By on July 21, 2017

Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant Cadillac CT6 - Image: GMThe possibility, or even the necessity, of turning General Motors’ Hamtramck, Michigan, passenger car assembly plant into an SUV/crossover facility in the next half-decade has the company considering the discontinuation of the Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Volt, Buick LaCrosse, and recently launched Cadillac CT6.

According to a report in Reuters, General Motors is in talks with the United Auto Workers about replacing the increasingly unpopular products currently built in Hamtramck with in-demand utility vehicles. Also in question is the future of the Michigan-built Chevrolet Sonic and the Canada-built Cadillac XTS, which has enjoyed stays of execution in the past.

On average, GM had a 111-day supply of the six models in its U.S. showrooms heading into July 2017. 70 days’ worth of supply would be appropriate. Combined, the Impala, Volt, LaCrosse, CT6, Sonic, and XTS account for 6 percent of GM’s U.S. sales in 2017.

In 2008, the Impala, LaCrosse, and the Sonic’s Aveo predecessor — merely three of the nameplates — accounted for 12 percent of a much more voluminous GM U.S. operation.

The Hamtramck facility most obviously in question saw its production dive 20 percent in the first half of 2017, year-over-year.

More than just the 20-percent drop in first-half production — and the 72-percent plunge in June production — is the simple rarity of a Hamtramck-built vehicle exiting the plant. Only 56,346 vehicles were built in Hamtramck in the first six months of 2017.

During the same period, GM had seven North American assembly plants that built at least 100,000 vehicles: Arlington, Texas’ full-size SUV plant; Fort Wayne, Indiana’s full-size pickup truck plant; Wentzville, Missouri’s van and midsize pickup truck facility; Fairfax, Kansas’ Malibu site; Ingersoll, Ontario’s compact crossover factory; San Luis Potosi, Mexico’s crossover factory; and Silao, Mexico’s full-size pickup plant.

The UAW wants some of that for Hamtramck. Regarding underused facilities in Michigan and Ohio, “We are talking to [GM] right now about the products they currently have,” UAW president Dennis Williams says.

GM Vehicle 201 First-Half U.S. Sales YOY % Change % Of GM First-Half U.S. Sales
Chevrolet Silverado 262,940 -3.9% 18.6%
Chevrolet Equinox 133,454 10.0% 9.4%
Chevrolet Cruze 105,188 21.3% 7.4%
GMC Sierra 99,153 -6.9% 7.0%
Chevrolet Malibu 83,899 -30.3% 5.9%
Chevrolet Traverse 56,958 4.3% 4.0%
GMC Acadia 55,995 46.7% 4.0%
Chevrolet Colorado 50,301 -1.8% 3.6%
Chevrolet Tahoe 45,009 4.1% 3.2%
Buick Encore 42,331 16.2% 3.0%
GMC Terrain 42,242 -9.9% 3.0%
Chevrolet Trax 36,931 26.8% 2.6%
Chevrolet Camaro 36,567 -0.7% 2.6%
Chevrolet Express 35,148 8.0% 2.5%
Chevrolet Impala 31,312 -44.5% 2.2%
Cadillac XT5 29,798 313.4% 2.1%
Chevrolet Suburban 24,903 8.7% 1.8%
Buick Envision 22,620 1382.3% 1.6%
GMC Yukon 19,527 -2.5% 1.4%
Buick Enclave 19,448 -19.8% 1.4%
Chevrolet Sonic 17,958 -36.5% 1.3%
GMC Savana 16,740 45.9% 1.2%
GMC Canyon 14,888 -14.3% 1.1%
GMC Yukon XL 14,630 3.0% 1.0%
Chevrolet Corvette 13,707 -6.6% 1.0%
Buick LaCrosse 12,308 -11.9% 0.9%
Chevrolet Volt 10,932 11.5% 0.8%
Cadillac Escalade 10,157 -2.9% 0.7%
Chevrolet Spark 9,208 -49.7% 0.7%
Chevrolet Bolt 7,592 0.0% 0.5%
Cadillac XTS 7,370 -24.7% 0.5%
Cadillac ATS 7,209 -26.2% 0.5%
Cadillac Escalade ESV 6,923 5.6% 0.5%
Buick Regal 6,482 -29.9% 0.5%
Cadillac CT6 5,397 172.7% 0.4%
Cadillac CTS 5,059 -36.0% 0.4%
Chevrolet City Express 4,252 -11.4% 0.3%
Buick Verano 3,672 -75.1% 0.3%
Buick Cascada 3,455 -15.1% 0.2%

It’s not as though plans aren’t in the works to add capacity at car-centric facilities. The next Cadillac utility vehicle will be built alongside the Chevrolet Malibu in Kansas, for example. But while pre-recession GM kept the assembly plants that hosted unpopular cars humming by sending low-demand cars to daily rental fleets, GM is (gradually) attempting to bolster residual values by more closely matching production to retail demand.

As a result, GM light truck production in North America is up 13 percent this year, but GM passenger car production is down 12 percent. Cars account for only 26 percent of the vehicles built by GM in North America this year, according to the Automotive News Data Center.

