By on May 14, 2019

2018 Cadillac XTS, Image: General Motors

Following last week’s announcement of a new, less-populous future for General Motors’ once doomed Oshawa Assembly plant, a promise backed up by $170 million in company cash, the union representing workers at the Canadian facility has revealed when its current products will bite the dust.

Under a company-wide streamlining effort outlined last year, Oshawa would reach “unallocated” status by the end of 2019. That’s still the plan, but two full-size car models will cease production before that. It’s advantageous that Ford Motor Company decided to keep the Lincoln MKT in production, as one of the culled models is the Cadillac XTS.

You’ve probably seen them ferrying people to their final resting place, or maybe performing “black car” airport runs. Indeed, the front-drive XTS’ enduring popularity with livery companies earned it a recent stay of execution, allowing it to undergo a design refresh for 2018.

Thanks to a bulletin posted by Unifor Local 222, we now know that Oshawa’s Flex Line will go dark in October, ending production of the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala. The latter model will continue in production, alongside the Cadillac CT6, at Detroit-Hamtramck, which GM plans to operate until January of 2020.

The plant’s Truck Line, which performs final assembly of older-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty pickups, will cease production by the end of December.

In the bulletin, first covered by Automotive News Canada, the union claims the plant’s workforce should grow to 500 employees within three years’ time. That’s up from the 300 initial jobs GM promised last week, though a far cry from the 2,600-strong workforce that current calls Oshawa Assembly home. Under GM’s new plan, the facility will become home to stamping and sub-assembly activity, with part of the site earmarked for an autonomous vehicle test track.

While a training program will offer laid-off workers an opportunity to hone their skills for other jobs, senior skilled workers eligible for retirement are being offered a $150,000 retirement incentive to keep them out of the GM jobs queue, plus a $10,000 vehicle voucher. Lesser amounts are being offered for workers with less training and less seniority. A buyout program offering lump sum payments of up to $40,000 is also on the table.

Hoping to free up positions elsewhere in Canada, the union announced that GM plans to “conduct a Special One-time ($40,000 retirement incentive) canvass at both the St. Catharines Propulsion facility and Woodstock PDC in order to create ‘one for one’ job openings for Seniority Members with greater than 5 years of seniority from Oshawa Assembly to apply for preferential hire opportunities.”

In a letter attached to the bulletin, Plant Chairperson Greg Moffat called the decision to end vehicle assembly in Oshawa “a slap in the face to all our members.” He also slammed Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for inaction on the file.

Unifor Local 222 President Colin James echoed Moffatt’s message, saying, “Although I am no fan of President Trump he at least was able to prompt GM to have second thoughts about what it is doing.”

Cadillac XTS sales rose 8.9 percent in 2018, though the first quarter of 2019 revealed a 23.7 percent drop compared to the same period a year earlier. While Lincoln’s announcement of the continuation of MKT production for fleet buyers came before GM’s plant-closing bombshell, it was already known that the model, like the ATS and CTS, would bow out of the lineup by the end of the decade.

[Images: General Motors]

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11 Comments on “Cadillac’s XTS Has an End Date to Etch on Its Tombstone; Union Anticipates Additional Jobs at Oshawa Assembly...”

  • avatar

    That’s a fetching shade of blue (too bad I haven’t seen that color in real life) and for some reason I have really loved the post refresh “hockey stick” taillights.

    Slap “DeVille” badges on it and put the merlettes back on the dang crest.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t hate the hockey sticks in and of themselves, but I preferred the simpler pre-refresh lights.

      I’ve said it a few times before in previous threads, but I do think the XTS’s styling is a fairly successful amalgam of Art & Science, the Epsilon II platform, and 1965 de Ville cues. It’s no ’63 Riviera or Series 1 E-Type, but it seems to be an example of a design team’s responding successfully to a directive of “OK, here’s what you’ve got to work with. Go to it.”

  • avatar

    So ends the transverse FWD Cadillac experiment after 34 years.

    • 0 avatar

      It was always a mistake. The longitudinal FWD would have made a conversion to AWD much easier, the reason Chrysler’s LH cars had longitudinal engines. They’re relatively easier to work on too.

  • avatar

    These are really well-done vehicles and the model most appealing to the “traditional” Cadillac buyer. It is a real shame that production cannot continue on some scale but such is the folly of the auto business these day.

    • 0 avatar

      yup. My 86 year old FIL LOVES his XTS. It’s the car they always shot for, and late in life, got. I thought it a very good highway car-classic caddy for crossing, say, Wyoming.

    • 0 avatar

      The XTS is still based on the Epsilon II platform (like Impala) where the defunct LaCrosse had moved to the P2XX Platform in 2017, which is (was) a huge improvement over Epsilon II. The Roots of Epsilon II can be traced back to 2007, so although improved, the XTS platform is almost 13 calendar years old (12 model years) and is itself 8 years old (debut in 2011 as a 2012).

      With all that said, SCREAMING deals can be had on lightly used versions – but that does come with the prior generation 3.6L V6 under the hood, an older AWD system, 6-speed auto, and the annoying haptic controls. Some of the interior controls, particularly the steering wheel buttons are very dated (and were dated back in 2012).

      It’s time to end it.

      • 0 avatar

        Thanks for clarifying the LaCrosse situation – I was reminded of the change a few months ago by a European website, because they were talking about the Regal which is on the E2XX platform – and mentioned that the LaCrosse is on P2XX which is a four inch wheelbase extension. There are essentially zero LaCrosses sold around here, and I had forgotten the 2017 change.

        So the 2019 is the last LaCrosse for North America as well, and its 2020 update is for China only. It’s a bit anonymous looking at present with about zero flair, so maybe it’ll get gussied up for Chinese plutocrats.

  • avatar

    I read this article twice and I’m still confused.

    Can someone clarify to me: Is this saying that the XTS will cease production in October?

    This is how I am reading it.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    A relative had rented one while he was passing through before his final overseas deployment and he splurged and rented one of these. It’s a really nice car. Lexus LS quiet, comfortable seats, ridiculous back seat room and suprisingly nimble

  • avatar

    MMR for a 2019 Luxury Collection is 27,800-29,600 w/8-20k miles.

    A new Honda Passport MSRPs at $31,995.

    Yeah. My choice is obvious.

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