Loss Of Chevrolet Impala Nameplate A Blow To Enthusiasts, Americana28
The Chevrolet Impala debut sixty debuted 60 years ago as a 1958 model. Since then, it’s been a go-to sedan for millions of families. By 1965, it was one of the best-selling vehicles ever, with over one million examples finding new driveways to call home. Come June 1, 2019—if General Motors gets its way—the Chevrolet Impala nameplate will once again enter retirement.
But that’s the thing about the Chevrolet Impala name and the sedan its affixed to—this isn’t the first time it’s disappeared. GM discontinued the Chevrolet Impala name in 1986 only to bring it back in 1994. Then, it lived for just two years with GM stopping production by the 1997 model year. Three years later, in 2000, the Impala name returned, this time continuing until today.
Last week, GM announced a massive restructuring in hopes of saving $6 billion by 2020. The automaker has to hammer out the details with the United Auto Workers union before anything is finalized, but the company wants to close five North American facilities, cut six model offerings, and lay off thousands of employees.
One of those casualties is the Chevrolet Impala, a full-size sedan failing to attract buyers in today’s crossover-crazed marketplace. In 2017, Chevy sold just 75,877 examples of the sedan, which is a far cry from the 172,078 units sold in 2010. Since then, sales have steadily declined, making it a prime target for discontinuation.
To some, the Chevrolet Impala may seem like your typical family sedan—restrained and inconspicuous. Yet, the four-door family car has a rabid and loyal following, and a significant muscle car history up to the turn of the millennium. The Detroit Free Press talked to several owners, including Dan Gersch, a member of the Michigan Impala SS Legends club who owns a 1996 example, who said, “losing the Impala is heartbreaking and such a shame, but we’d rather lose that than lose GM.”
The Chevrolet Impala and its loyal fan base is a reminder that our love and appreciation of a car is subjective. Some people love the Impala while others like the Chevrolet Corvette. It’s okay not to like something; however, it’s not alright to criticize people who do. For many, the proposed death of the Chevrolet Impala is heartbreaking. But as history has shown, it’ll likely return better than ever.
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It’s a shame.
I own a ’14, bought new in Feb. 2014. 86,000 miles so far and it’s been a great car! Powerful, fun to drive too! Believe it or not but it’s true, the young guys at our church like this car. When we first got it I overheard them saying it was “tough” and “sweet” looking, these guys are young 20 somethings! My wife’s friends brag on the car and a couple have bought themselves a copy since we got ours. WE replaced a silver 2002 just like the one in the picture with the ’14. The ’02 had 221,000 miles on it and still drove and ran good. We own a Tahoe, A pickup and old Blazer and Suburban but the Impala gets the looks and complements.
I don’t believe for one second Americans don’t like these cars, I believe GM wants the bigger profits off trucks and utility vehicles so they are going to force us to buy them by taking these away.
Thanks Mary, just what YOU wanted.
Camaro could be next, Lansing Grand River is definitely underutilized. Sales have been on a steady decline despite the never ending packages and options. By comparison the Dodge Challenger has stayed very steady and will register about 65,000 sales for the 4th straight year. Camaro has been cancelled before, they could easily do it again.
Camaro 3rd quarter sales for 2018 were a dismal 14,448 units.
Have u seen the new Camaro?
I’d say there’s not much hope if Chevy is hoping to win in the looks department.
1. You can fit more than two people in the Challenger. For whatever reason GM performance cars are getting smaller and smaller while Americans are getting larger and larger. They stick these uncomfortably small Recaro seats into them and if you are any bigger than a large sized F1 driver, you have the seats pushing into your sides and legs.
2. GM performance cars are only aimed at road courses. The problem is this is for most Americans, road courses are very few and far between and usually expensive to get on. FCA and the Challenger is aimed at drag strips, the nostalgia of the 60’s. They aren’t trying to be European like Chevy is trying to make the Camaro and Corvette. The entire Nurburgring is fun but it does not offer the consumer any options if you want a drag toy.
3. The Challenger just looks better, yes its long in tooth, yes the chassis is a decade old but it still looks so much better than what they are doing with the Camaro.
Agree all the way, seats in GM cars and trucks continue to get smaller and cheaper across the board.