Not surprisingly, only 26 percent of the vehicles sold by GM in the U.S. in 2017’s first six months were cars. Car production, of course, has been reined in because of decreased car demand across the industry. GM car sales are down 17 percent in the U.S. in 2017; overall industry-wide car sales are down 12 percent, forming just 37 percent of U.S. auto sales.

As for the models most in question, there are numerous reasons each vehicle may be deemed worthy of elimination at the end of their current lifecycles. The Buick LaCrosse is a premium-priced, mid-tier large car that is on track for its worst-ever calendar year of U.S. sales. GM averaged 54,000 annual LaCrosse sales in its first 11 years but is likely to sell fewer than 25,000 in a dying segment in 2017.2016 Chevrolet Impala LTZ - Image: GMIn that same segment, a Chevrolet Impala that once targeted fleet markets with all the tenacity GM’s Chevrolet Silverado now musters to advertise against the Ford F-150, is now attracting barely more than 5,000 monthly buyers. Only two years ago, GM was selling nearly 10,000 Impalas per month. A decade ago, GM was selling more than 22,000 Impalas per month.

The Chevrolet Sonic’s struggles were documented earlier this week. As U.S. subcompact sales tumble, the Chevrolet Sonic is tumbling much faster than the segment at large.2017 Chevrolet Volt - Image: GMGM has never found the Chevrolet Volt to be as popular as the company had initially hoped. Now in its second generation, the Volt is undeniably one of GM’s more impressive engineering accomplishments. In fact, 2017 is on pace to be the Volt’s best year ever. But “best,” for the Volt, means fewer than 30,000 annual sales. If the Volt was produced as a utility vehicle, foretold somewhat by 2010’s Volt MPV5 Concept, perhaps GM could find the Volt sales the company anticipated in 2010.

As for the Cadillac duo, the XTS will by 2020 be operating on a thoroughly aged platform. Its DTS predecessor used to sell more than 80,000 copies per year. In 2017, XTS sales are down by a quarter, year-over-year, and 17,000 sales are unlikely.

The CT6, meanwhile, was only launched a year ago. Why the hurry to eliminate the big sedan, sales of which top 1,000 units per month in the U.S.? For starters, the discontinuation is reported to occur in 2020 or soon thereafter, by which time the CT6 would be at least five years old. If current trends continue, luxury sedan buyers will be rare indeed by the next decade.

Nevertheless, GM’s president of North American operations, Alan Batey, tells Reuters, “I don’t think we have too many sedans.”

Whether you think GM would be mistaken to eliminate six cars from its U.S. lineup by 2020 or mistaken to keep them, there’s no doubt that confirming such a plan in 2017 would most definitely be a mistake.

[Images: General Motors]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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96 Comments on “GM Reportedly Considering Killing Off Six Cars by 2020: Three Chevrolets, Two Cadillacs, One Buick...”


  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Yeah, there is going to be a lot of consolidation and pruning of sedans by most manufacturers in the next model cycle. GM really doesn’t need 10 sedans to satisfy the market.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      GM has 3-4 levels for most each platform where others have two: Impala LaCrosse XTXTS, Traverse Acafia Enclave, Sonic, Equinox Terrain SRX, Tahoe Yukon Escalade where others only have two nameplates per platform: Honda Acura, Nissan Infiniti, Toyota Lexus….and GM will still be making money hand over fist.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Nevertheless, GM’s president of North American operations, Alan Batey, tells Reuters, “I don’t think we have too many sedans.”

    So GM still has some delusional pre-BK holdouts, how nice.

    Yes GM you do have too many sedans that very few people want. The CUV has replaced the sedan, like the SUV replaced the minivan, and the minivan replaced the wagon before that. Product life cycles happen.

    Find a way to get the Volt technology into a CUV and you will sell them like hot cakes.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    With any luck, the LaCrosse will depreciate like it always has and the CT6 will drop in value like the Hyundai Equus…and then I can pick up either one for pennies on the dollar. I like GM’s larger premium sedans, just not at sticker prices.

    Hopefully they don’t kill off the Volt. It’s an excellent car. One more generation of the technology could spawn a crossover, though.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      It defies common sense that GM hasn’t already started a firesale on their slow selling sedans. Maybe they believe the LaCrosse and CT6 are collector’s cars? They priced them poorly and they’re now lot poison.

      There are 5000 CT6s listed on cars.com.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I think the LOADED high trim versions of various sedans are going to end up being the most rare. A full price it seems like many consumers make a different choice.

        Even the current Malibu I see lots of LS and LT models but nearly no Premiere models out on the highways. OTOH consumers seem to have no problem with loaded Equinox and Terrain. (So many SLT and Denali Terrains in my area!)

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        jkross22: I checked and see 141 CT6 for sale.

        There are no plugin hybrids available.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The Buick models do not depreciate any worse than does Lexus. The LaCrosse vs ES 350 the depreciation is the same at about 59-60% for 12/36 according to Edmund’s. The Avalon is worse at 55-56%.

