Chevrolet Impala Reportedly On The Chopping Block59
With news of the Chevrolet Sonic’s impending death, another Chevy passenger car could very well be on its way to the scrapheap: the Chevy Impala.
Within yesterday’s Wall Street Journal report detailing the Sonic’s cancellation, sources close to the matter also said the Impala is on General Motors’ chopping block. The Impala was last redesigned in 2014 for its tenth-generation and has seen minimal updates since then. Details on a potential eleventh-generation car have been slim.
It’s important to note the sources nearly confirmed the Sonic’s death, while GM brass is still mulling over the Impala’s future. The car still returns rather positive reviews, though passenger car sales continue to slip in favor of crossovers and SUVs. The Chevrolet Malibu has also grown in size to nearly eclipse the Impala’s full-size footprint.
The latest news on the Impala’s potential death follows a report from last July that alleged GM may discontinue numerous passenger cars amid low sales. The nameplates include the Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Volt, Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac CT6. Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen quickly jumped on the report last year and assured the CT6’s future was not under consideration, however, Chevy nor Buick jumped to their passenger cars’ defense.
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With sales not great, high development cost with no guarantee of return and Ford killing the Taurus it would not be a surprise.
It is a shame but the cold reality of todays market.
These are the hard choices GM needed to make for decades back when they were on the long decline. Not having the balls to make the hard decisions killed them.
I think it’s the decisions that GM did make is what crippled them. Roger Smith single handily brought GM to its knees. GM had the money to buy Toyota straight up but instead bought EDS systems and Hughes Aircraft. The corporate GM engine removed the autonomy from the divisions and pissed off millions. I know we could go on and on.
Although I understand the potential business necessity of this, it would still be a great tradgedy. The 2014+ Impala is one of the best cars Chevy has ever produced.
The greater tragedy is if GM goes bankrupt again due to not making the difficult choices for future markets.
Like at Buick the Regal may be the best Buick ever that no one bought.
The days of selling cars in numbers of 250,000 units and more are over for the most part accept for a couple models and they are on the decline too.
MFG must play to their strengths and GM and the market the future is in CUV models.
To be honest I am not as down about this as I once was. My new Acadia Denali with the Variable suspension is just as much a joy to drive and more comfortable as my SSEI ever was. It drives like a touring sedan.
Maybe the Impala will be reborn as a crossover lol. i.e the Eclipse Cross.
I really believe this is a huge mistake! As I mentioned in a previous post I think the Impala is the most beautiful sedan Chevrolet has produced in decades.
Surrendering the market that GM doesn’t believe delivers high enough returns, yet Toyota will gladly sell the all new for 2019 Avalon to customers wanting a large comfortable sedan. Funny that Toyota can justify the investment yet GM allegedly can’t. Of course I digress, GM will happily sell you a $70k plus CT6 …sorry about your luck if you can’t afford the Cadillac.
I am holding out hope that GM will not abandon ship and Chevrolet will have a new generation full-sized sedan. Sadly, this seems to be a lost cause with the bean counter leadership… GM sorely needs passionate car people at the table to fight for the cars that shouldn’t suffer an early demise.
I would agree that handing the segment to Toyota and FCA caries risk should market trends once again favor sedans. Impala and Malibu should be presented as a combined sales figure as Toyota does Avalon and Camary.
Buick without Lacrosse, left with only a less than premium Regal, spells the end of Buick as a potential Acura or Lexus rival. It will exist as a brandless CUV channel, a redundancy beside GMC, Chevrolet and Cadillac offerings, and a financial liability come any future economic downturn should tariffs continue.
Ideally small volume Lacrosse and Impala would come off one line in China where they are still popular and imported to reduce costs.
GM plays a great short game but stock pressure is endangering long-term viability. I admire how Hyundai can pour money into it’s brands and plan ahead.
The Toyota Avalon has 70% north American made content, the Impala doesn’t even make the top 30 list which means there is less than 60 % north American content. I bought an Avalon for this reason. Mexican made vehicles and parts are lower quality. I like my brothers Impala but I love my Avalon!
There are no American automakers. Every company is global.
GM should stand for Global Motors seeing as the current line up was designed by a global team on mostly German and Korean platforms. Obviously the US plays a big role but isn’t the deciding factor.
GM China will be taking the lead on most Buick projects and the Chinese preferences will continue to soften Cadillac.
GM has far less US content than Honda (85% for Accord). GM does pay more in taxes, as does Ford–FCA is a UK-based Dutch company so who and what they pay is up for grabs.
GM, Ford and American Honda are the new domestic big three for whatever that’s worth.
This isn’t entirely true…the Impala is at 66% NA parts.
Drink that Toyota kookaide all you want, but don’t post incorrect facts to make a point.
Mexico is part of North America and the Avalon most assuredly has some of those “lower quality parts”.
I had rented the 2014 Chevy Impala and it impressed me and my wife greatly. Even my niece, who drives an Infinity, loved it!! Please, GM, don’t kill this great sedan. If the Caprice was relegated to being a police patrol sedan, then let the Impala stay with that function too, or else the police will drive more Ford Taurus.
