Cadillac Prepping XT4 Production on the Sly at Kansas City's Malibu Plant
General Motors is tooling one of its car plants to build the svelte new Cadillac crossover that’s aimed at fixing the luxury brand’s sales slump in the United States. However, GM is keeping quiet on the move as the XT4’s future hasn’t been officially announced. However, insiders have claimed the automaker has already begun production on test versions of the Cadillac XT4 at its assembly plant in Kansas City.
Cadillac deliveries fell 8 percent last year in the United States and, as crossovers seem to be the sure-fire remedy for every automaker seeking sales, the XT4 could be a godsend. That blessing isn’t isolated to North America either. Adding the more-affordable crossover to the company’s Chinese lineup is equally important.
Chinese shoppers, who seem to really dig luxury nameplates like Cadillac and Buick, likely won’t mind seeing another model added to the mix. However, in the domestic market, Cadillac genuinely needs to bolster is non-sedan offerings. Presently, the only utilities available stateside are the XT5 and Escalade.
The production location, while technically still a secret, is not a surprise. The XT4 uses similar underpinnings as the Chevrolet Malibu, which is also built at GM’s Fairfax Assembly in Kansas. With the automaker slowing down sedan production last year, it makes good sense to assign the luxury crossover to that location. Through the first five months of 2017, Malibu sales were down 30 percent, falling nearly three times faster than the segment as a whole.
However, there were still 185,857 Malibus sold in the United States last year. At that volume, General Motors knows it can’t outright replace the sedan. But it can offset costs by sharing factory space with the XT4.
[Source: Bloomberg] [Image: General Motors]
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