      If you add the Buick discount of almost 20% it depreciates even less over the others

    • 0 avatar

      For 18k, my CTS Performance package is the deal of the century.

  • avatar
    ajla

    My guesses:

    Impala is done.

    CT6 is done.

    Sonic is done.

    Lacrosse and XTS live on in North America, but will be imported from China.

    Volt survives.

    ATS and CTS get consolidated into one vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      That looks like a very good guess. I still don’t understand why GM ever made the CT6. I mean, I love it, but it’s a dying segment. Even among the luxobarges, the S-Class pretty much rules and everyone else fights for scraps. And the CT6 isn’t even a proper flagship. It’s more like an extended-wheelbase mid-sizer with some added features.

      I do give kudos to Lexus for the upcoming LS. It knows the types of buyers who value the traditional LS values are dying off, and that people my age usually wouldn’t buy such a car. So it has decided not to compete directly with the other flagships and has instead turned the LS into some sort of pseudo-fastback sport sedan that’s closer to the Panamera than the S-Class.

      That’s the kind of wisdom that GM needs to display. It should have built a Q7-sized crossover on the CT6’s Omega platform, instead of building the CT6.

      In either case, this is also a good wake-up call for a giant conglomerate like GM. It’s okay not to have an entrant in every segment, even if you are called *General* Motors.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        The XTS has caught my eye personally. Cadillac had the longest CPO warranty of any GM brand and I’m seeing examples online that are CPO, still have 5 years of warranty coverage and only 20,000 miles on them toward the 100,000 miles of CPO coverage. Advertised price? Less than $25,000.

        For the guy who wants big and quiet, still under warranty, and doesn’t really care what the badge is – that’s tempting.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “I still don’t understand why GM ever made the CT6.”

        China?

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          GM is going to fail again, and Cadillac will be the tip of the spear (just the tip).

          The only vehicles justifying Cadillac’s continued existence are the XT5 (rebadged Acadia) and Escapade, and with peak crossover saturation rolling in, Cadillac will have to ramp up nice gives on the XT5 (especially by inflating residuals, in order to compete with Germans and Japanese crossovers on subsidized lease lower monthly payments).

          The ATS and CTS have been EPIC failures (even based on the epic standards of automotive history sales’ flops), and the XTS is actually more successful than the turd ATS or 3rd Gen CTS as GM can fleet it (it does have passable rear passenger room, after all) with economies of scale and it’s not trying to outGerman Audi or outJapanese Lexus in terms of reliability/durability/fit-finish.

          Good thing Mary Barra (28 million dollars per year) cut Johan a 12 billion dollar carte blanche check to move his digs to SoHo and bring Melody Lee and Uwe in tow, and open up that Cadillac Haus du Cafe.

          And as I predicted that the the ATS and 3rd Gen CTS would fail BIGLY now selling in unit volume that rivals genuinely good, exotic, much more expensive vehicles, but for the worst of reasons), interdiction of the “flagship,” “exotic material chassis) CT6 POS failing to crack 11,000 yearly sales by 2017 will come true as people/owners/past owners/burned owners (the GM way) realize what a steaming pile of sh!t it is (it’s like a Mercedes E Class or Lexus LS if North Korea took a stab at a knock-off attempt).

          The CT6 will fail to muster 9,500 total sales in 2018 unless GM literally throws 25% or greater discounts on the hood and also fleets it, and it will only get worse in 2019, 2020, etc. until they execute it properlybehind the SoHo Haus Du Cafe, quietly with a gunshot to its “exotic material” spinal cord.

          #TheArena

          #DareGreatly

          #NoMoreCrappyVehicles

          #NewGM

          #StandardOfTheWorld

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        CT6 was just the new Seville. After Seville STS when out I think in MY03, initially nothing replaced it. Later a Sigma based STS was spun up essentially as a LWB Catera. When Deville was still in the lineup, it sort of made sense (the bigger “sport” car to the “stately” one with Catera as “entry level”). Now something sh**tier is “entry level” and CT6 is more in line with a mix of Deville and Seville than a true flagship car (which will now never exist). If RenCen had not done a lot of what it did to CT6, it *could* sell briskly the way the Sigma CTS sold as a “Five for Three money”. Just the fact the msrp went from 70ish to 52K around the time we decried the move, shows me things are not cohesive in Cadillac leadership.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I could see the Sonic surviving as a low-volume import, which is what it was when it was the Aveo. Which it still is, in the many parts of the world where small cars are still necessary. It might help with the CAFE numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      A consolidation of GM’s full-size sedans is hardly surprising.

      It was already known that the XTS was on its last legs (there wasn’t going to be a 2nd gen model), so that’s nor surprise.

      The LaCrosse and Impala are in a rapidly declining segment, so makes financial sense not to have to develop a next-gen platform.

      In place of the CT6 will be a proper flagship sedan (and not a “tweener”) for Cadillac, the CT8, with an Omega-based top-line crossover also very likely.

      There has been indication that both the ATS and CTS will have replacements with new nomenclature and both growing in size/interior space (hence, no need for the CT6) addressing their biggest flaw.