GM needs to realign its full-size sedans. Impala, Lacrosse, XTS, and CT6 all fight for the same market in terms of size, but at different price points. If I were GM, I would cut Lacrosse and XTS. XTS is already on the way out, so that works. Lacrosse is fighting high trim Impalas and low trim Cadillacs. Removing Lacrosse provides more space in GM’s full-size sedan offerings. Impala is positioned as the volume offering, CT6 as the premium offering.
The current Impala is one of GMs best reviewed vehicles in years, and with minimal changes over its lifecycle. It would be a shame for such a good vehicle and reputation to go away. With Lacrosse out of the picture, the next Impala could offer AWD and perhaps a lift-back to increase practicality and design. It also positions GM in a better place if sedans were to make a sudden come back in the market.
Chevy needs to make the Impala into a Kia Stinger killer. RWD/AWD with hatch.
Imagine getting an SS version for the same price as a KIA GT but getting the legendary Chevy V8. Booom
Offer 2.0T, 3.6HF V6, and the 6.2 V8.
This will never happen, nor should it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a great performance sedan. I still am frustrated that I’ve not yet been able to purchase a Chevy SS (although I love my Pontiac G8, it’s predecessor).
Ultimately, the market is not only moving away from sedans in general, but moving away from performance vehicles except for the niches.
You mention the Kia Stinger GT. It will be very interesting to see what happens with that car. Kudos to Kia for going out there on a limb, but we’ll see how the market actually reacts to it.
So you’re saying Kia can do it but somehow Chevrolet with all it’s parts bin availability cannot?
That is a World that I do not want to think is true LOL
Nope. Not saying that at all. I’m saying that I think it will be interesting to see if Kia will be successful with the Stinger. I’m not sure they will. I give them credit for the bold move in today’s market and I hope they succeed (to show other makes like GM that there is still a market for this), but I’m not convinced they will succeed.
And, I realize I wasn’t clear in my original post. I was saying there isn’t a chance that Chevy will put any form of a 6.2L V8 in the Impala. As much as I would love them to, the car would be SO incredibly niche at the price they’d have to charge for it, it wouldn’t be worth the engineering effort and cost.
This makes me very sad, but it is the reality of the situation.
So FCA can sell V8 Chargers but GM cannot figure out a RWD/AWD architecture that will make money as well?
FCA can do it because that platform is shared across some of their highest selling and most profitable vehicles – Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Namely the Grand Cherokee and Charger. The platform is also, relatively speaking, ancient and heavy. The main engineering costs were paid off long ago.
What FCA couldn’t figure out was how to make a V8 AWD model sell well enough to justify its production.
Ahhh, the Charger/300 aren’t on the same platform as the Grand Cherokee…not even close.
The Grand Cherokee is on a platform shared with Mercedes M’s (at least very closely related.
The Charger/300/Challenger don’t sell all that well considering…they just don’t have much overhead since the design is so old. I’m not knocking them because I like them, but this is just the reality.
Kia’s actually doing just fine with the Stinger… it currently sells more than the Cadenza and Sedona with consistently increasing sales each month, and that’s just in the US of A.
I’m very happy about this. The Stinger GT is a fantastic vehicle and definitely deserves to be on your shopping list if you’re looking for a high-performance cruiser that can just as easily take a long road trip.
The one Kia I can’t figure out is them keeping, and now updating, the K900. Most companies would’ve killed it off within a year or two of launch with its sales figures.
It’s a wonder this company can even walk upright with as many times they shoot themselves in the foot. Cadillac may be the luxury division of GM but Chevrolet is the flagship of GM. Give this car what it deserves, options for all wheel drive and a 3.0 or 3.6 turbo.
This is one of the few GM’s that gets positive reviews from everyone, build on that! When will GM learn that there are people that don’t want a Buick or Cadillac to get optional drivetrains. Thankfully the new Avalon may be the ugliest car on the market but it still says Toyota. That’s enough for the lemmings. When I park my Impala next to my 03 Olds Aurora they sure make a pretty pair. I hope that name doesn’t go down in history too!
I’ll sound like a broken record, Lacrosse and Impala at this point need to be on Alpha or Omega with engines choices from 2.5 for the Chevy to the 2.0 turbo for the Buick to LT1 and 3.6tt power on the top.
Real smart move GM. Now that the Ford Taurus is going to be scrapped after 2018, the Azera is history and FCA just decided to eliminate the 300/Charger leaving them with no 4 door sedans at all here comes GM conceding full size sedan sales to Toyota with there new 2019 Avalon. How about instead you just eliminate the turtle slow selling LaCrosse and move the Impala over to the more modern architecture with better MPG and performance but keep the familiar and better Impala styling and larger trunk. Why GM just seems to roll over and give up on a great product without trying to improve on it defies logic!
Joe, that would take too much work. GM executives don’t get paid to think like that. Leave the innovation to the top tier companies, BMW, Toyota, Mercedes, Hyundai, et al. Mediocrity is all to expect from GM. Other companies just try harder. They are expanding while GM retreats all over the world.
