As GM Gets Picky About Products, Could Factories Be Next?

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
as gm gets picky about products could factories be next

General Motors is getting pickier about where it does business and the products it sells. Could that also translate to where it will build its products in the future?

In a recent piece from Automotive News’ Mike Colias, the trade publication paints a bleak picture for one of General Motors’ longest running nameplates. The subject was Impala and the question was whether the car named after an African antelope, while well received by the automotive press, could survive the guillotine in a market that increasingly prefers crossovers and SUVs over sedans.

“We have a broad portfolio. But how are we going to look at what are the right vehicles to put in the marketplace? We’ll look at what makes sense and what will generate a return,” General Motors CEO Mary Barra told Automotive News earlier this month.

Naturally, Colias brought up Impala, and the reply stopped short of commitment to the car and the segment.

“That’s a hard one because the Impala is such a great vehicle,” Barra said. “But we can’t look at where the market’s been. We’ve got to look at where the market’s going.”

Impala returned to the market in 2000 and has been built in Oshawa ever since. However, the end of Impala, should General Motors see it unfit to continue, could be another nail in the coffin for the one plant that seems to be constantly losing products.

Camaro production in Oshawa is scheduled to end this November, while next-generation Buick Regal production is rumored to move solely to Russelsheim, Germany in 2017. Cadillac currently produces the XTS in Oshawa, but that model will be discontinued at the end of its lifecycle in 2019.

Should Impala be discontinued, that leaves only Chevrolet Equinox and Impala Limited — based on the previous-generation Impala — on the Consolidated Line, and no products at all on the newer line.

In August of this year, GM Canada announced it would make a small investment in Oshawa Assembly’s Consolidated Line thanks to increased demand of the Chevrolet Equinox. The majority of the $12 million CAD investment went to CAMI, not Oshawa, though the detailed amount was not disclosed.

It was the fifth time the Consolidated Line’s death had been postponed in the last ten years, GM Canada’s VP of Corporate and Environmental Affairs David Paterson told TTAC in August. The Consolidated Line was most recently scheduled to shut down in 2016.

Join the conversation
2 of 24 comments
  • Sjalabais Sjalabais on Oct 22, 2015

    ...and here I was thinking you were talking about factories in politically sensitive areas, like Uzbekistan: Yes, they still make the Opel Kadett (also Pontiac LeMans in colourful GM-speak).

  • Zackman Zackman on Oct 22, 2015

    Kill the Impala? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! If Chevy would have given the car three tail lights on each side, everyone would buy one! While the new one is a big step in the right direction, it's too late for me, because when it comes time to replace my 2012 Impala, it'll be something smaller, like a Malibu or something similar if not smaller. Most likely used as well. Hmmm... I wonder if I can get a new Impala Limited LTZ? Just musing.

  • TheEndlessEnigma $150k for GM build quality. $150k for GM parts and material quality. Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • Rusty The panther platform is one of the greatest vehicles platforms ever produced. This author is a moron.
  • Bullnuke It may be awhile before these show up on US shores. The MV Fremantle Highway has just started demo/reconstruction in Rotterdam after the large fire when transporting its last shipment of electric Porsche products.
  • Fie on Fiasler Big, fast and thirsty does not equal good. True luxury is not cobbled together by the UAW.
  • Inside Looking Out I see it as gladiator races - only one survives in virtual world.