      The CT6 is doing OK (selling about 1k units/month) considering that the XTS shares the market-space.

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    GM should get rid of all cars and focus on what it does well….trucks and SUVs.

    • 0 avatar
      CobraJet

      I would disagree and say that GM does do cars well. I have a new Lacrosse that is an excellent vehicle. I was torn between replacing my old Impala with a car or moving to an SUV. I have test-driven and rented many SUV’s, but I still like the driving characteristics of a car. I already have a pickup and a van, so those bases are covered.

      One thing that GM does not do well is advertise its large cars. I never see the Impala, for example, featured in tv ads, print ads, mail-outs or even local dealership advertising. The same with Buick. Chevy promotes the Malibu aggressively, but never the Impala. Looking at those sales numbers between the two, maybe advertising is one reason.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        General Motors is a garbage company making – almost without exception (maybe 3 ecxeptions in whole lineup) – garbage quality vehicles.

        I’m compiling a comprehensive list of major problems with GM motors (1.4 liter, 1.6 liter, 2.0T liter, 3.6 liter, 5.3 liter, etc.), transmissions (wait you til you see massive issues in new units being put in Cadillacs and GMCs), electrical systems, suspension components, rust issues (on brand new vehicles sitting on new dealer lots), coolant system issues, turbocharger issues, etc.

        GM is a sad, sad company. It’s our British Leyland, only bigger, and more cancerous.

        It’s great that Mary Barra stated “no more crappy vehicles” in a naive platitude, however, and that she’s making 28 million per year, while GM falls to 4th place in global sales (behind Ford for June, by the way – yes, globally).

        • 0 avatar
          Syke

          Your being on your usual “GM is a garbage company” rant, as far as I’m concerned, means that GM is well worth considering.

          Having followed your attitudes over the years shows me that you have as much of a viable opinion as the usual hard-ass Bernie Sanders supporter has about the President or Paul Ryan, You’re so filled with anti-GM (and especially anti-Cadillac) hatred that you couldn’t see straight enough to give them credit when they do something right if somebody put a gun to your head.

          When it comes to GM, I wish you’d just shut up. You’re predictable, and you have no sense of rationality on the subject.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            You’re old and confuse age with wisdom.

            You regale everyone with tales of your youth and experiences with two-stroke motors and life in the 60s, as if it bestows any credibility unto you or your mostly clueless and uninformative opinions.

            I’ve been spot on with my specific analysis of GM, completely contrary to your vague, squishy assertions (probably formed while you were tripping on acid in the 70s).

            You’re behind the times, old man.

          • 0 avatar
            joeaverage

            My family is full of GMs and have been for since the 80s. Why haven’t the same quality problems beset them all this time?

            There have been a few random problems here and there but nothing on the order that supposedly awaits a GM customer.

            Same goes for FCA in our circle. To read about them they might just well collapse under their own weight in the driveway yet friends and family drive them with few problems for year after year.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        CobraJet – same thing happened to the Saturn Astra. Decent car. Only ever saw the tail end in the Saturn commercials.

  • avatar
    hamish42

    I wonder at the politics of dropping the Volt. It is not a sales success, but it is high visibility and demonstrates that GM is at least making a token effort into the new automotive world. Might they have to keep it just to say they have it?

    • 0 avatar
      I_like_stuff

      The Volt is a fun toy for people making $175K+ who could virtue signal to their friends. I don’t think there will be much of an outcry when it’s gone, nor will anyone notice.

      http://www.autoblog.com/2011/10/04/why-the-chevy-volt-is-attracting-wealthy-buyers/

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @i_like_stuff: That’s a six-year-old article. A little out of date.

        The only people I know that actually do any sort of “virtue signaling” own a new Subaru Legacy. They have some sort of anti-technology thing going and hybrids and EVs are technology, so they don’t like them. They turn their nose up at technology and tell you they are better than you because they don’t like tech. Then when they do get some sort of tech, it’s somehow okay for them to have it. Yes, they are really annoying idiots. They are true virtue signallers to the core, but wouldn’t be caught dead in a volt.

        Anyway, why the f*ck does a label have to get stuck on everyone that buys a particular vehicle or type of vehicle? Can’t someone just buy a car because they like or want the car? What’s wrong with that? Enough with the stupid labels.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      I’m sure GM execs are having punch-ups over the Volt. From a sales standpoint, it’s borderline useless. It’s a compliance car with important powertrain technology. As a political symbol and PR campaign to assuage the spiteful rage of Gaians and prudish regulators, Volt is a reasonably useful vehicle.

      I’m confident the sober financial planners and product people probably want to axe the vehicle and adapt its plug-in powertrain for use in other vehicles. The marketing and PR factions are still imagining a future in which GM is fawned-over by regulators because gasoline is $5 and the Volt is saving America.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        I’m sure the oil industry is happy that $2 is putting a big hurt on electric powered vehicles.

        I’m convinced $2 gas can’t last but I’m not sure how long it will last.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      I don’t see them dropping the Volt. Turning it into a crossover, yeah, increasing the battery storage to give it a longer electric-only range, yeah, but not dropping it.

