealed that GM will keep the Escalade a body-on-frame SUV. However, GM is looking at expanding the Escalade brand to the large CUV segment, which would see a vehicle using the Escalade badge sharing the same platform as the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia, which is in the planning stages. According to VP Bob Ferguson, Cadillac's first 3-row Escalade CUV could be introduced in 2016. There is also a possibility that GM might export the Escalade to Australia as a right-hand drive vehicle as part of Cadillac's global expansion, as GM has begun to import its North American vehicles to its Holden division there after discontinuing the latter's locally-produced models in 2017. The cargo space was reduced from 109.8 in (2,789 mm) to 94.2 in (2,393 mm) on the standard base and from 137.5 in (3,492 mm) to 120.5 in (3,061 mm) on the ESV in order to allow an additional 1.7 inches of headroom and 45.3 inches of legroom in the front while reducing the third-row legroom space to 24.8 inches from 25.6 inches. GM's 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8, good for 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, is the only engine offered, along with a new coil-over front suspension and five-link rear setup, a wider track, variable-assist electric power steering and Cadillac's Magnetic Ride Control system with Tour and Sport modes. The interior now has a hand-crafted design that features cut-and-sewn and wrapped materials, with wood trim options. The dashboard was also updated, and the Cadillac CUE system is added as a standard feature, along with an updated security system. On December 23, 2013, Cadillac unveiled seven color palettes for the exterior trims on the Escalade: Dark Granite Metallic, Radiant Silver Metallic, Black Raven, White Diamond Tricoat, Silver Coast Metallic, Crystal Red Tintcoat and Majestic Plum Metallic, and three colors for the interior: Jet Black with Jet Black Accents, Kona Brown with Jet Black Accents, and Shale with Cocoa Accents. On August 11, 2014, Cadillac announced that the Escalade lineup will receive an 8-Speed transmission, Surround View camera, and 4G LTE connectivity as part of a mid-year refreshening, which also sees the wreaths on the grille disappear from the Escalade as part of Cadillac's plans to update the logo to emphasize the crest on all of its models. On May 20, 2014, GM announced that it was recalling 1,402 units of the 2015 Escalade and Escalade ESV that were built between January 2014 to May 2014 due to "an insufficiently heated plastic weld that attaches the (front) passenger side air bag to the instrument panel assembly could result in a partial deployment of the air bag in the event of a crash." GM also placed a temporary halt on further sales and informed owners of the affected vehicles to not let passengers sit in the front passenger seat until they are replaced. The Escalade EXT sport utility truck was introduced in 2001 from the Cadillac division of General Motors. It features a "Convert-a-Cab" composite pickup bed that can be expanded into the truck's cab through a bottom-hinged door. Like the Avalanche, the EXT has four full-size doors and seating for five. High-intensity discharge headlights were offered for 2003. The Escalade EXT also appears in the movie, The Matrix Reloaded along with the CTS in product placement ads. All Escalade EXTs were built in Mexico. The Escalade EXT was created as a direct competitor to the failed Lincoln Blackwood, a pickup truck based on the Ford F-150. It had competed with the Lincoln Mark LT, another F-150-based pickup truck that made its debut in 2005. It now competes with the Ford F-150 Platinum, which is still known as the Lincoln Mark LT in Mexico. The EXT models were discontinued after the 2013 model year along with the Avalanche. The designer of the 2015 model year said that it could be open to the possibility of revisiting the idea to bring the EXT back in the future, but there are no plans to do so at this point in time. The Escalade EXT was available in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East (Except Israel).