W-Body Impala Gets A One-Year Stay Of Execution
The W-Body Chevrolet Impala, so beloved by the horribly biased, anti-Detroit, anti-GM staff and readership of TTAC, will live on for one more year, as a fleet vehicle dubbed the “Impala Limited”.
The news came at the launch of the new Epsilon-based Impala, which is moving the full-size Chevrolet in a totally different direction. The W-Body made up as much as 75 percent of its sales volume via fleets, but Chevrolet is looking to turn that around completely, with a target of 70 percent retail sales for the new Impala.
Aside from having the Impala Limited catering to fleet customers, continuing the W-Body helps GM keep their Oshawa plant running at capacity, particularly the Oshawa Consolidated Line, which is set to close once the W-Body ends production. This also helps GM meet its “Vitality Commitment’, which requires GM to maintain a minimum production level in Canada. The new Impala will split production between Oshawa and Michigan.
Limited and Custom are Buick names. here's to a longer life for 6 passenger sedans with shift on the tree.
Chevy loyalists will get sticker shock and demand huge rebates. The Cruze and 'newer' Malibu are too close in size. Will be some confused GM lifers in showrooms this summer.
I currently have 2 W-bodies - '98 Lumina LTZs - in the stable, mine has 190k on it, the wife's has 207k. They both have the 3800/4t65e under the hood so they've got plenty of go power for getting onto the highway and such. We've had them for about 5 years now and they have been pretty solid cars once I got past some of the common issues (biggest being the 3800 SII intake gaskets around 150k). Interestingly though, both of them had fuel pump failures right around 170k requiring a tow home. Over the past 70k we've owned them they've been pretty inexpensive to keep on the road with good fuel mileage, the insurance cost isn't bad, and parts are cheap and plentiful. It's also a pretty easy car to do my own wrenching on - the only time they ever see a shop these days is for annual state inspection and tires/alignments. The wife's Lumina is showing signs of tin worm infestation despite still running/driving great, and when the time comes that the rust gets too bad, I'm thinking about sticking with the W-body and replacing it with an Impala...call me nuts but I'd like to have a bench-seat one.
The new Impala will no longer compete in the same price range of the Malibu so it might help Malibu sales. The overall volume for the new Impala will be much lower but the transaction price will go up. 30 large for a full size sedan with a good engine(3.6) is competitive with the Taurus which is its real competition. They are people such as me who only shop domestic cars. People like me would only cross shop the Impala, Taurus and maybe the Charger and Lacrosse. I'm certainly not criticizing anyone for buying Toyotas or Hondas, but it is my right to buy whatever I want. That steering wheel has got to go!