      The Volt is probably the best hedge they’ve got against the future, wherever the price of gasoline goes. And, as the technology advances, the cost of the car is going to come down.

      It’s an electric without the range anxiety. It’s a good hedge against the worst case scenario for gas prices. It’s a hybrid that shouts out “look at me, I care about the planet.” It’s already an established product, so they’d be foolish to drop it. And it was out there first – which in today’s (and the future’s) political climate definitely counts for something.

      I actually see the Volt as the Malibu of ten years future. Or the Equinox, depending on what the market demands.

      They’re certainly making enough profit on Silverados to finance the existence of the Volt.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Why drop it? They’ve already invested so much money in the product. why walk away from that?

        I guess the technology would continue to exist and ready to be put into a different vehicle.

        The next big thing for GM ought to be putting hybrid drivetrains in their crossovers.

        I’ve traveled by sedan, crossover, SUV, pickup and minivan in the past year. Sedan is great for two people. SUV is okay I guess. Pickup truck only when towing or hauling, pointless otherwise for my family.

        The minivan and crossover were the best – best on the highway, best on gas (per person hauled), easy to park, comfortable and quiet.

        My family will continue to own one people hauler. The seocnd vehicle will eventually be replaced with an Bolt/Leaf type vehicle. I do expect gasoline to climb back to mid-$3 in the future.

  • avatar

    This is what happens when you have a CEO trained in the art of cutting production and not actual creation. Lets be honest GM is barely surviving. Next time they go to the government for a bailout they may not get what they want. GM is now not large enough to avoid failure. They suddenly find themselves as the world’s fourth place car maker in terms of sales.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Lets be honest? Okay.

      GM found its way to bankruptcy by doing exactly as you want them to do: building cars nobody wants.

      More honesty? Its better to be in 4th place sales wise and be profitable than it is to be number one sales wise but losing money at every turn.

      You seem to think selling less cars means they are less healthy, which is not the case. Catering to RETAIL demand and backing away from fleets is a good thing. Dropping money-losing Opel was a great thing. Killing off cars nobody wants is a smart thing, allowing them to focus on what DOES sell and make money.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        GM went bankrupt because its 1970s and earlier business and labor model was blown out of the water by the 1980s. It managed to hold on for twenty or more years but in the end it did succumb.

        FUN FACT: GM nearly went bankrupt in 1992, and this was back when there was a real economy instead of the eCONomy of today. Without the profits of the SUV boom -which Japan Inc was never able to really tap into- GM would have been in bankruptcy by 2000.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Mary Barra is a degreed electrical engineer, managed the Hamtramck plant, and was their VP of Manufacturing Engineering.

      She seems to be pretty familiar with the process of “actual creation”.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    Shouldn’t this be part of the Midsize Sedan Death Watch?

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Automotive fads are cyclical. GM shouldn’t cut too deeply. Sedans, historically the most popular body style, will make a comeback.

  • avatar
    jmo

    1. Fix your f_cking site!

    2. Keep in mind why GM went bankrupt. The public wanted SUVs then gas prices spiked and SUV sales plunged, they had not competitive cars to offer and they went under. They need a stable of competitive cars for the next inevitable oil shock.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Except it didn’t happen like that. They had plenty of terrible cars. Nobody wanted a terrible car. Their trucks and SUVs continued to sell and kept the lights on before, during and after bankruptcy.

      GM now has utilities that get good mileage and are in demand.

      “When gas prices go up, SUVs and trucks plunge!”
      Wrong. It didn’t happen before and it won’t happen again. It is now known that there is plenty of oil, and OPEC has no balls anymore.

      So you go ahead and say GM should still build unprofitable, poor selling cars because one day, gas prices will jump and suddenly everyone will want a XTS or CTS.

      • 0 avatar
        Whatnext

        Wrong, SUV sales fell off a cliff when oil went over a $100/bbl. All it takes is one Mideast oil producer to topple into civil war to ignite another run-up in price. And GM will be left peddling large vehicles nobody will want, it will be 1974 all over again.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          A spike in the price of oil is not really going to change things as buyers are increasingly moving from sedans to CUVs – but into CUVs one size- segment DOWN so the price and fuel economy is pretty comparable.

          Also, in all likelihood, GM will be using the Voltec power-train for a crossover.

          We can already see the market demand for a fuel-efficient CUV over a liftback as the Kia Niro sells better than the Hyundai Ioniq in pretty much every market.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I doubt an oil shock will make a a 28 MPG Trax toxic and I doubt an oil shock will make the Impala-class popular again.

      If GM’s future car line is Corvette, Camaro, Bolt, Spark, Cruze, Malibu, 1-2 Buicks, and 1-2 Cadillacs then I think they are serving the market fine.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      Remember, the public is extremely fickle. What seems like sound policy to the B&B today can seem very ill-advised when viewed in the rear-view mirror from few years down the road. GM – and all automakers – need to keep their vehicle lineups well-rounded enough to be able to shift emphasis to match the desires of a public that generally can’t see beyond its collective nose. Sure, build SUVs and CUVs. But find a way to keep mid-sized and compact vehicles in the lineups – at different price points.

