Car Industry

GM grants stay of execution for Cadillac CT6, Chevy Impala until 2020

The Detroit-Hamtramck plant was originally supposed to go idle this summer.

Cadillac

In November, GM announced that it would kill off multiple models and idle multiple plants as part of cost-saving measures in 2019. Now, it appears that at least some of these vehicles and locations will be granted a brief reprieve from the executioner's ax.

GM announced on Friday that it would extend production of the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly facility until 2020. Originally, the two vehicles were supposed to die in June, the same time that the plant would be idled. Now, these two vehicles will remain in production for an extra six-ish months, finishing their respective runs this coming January.

In a statement, GM partially attributed this decision to the tech inside one of the newest CT6 variants. The wild CT6-V (née CT6 V-Sport) will pack Cadillac's new 4.2-liter Blackwing V8, which uses two turbochargers to produce a gnarly 550 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. The CT6 is also the only Cadillac model at the moment to pack Super Cruise, an impressive array of safety systems that permits hands-off driving for periods of time. Cadillac hopes to offer Super Cruise on all its vehicles starting in 2020, so the extension of the CT6's life makes sense in that regard.

I guess I don't need to write "Good night, sweet prince" for another few months now.

Cadillac

In a statement, the United Auto Workers union said the news was "a sense of relief for their families and communities," despite the plant still being slated for closure in January. The UAW's statement also said that "the UAW will leave no stone unturned in seeking to keep [other plants slated for closure] open." As Automotive News notes in its report, the contract between GM and the UAW expires in September, and the two will begin the bargaining process later this year.

Others cars slated to shuffle off this mortal coil have been bumped around in recent weeks, as well. Automotive News points out that the Chevy Cruze will get an extra week of production, now ending on March 8. As for the Buick LaCrosse and Chevy Volt, those ended production at Hamtramck this week, well ahead of schedule.

It's all about saving costs as consumer sentiments shift. Buyers are moving overwhelming toward trucks and SUVs, abandoning the sedans that were once seen as a keystone of the American car-buying experience. By canceling a number of vehicles and idling several manufacturing facilities, GM says it expects to free up about $6 billion in cash flow by the end of 2020, which it hopes to invest in more alluring vehicles and future technologies like electrification and automation.