Cadillac's XTS Has an End Date to Etch on Its Tombstone; Union Anticipates Additional Jobs at Oshawa Assembly

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
cadillac s xts has an end date to etch on its tombstone union anticipates additional

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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  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on May 14, 2019

    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

  • Flybrian Flybrian on May 15, 2019

    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.

  • Leonard Ostrander Pet peeve: Drivers who swerve to the left to make a right turn and vice versa. They take up as much space as possible for as long as possible as though they're driving trailer trucks or school busses. It's a Kia people, not a Kenworth! Oh, and use your turn signals if you ever figure out where you're going.
  • Master Baiter This is horrible. Delaying this ban will raise the Earth's temperature by 0.00000001°C in the year 2100.
  • Alan Buy a Skoda Superb.
  • Alan In Australia only hairdressers would buy this Monaro as its known as. Real men had 4 door sedans and well hung men drive 4x4 dual cab utes with bullbars and towbars. I personally think this is butt ugly. Later iterations of the Commodore were far better looking.
  • Jeff As a few commenters on prior articles on this site about the UAW strike mentioned many of the lower tiered suppliers could go bankrupt and some could possibly go out of business if the strike is prolonged. Decades ago Ford and GM owned many of their own suppliers but as we all know over the years manufacturers have been outsourcing more parts and with just in time supply there is little room for any interruptions to production including strikes, natural disasters, and anything unforeseen that could happen. When the strike ends there will be delays in production due to parts shortages. It costs suppliers money to just keep making parts and stockpiling them especially when many parts have razor thin profit margins.