  • avatar
    TomHend

    Looks like Mary Barra did good selling Opel:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-emissions-cartel-idUSKBN1A61G9

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’m not up on German courts but this occurred during the period of ownership and RenCen could be held liable. Now if you refer to Opel valuation post scandal, then yes I agree.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Wow, the market is ruthless. The Lacrosse, Impala, Sonic and Volt are all excellent cars. Sad reality though is they would or are all selling better as crossovers.

    I suppose a reconfig of the lineup is fair. If I had to replace these 6 cars with another 6 models, I’d probably do the following:

    Impala- Edge/Murano etc fighter
    Lacrosse- Envision “coupe” with V6
    XTS/CT6- build what the ELR should have been- new Seville liftback with plug in hybrid powertrain built around corporate 3.6L.
    Sonic- let die. Good car, nobody wants them. Focus on the Cruze.
    Volt- make Malibu sized; equip like it’s worth; up system HP to 200 and pray for high gas prices.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      Yes, they’re all excellent cars. But, at least in the case of the Impala and Lacrosse, they finally got too expensive. The current Impala, especially, has very little in common with the version it replaced. I suspect that people who owned earlier Impalas – assuming they’re not driving SUV/CUV’s now – have probably moved on to Malibus or, even more likely, Hyundai Sonatas.

      • 0 avatar
        Car Guy

        This describes my purchase. I generally buy GM product and prefer sedans over SUV’s. A decently equipped Impala was pushing near $30K even with the incentives. I ended up in a Malibu for about $20K and didn’t sacrifice much room. The 1.5L in the Malibu works well to get it down the road while the 4cyl in the Impala is totally under powered. I’m happy with my purchase and average almost 40MPG on the highway.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Evolve or become extinct.

  • avatar
    Fred

    We have the death march of midsize, but this looks like the end of full size cars. What’s Ford’s numbers look like?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Overheard at Ford: “Bob, I’ve been looking at these sales numbers. What’s that, right there?”

      Bob: “The Taurus. Those are the numbers for the Taurus.”

      “What’s a Taurus?”

    • 0 avatar
      JDG1980

      It looks like non-luxury full-size sedans, at least, are on the way out. The Impala is apparently going to die, the Taurus is a fleet special and the next generation won’t be brought to the U.S., and the Avalon may not be refreshed.

      One reason for this is the transformation of most sedans into four-door coupes. Today, even most compacts have adequate back seat legroom, but even most full-sizers lack adequate back seat headroom. It’s interesting that the Chrysler 300 – one of the few traditionally styled sedans remaining on the market – has held steady in annual sales since 2013, despite its aging platform and FCA’s reliability issues.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    High quality product or no, the full size car is dead in America. The logic is why buy a big, low sedan when a crossover sits you high up and gives you better cargo room for the same dollar?

    If someone can afford a big sedan, they can afford a high seated SUV/crossover- and guess what the sales charts happen to show?

    Nice as those big cars are,they’re like the Toyota Supra circa 1998: the wrong car for the market.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Well GM has to keep some cars to cover it bases there is no reason there needs to be a Impala and a Lacrosse , they are basically the same car with different trim levels, I say keep the volt nothing that does great on gas as it’s first selling feature is gonna do great when gas is $2.25 a gallon but it will sell when gas is $4.00 a gallon, Caddy does not need the number of sedans they have now but they need some. GM is doing fine , making money and making better cars , what more does the B&B want?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    *Maniacal laugh*

    Johann’s great achievement, CT6?

    Volt??? The great “leapfrog” and offering to ManBearPig? So people don’t WANT EV’s after all?

    Ep II Impy/Lacrosse? But W-Impala sold well *at the correct price* before going fleet. Punishing new car buyers with a premium for your overweight offerings in this segment may not be so smart. Epsilon II came out in 2008 and the current 3.6, LFX, dates to 2012; why do you gouge? Many buyers will choose an V6 Impala LT over Malibu *at the right price*. You KNOW this from W-Impala sales over Epi I/II Malibu sales alone.

    Maybe your products are OK but are not in the strata where your ridiculous pricing puts them?

    or

    Maybe your post 2012 products just suck at any price?

    /rant

    Here’s what will happen. XTS production will continue at Oshawa and then go fleet probably beyond 2020. Lacrosse will probably join it, and Impala will probably bite the dust in favor of the inferior Malibu.

    I have read Bolt has been a major sales disaster thus far, and I guess Volt Gen 2 the same. Volt may be dropped and the technology mothballed, but I imagine this is being hotly debated in the tubes. If GM was smart, Volt goes to China rebadged as something else to justify the steep Chinese… tariffs (tarriffs what are those?). Just cutting off Volt production seems foolish, all it takes is one war to run up oil.

    When I commented Cadillac took the Northstar and made a platform out of it, I was probably prophetic. Something is really f**ked up when you spend multiple billions to spin up some kind of new platform, just introduce it, and then a year in say “we’re pulling the plug”. This is slapping the few existing buyers in the face and saying to everyone else we really don’t care about this, oh and sorry bag, er, share holders.

