Tombstone Date for Two Large GM Sedans Revealed
Just a couple of days ago, your author’s eyes were drawn to a brand spankin’ new, dark red Chevrolet Impala sitting in a parking lot — one made all the more distinctive by black five-spoke steel wheels. Tis the winter season, after all.
The Impala’s design always garnered a nod of approval from this writer, a person whose former ME once referred to as a raging GM apologist, though the model’s rear-seat headroom is definitely lacking. It’s also a Chevrolet and not a Mercedes-Benz. All of that aside, fans of traditional full-size sedans, especially those of the domestic variety, can mark two dates on their calendar. The Impala is leaving forever, and it seems the model’s Cadillac CT6 factory mate will not get the lease on life some expected.
Both products roll out of the underutilized Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, formerly home to the Chevrolet Volt and Buick LaCrosse. The latter model was the first of three Buick cars to earn the axe in this eventful calendar year (the Regal ceases its trans-Atlantic boat trip in 2020; the equally foreign Cascada is dead all around).
Early this year, it was expected that Detroit-Hamtramck would close — it was one of five North American plants targeted for mothballs by a cash-hungry, efficiencies-seeking GM. Still popular enough to continue production, the Impala and CT6 were expected to die before the end of 2019, though GM later pushed that back to January of 2020. In the automaker’s recently ratified UAW labor pact, Detroit-Hamtramck was saved, but it seems its remaining products were not.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the in-limbo CT6 will not live on at D-H or another domestic plant, and the Impala will die before spring hits Detroit.
In a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act filing with the state of Michigan, GM claims 814 hourly and salaried workers at D-H will be laid off on February 28th, marking the end of vehicle production at the facility. After that, D-H gears up for electric vehicle production expected to commence in 2021.
GM spokesman Dan Flores told the paper that some 753 UAW workers at Detroit-Hamtramck will be offered buyouts or relocation to other GM facilities in Michigan or Ohio; either way, they will remain on the payroll following that date. A few dozen additional workers will remain at the plant, with the bulk of those laid off on March 20th.
The company will begin making job offers in January.
As for the Impala and CT6, the Caddy will cease domestic production in January — just as previously reported. The model will continue in production in China, though it’s doubtful GM will opt to import any. The Impala will linger a bit longer, wrapping up its storied history on February 28th.
Following $3 billion in investment, Detroit-Hamtramck will come back online with 2,225 eventual employees. Exactly what vehicles those workers will build remains hazy, though an electric pickup is certain. A range of EVs will eventually roll out of the Detroit plant, including one that may carry the Hummer name. Stay tuned.
[Images: General Motors]
Oldschool on Dec 06, 2019
GM simply baffles me. How can you sit here and advertise the Malibu which is a lesser cheaper feeling car than the Impala which is head and shoulders above the Malibu in every way in terms of build quality, ride comfort, quietness, interior space, quality of materials, styling, drivetrain (3.6 V6) and overall value??? It’s a car that easily competes and is better constructed than a Camry, Accord and pretty every other midsize sedan for the price maybe besides for the Avalon. The Charger is cool, but has a cheap ass interior with hard plastics everywhere, and we all know about the horrendous reliability of Dodge. It’s like Chevy had this huge winner and never bothered to give it a chance to thrive with proper support and backing from GM marketing. Is it some sort of culture issue that GM has of what that is causing such dismay? How come other companies easily compete with one another and continue to make strides in their sedans while GM and Ford falters so severely. My 17 Impala will probably be the last newish GM vehicle I will ever own. Knowing all the cost cutting measures taking place within the company scares me away from the brand. Although I am huge fan of their old stuff (1940’s-70’s), they have taken this dark path into extinction by discontinuing so many models, that is going to leave consumers with very little vehicle choice on offerings from the Domestic automakers in the future and that is pretty sad knowing how amazing GM vehicles used to be during the 1950’s-60’s. A company that built works of art, to lumps of junk today., excluding the Impala, LaCrosse and XTS of course. They are better examples.
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