GM will likely blame falling sales of this car solely on the shift to SUVs/crossovers. Now entering its sixth model year, almost totally unchanged, the Impala simply needed to be updated to remain competitive and viable. GM lets too many products wither on the vine, while the competition passes them by.
Could GM just put the Impala (and possibly the Lacrosse too)
On the Traverse wheelbase?
That should make them big enough in size to be different from the Malibu
I wonder if there is a profitable middle ground for some of these sedans? That instead of chopping block’em, you’d go Scion. Offer one model that is that sweetspot of features. With an interesting yet profitable BUY IT NOW price.
In this way a dealer wouldn’t have to wheel and deal. The designers would only design one vehicle with one engine. The car could be built on one assembly line one way. Perhaps in batches. Build 50,000 of ’em, stop, and wait for all of them to sell. No fleet. They might even abandon putting a year on it but instead a model number. So if it takes 1.2 years to sell them all, so be it.
I own a OnePlus Android phone. This company has its head up its butane now and again but they do one thing right. They never try to see how many phones they can sell over a period of time. Instead they make a big batch which they know will sell out before a certain time. They never discount. Or, you might say, the discount up front. A la Scion.
In that their new OnePlus 6 phone is looming. When it comes out, it’s already a dead phone walking. They release a special Star Wars edition a month or so later, and another version in a cool color, and then POOF it’s all gone under 6 months.
So the Impala, for instance, wouldn’t be about getting the 2018 or not. It would be about getting that one with the cool stripes this month or wish you did.
The signs are there for another slow downward spiral at General Motors. They kill one of the best sedans they have made in years, yet throw massive resources into producing 650 horsepower Camaro’s. The next event that rockets oil prices sky-high will catch them unprepared when the SUV market tanks and it will be the end this time.
I have a 2014 Impala….my wife and I love it! It’s fast and sporty looking and; now hear this GM, we get complements from guys and gals in their 20’s about how they like our car! I dare say this Impala was as big a change over the last model as a “55 Bel Air was over a ’54 ( i was NOT around for that). My point is this: I have Chevy pickups and a Tahoe but that Impala makes my soul feel good! There is nothing better than to take that car out for an evening drive with the roof open! It has brought back a passion for just going for a drive! I can’t believe GM would take the choice of buying another one away from me!! The chase for profits will lead them down another path of destruction! I’m 47, got plenty of years left to buy and I don’t want anymore damn trucks!
Amen. The notion of buying trucks for most instead of sedans will be short-lived. The car-buying public is fickle, and this is just another fashion statement rather a real need for trucks and SUVs. I, too, want to drive a luxury sedan like Impala and not a truck for which I have no need, though some people have that need. GM DEFITITELY SHOULD NOT KILL THE IMPALA OR THE LACROSS. I hope that GM wakes up on this issue!
As a Chevy salesperson, I can say with authority that the only problem with the Impala is the interior! All of my customers have a positive association with the nameplate when I suggest it to them. They love the exterior as we approach it and do the customary walk-around.
Then we actually get inside the Impala… “Yeah, this looks kinda cheap. Can we look at the Equinox again?”
They enjoy the ride quality when I can convince them to drive it, but there’s no excuse for that awful interior!
Chevy is weak on interiors. Hi end stuff like Silverado LTZ, Camero, Corvette and i am sure others are really nice but mid range cars and trucks are horrid.
Some outstanding comments gents. Thanks. I favor keeping the Impala because of it’s flagship position and it’s beauty. I have never driven one and am surprised by David’s comments just before me. When I gen a loaner it is almost always a Malibu but sometimes a Cruze. Bot are nice but no pizazz. The comments about engine options should be taken seriously but there is clearly a need for an AWD Impala. Such a car, with an adequate engine and nice interior would replace my CTS-4 in a heartbeat.
It’s nice to hear you Pontiac folks speaking out. My most recent Pontiac (Firebird) turns 50 in 11 days. I’m keeping it.
But also mentioned, in the story by Sean that started this, is the Volt. I have owned two and will not hesitate to get #3 in a couple years, if I can. It is the finest built car I have ever owned except perhaps for my 57 Corvette. But the fellow above who questioned whether GM execs could walk upright after shooting themselves in the foot so many times, is on target. The company seems to be run by a bunch of dopes. They spent a lot of money developing the Volt and do you ever see it advertised? Not really. The often show you their line of cars and the Volt is missing. How on earth do they expect a large number to be sold if they don’t spread the word? And Chev does not listen to the Volt Cult, for if they did the car would have a power memory seat for at least the driver. The E-geeks speak out loudly about this, including me.
Why doesn’t Camaro do a Firebird or Trans Am special edition with unique front clip, spoiler and other cosmetic nips? It would sell fantastically as a special edition.
Holden used old G8 clips on Commodore and the process can’t be overly expensive. I’m sure bean counters could make it work.
Challenger is great at courting buzz and Chevrolet could learn from this.
That might still warrant some lawsuits from scorned former Pontiac dealers who got screwed over if they were to try to pull that off.
Went to the N.Y.C. Auto show 4/3/18 , asked to see Impala and was told -” we didn’t bring one, we wanted to focus on the 2018 Malibu !”I thought that strange! Must be some truth as to its demise! T.Y.