    Who will want to buy CT6 for the next three years? Omega platform proves GM has learned NOTHING. Oh we did all this one off crap to it so we could experiment and learn… this is NOT 1980, this is NOT 1992, and you don’t have the cache or market share to do stupid sh*t with your Cadillac products anymore. ***Needs to turn the key and go every time for the lifespan***. NOT throw rods, NOT leak coolant, NOT break pistons or warp timing chains. NOT have one off bullsh*t like you’ve been doing since at least 1980. NOT hear at the body shop in year 4 of ownership, well they used a bit of aluminum here and I can’t get the part anymore. This is how your sh*t ends up GHETTO FABULOUS twenty minutes after being sold. Let’s see I’m a rich [insert job], yes I want to cruise a new CT6/Alpha anything which I just saw an urban gentleman on 22s pass by me in earlier today. HOW STUPID ARE YOU PEOPLE?

    Fix Cadillac in six easy steps

    1. Apologize to the entire world.
    2. Ceremonially behead entire marketing staff, stylists, and senior leaders.
    3. Drop ATS sedan and all I4s. All V6 lineup.
    4. Get real designers to fix the horrible by 2020.
    5. Do not drop CT6, sell it CHEAP. No leasing crap, no games, move-the-metal and remove as much as the stupid as can be done in a gen 1.5 type deal.
    6. You want to gouge? Do it on the real and fake SUVs.
    7. …and most importantly, offer *value* in the premium segment. You don’t have a real brand, and you don’t have twenty years to reframe it for the fifth time. Buick has more cache than you for years of cars that WORKED. Start doing the same and word might spread.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      28, you’re right, but the changes needed for GM are a non-starter. Not. Gonna. Happen.

      There’s too many entrenched interests competing with one another – too much toxic thinking toward customers (both dealers and end customers) and suppliers.

  • avatar

    General Motors marketing led to the first BK and is now leading to another. this collection of clowns has zero clue and upper management is unwilling to listen to their top salesman in history. I have attended Annual Meetings for over three decades and all I got was resistance form egotists who would starve on the blacktop. they interfere, try to control retail, and accomplish nothing but more lost share and excuses.

    there will be another BK. I can see as clearly as the last one…this time there will be no bailout and the carcass will go to the Chinese. this won’t matter to the globalist banksters who control the board for they win regardless, except in N Korea, Syria, and Iran which is why bombs fly and rhetoric abounds.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Precisely, and the reason for the final bankruptcy will be the fact the processes and people who created the first one have not been improved or replaced.

      I did a project with GM IT for a SAML integration with our .NET4 GMOR app used by UAW in the factories. All large companies tend to have screwed up process or depts but these people took it to a whole other level.

      • 0 avatar

        GM makes fine products but has no one who knows how to sell them. that is the bottom line. meanwhile Steve Hill continues destroying brands and Alan Batey is too incompetent to do anything about it. GM is doomed and Mary Barra is no better than Nero fiddling.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Is it possible that selling Buicks in Flint is perhaps not representative of the challenges of selling GM cars in other places?

  • avatar

    When I sold Lincolns, we had the Town Car and the Continental on the lots. People would come for the Conti, but after looking at both (and seeing what discounts they could get for the TC), they always went with the Town Car.

    Nevermind that I would gently sway them in that direction because I was/am a huge TC fan (I had a 95 Sig Spinnaker Nautica Edition at the time), but yeah.

    I see Cadillac having the same issue. After driving the CT6, I’d rather have the XTS because the perception is that it is a better bang for buck IMHO.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The CT6 will flop as badly or worse than the CTS 3rd Gen or even ATS, and that’s quite an accomplishment.

      It will be a disaster reliability-wise (already is), the sticker price is shock and awe (even with the 20% to 25% -‘maybe 30% red tags coming soon), it is not a proper Cadillac in any way with the sole exception of rear seat room (it has harsh ride, is saddled with same engine choices as ATS/CTS, has awful fit/finish, and basically looks like a stretched CTS).

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I am pretty sure someone called this a while back…

      • 0 avatar

        Yet one top US auto writer said despites reliability issues the CTS and ATS are the best engineered cars Detroit has ever built. They will literally run circles around any BMW or Lexus. The problem is potential Cadillac buyers don’t care. There is a reason the Escalade represents 30% of the division sales!

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        The CT6 is doing OK (selling about 1k units/month) considering that it has to share the same market-space with the XTS.

        As for the ATS and CTS, they were handicapped from the start due to the fundamental flaw in the Alpha platform when it comes to interior space.

        Both the replacements for the ATS and CTS address this issue (getting a good bit more interior room – hence, the CTS replacement encroaching on CT6 space.

        Despite its fundamental flaw, the CTS is outselling the Lexus GS.

        In lieu of the CT6, will likely be seeing a proper Cadillac flagship
        in the CT8.

