Cadillac Prepping XT4 Production on the Sly at Kansas City's Malibu Plant

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
cadillac prepping xt4 production on the sly at kansas citys 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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  • El scotto El scotto on Jan 09, 2018

    The big DeVilles and Town Cars are dead as dodos.Blame CAFE,EPA, leases on European cars, and ungodly luxurious trucks and Lexus. People with money who want to humble brag buy a nicely loaded truck; Town Car = King Ranch crew cab, Caddy = Silverado Denali. Then some folks just get an LS and drive it for 10-15 years; its not like they change THAT much. Until GM can build the equivalent to Lexus LS, people with money aren't interested. Lincoln? Being the American Acura/Volvo should work just fine.

    • See 4 previous
    • FreedMike FreedMike on Jan 09, 2018

      @highdesertcat I can see the appeal for someone who wants to drive some big road boat into 500,000-mile decrepitude. Panthers are good for that mission. Problem is, the Town Car was a $50,000 luxury car, and people who buy $50,000 luxury cars could care less about that kind of thing. They generally don't want to keep a car more than a couple of years.

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Jan 09, 2018

    I recently tried out an ATS just to see what the hate was all about, and you know what? As a driver's car, it's superb. Where it fails is in the details, particularly underneath the hood. The 2.0T is great on paper, and has plenty of power, but it sounds and feels unrefined. The instrument panel, which took a lot of heat four years ago for being cheap, is still cheap. The interior has lots of discordant styling touches. None of this is awful, but when you look at a C-class Benz right afterwards, you know why this car isn't selling. A Cadillac needs to feel like money, and contemporary ones don't, no matter how well they perform.

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    • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Jan 10, 2018

      @NormSV650 You should start a new auto tuner company called abNormal Trifecta Tuner Motors, using General/Guangzhou Motors' vehicles, particularly Buick clown car Encores, and made in China Envisions, and chip them to 480-horsepower/510 lbs feet of torque, while enabling them to achieve 78 mpg city/109 mpg highway, and give customers a completely free, bumper to bumper, completely comprehensive (every single part covered, from motor to the exterior to the tiniest screw or gasket) 500,000 mile/20 Year, $0 deductible warranty.

  • StormEagle 400 miles range
  • Inside Looking Out Enforcing laws? It is so yesterday! Welcome to California!
  • Lou_BC You'd think cops would have an understanding of the laws they are supposed to enforce.
  • Merlyn I’m on my second Spark and love it! I can pass any car I’ve never had a problem going up a hill it does just fine. As for cargo I can fit three suitcases, two book bags and still have the front seat for a passenger. Not sure what point this guy is trying to make. I have hand free phone service and Sirius radio plug in my phone and have navigation. I would buy another spark in a heartbeat.
  • Buickman I won't own one and I'll be happy!