  • avatar
    readallover

    I have to wonder how many sales have been lost because of the godawful CUE system that GM refuses to fix properly.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    The Volt and the Bolt are the only two cars that GM makes that were designed to not earn a profit even a optimistic projected sales rates that they have never come close to achieving. Big cars represent a smallish segment that is dying and it is hard to seen that they will ever come back. Mid-size cars are a huge segment in decline, and GM just isn’t a strong contender, and it is virtually impossible to grab share from good competitors (Accord, Camry, Fusion) and still earn a profit. Small cars are a smallish segment and are impossible to make money on in the US. If GM wants to earn good profits and keep the factories humming they need to focus on making excellent trucks, SUVs, and CUVs and a few specialty models such as the Camaro and Corvette.

  • avatar
    dmoan

    How is XT5 ?? I am afraid to approach any Cadillac vehicles because they constantly keep changing vehicles names..

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I will just start by stating how much I love logging in 5 times to post a comment. Please fix site!

    A bit more on topic, this has to be done. Maybe not as to all the vehicles listed, but certainly the XTS, Lacrosse, Sonic, Impala. There just isn’t sales or even the market for these cars anymore to support continued investment in these vehicles for the next product cycle.

    The CT6, I was sort of under the impression that its existence didn’t really depend on sales. It was simply to have an offering at this level, to play ball with the big boys to extent possible. Beautiful vehicle, sad to see it go. Will also be sad to see Cadillac with only one sedan should the ATS and CTS merge.

    Though the Bolt serves as the green halo car now, I hope that the Volt’s powertrain can continue to serve in other vehicles and continue to be improved. That could maybe fit in a Trax or Encore couldn’t it? Perhaps not without extensive modification, but seemingly a good use for it given the crossover craze.

    Unfortunately, this is going to be just one of many sedan cullings to take place in the coming years. I could definitely see Mazda dropping the 6, maybe some from Hyundai/Kia, maybe Maxima, Avalon, Taurus.

    On the plus side, as crossovers evolve, we will probably see sporty versions debut and my guess is that they will eventually come to resemble very closely a magical creature of yore referred to as a station wagon. Whats old is new again.

  • avatar
    Shockrave Flash Has Crashed

    Us aging baby boomers have the money to buy new vehicles and a CUV has easier egress and entrance. Seating position is more comfortable for an aging population and the fuel economy penalty is becoming less of an issue. There are few practical reasons to buy a car instead.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    As much as I love the iconic Impala name and my current ride, my next vehicle will be something smaller, as I no longer have a need for a highway cruiser since I retired.

    Whatever I do replace my 2012 Impala with will be used.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I’ve considered the Volt as a replacement and talked to a guy that owns one, but I don’t think I could do it. I want a hatch, and the Volt isn’t that.

    I don’t understand why they didn’t build it as an MPV. It kinda looks like an Orlando, but it would probably be more popular in 2017.

  • avatar
    phreshone

    GM needs to get it down to 2 packages on Impala, and then down 1 with/without tech on Buick LaCrosse and CT6 – walk in, find a simple fair price, choose your color combination, drive out.

    – it doesn’t help that rental cars companies are now marketing Fusion and Malibu as ‘large cars’ – people are getting satiated with the room in a mid-sized cars, might not realize there is something a step up… buyers need a strong enough value proposition to step up… maybe the new Regal will do it for Buick, perhaps a return of the hatch giving car buyers most of the utility of the SUV while getting the fuel efficiency of the car will do the trick????

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I have been amazed the number of trims for the LaCrosse – Base, Preferred, Essence, and Premium.

      No heated seats until you hit the “Essence” trim level ($39,590 – almost the base price of a 2018 Regal GS) and no heated steering wheel until Premium trim ($41,990). Impala on the other hand I can get all of those things for less than $40K MSRP before any discounts or dealing.

      Honestly Base and Preferred shouldn’t even exist. Two trim levels and simplify manufacturing.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      The new more trim Accord will offer more interior room than the obese Impala.

      Of course, you won’t find the Accord at many rental counters like the Impala.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    The “new” Impala has always been a flop – remember GM refused to break out how poorly it was doing by mixing sales w/ the concurrently selling old Impala. If it was a success they surely would have let us see the numbers.

    Now that the old Impala is no more we see how badly the new Impala has flopped. The 2013-17 Honda Accord was always the better buy and now the new and more trim 2018 Accord will actually offer MORE interior room than the “full-size” Impala.

    Bottom line: The Impala will be euthanized by the market if GM doesn’t do it first.

    • 0 avatar

      The W-body Impala was the last GM car to break the 300,000 sales barrier. At the end of their production run they were well-proportioned cars. They looked much better than the current Impala.

      GM – what a disgrace!

  • avatar
    NN

    All of these car models can be supplied in volume as needed by Shanghai GM’s Chinese factories, and over time, likely will. GM will justify this by moving more truck/crossover production into the existing US factories.

    Then what happens if cars get popular again?

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      It’s not that difficult to move a vehicle line from one location to another. Not easy and not cheap but not impossible. Other brands have been rebalancing their production facilities.


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