The Challenger has benefitted from just enough updates inside, good packaging and some very good marketing. The teaser campaign for the Demon was brilliant.
The Impala sedan sales are down simply because the car was never advertised. It was doomed to fail when it first appeared in 2013. It won all kinds of awards.
Chevy would have been better to keep the Impala, redo it and take weight out and get rid of the Malibu. The Impala is more iconic name than the Malibu ever was
I felt like this could’ve been even more better…
the Impala i meant
We have owned three of the last generation Impalas. I believe they may be the best car Chevrolet has ever made. Had Chevrolet advertised, promoted, and updated the current Impala, it may have survived.
I think removing CD players from GM cars is a disservice to car buyers who have large CD collections or like to listen to audio books.
Just ask the Equinox crowd about CD players.
“I think removing CD players from GM cars is a disservice to car buyers who have large CD collections or like to listen to audio books.”
Because CD’s haven’t already been replaced by phones.
CD players are dead, and so are the people who think they have a place in a car.
Besides, the people who still use CD are not the massive consumer bloc you think it is. They aren’t the make or break market for any automaker.
2017 Malibu still had CD players.
We have a 2008 SS with only 7200 miles on it, don’t drive it much but when we do, we both have smiles on our face from cheek to cheek, great car , fun car to drive Chevrolet at one time made cars fun to drive, if they still did people would still buy the fun cars!!!!
I’ve always liked the Impala.
I hope the name comes back as the
Wild Wayward son gone mad on forced induction steroids.
I could never understand why they never brought out a two door model. They never did change the outside from the 2014 model. I’ve got a 2015 LTZ and if you put along side a 2019 it’s the same except the 2019 says Premier.
Mine was a ’65 SS 409, 4 speed. Now as an old codger, I have a 2016 Malibu Hybrid.
Why not consolidate by making a Malibu SS, with a hi-per engine to replace the foregone Impala SS. That would one-up the Malibu-boo RS psuedo sport package. It would compete with the Charger 4 door.
GM should build an Impala replacement on the alpha platform and give it small-block V8 I think that will work.
My favorite Impala is the 1967, possibly because I’m also a ’67 model! I adore my 2014 LTZ, which I ordered the 1st month it became available. My dad still has his 1994 SS, a 50th birthday present to himself. I agree the new body style was never advertised and promoted the way it should have been. Where is any acknowledgment by GM of this year being the Impala’s 60th anniversary?? My family has always been GM loyal, especially Chevy & Olds, and we will definitely miss the iconic Impala model!
The Impala could and would sell better if GM wanted it to simple as that. They just don’t care because it isn’t bringing in the fat massive profits that trucks and SUV’s do. This car is now on year 6 with virtually no changes, little to no advertisement and dealers barely stock them. I would think that with Ford killing off the Taurus and FCA soon killing off the 300 and Hyundai killing off the Azera that the Impala’s sales would go up as a result. Imagine if they actually updated it and advertised it as the one and only original full size choice spanning many decades from an American manufacturer.
bottom line the upper classmen are over paid with healthy perks—Fire them all
I like the Impala, and hate to see it go. If it would have had a TT option, I would have bought one of this generation, but it would have probably been $45K plus, which means I would have bought a used one. Chevrolet currently offers no daily driver cars that I am interested in and I find this sad. My last new purchase was a 2013 Camaro SS 1LE, but I would be ready to trade my 10 year old daily driver if something more interesting came along. Doesn’t seem too likely now.
Put the COPO EV drivetrain into the Impala and call it a day…
Dan Getsch: America has lost both: Impala AND General Motors. Buick, the brand that started General Motors, is next. GM is a Chinese company now. Say good-bye.
the impala as the Corvette, Camaro and Suburban is a legendary Chevrolet name. I hope that GM has good plans for the impala, like making the next gen on RWD architecture with AWD option with V8 engine SS impala at its top. it’s a dream and hope it will come true.
Gm did not advertise the 2014-2017 SS. If they would have they would sold a lot more even a super charged model .They were just getting by with Holden commitment & Nascar . What a great car and competes with a lot more expensive BMW .
YES ! I agree 100% — I am a BMW owner, Lexus owner and a *2017* Limited Edition Midnight Blackout Impala owner. I get head turns, questions, people stop to look at my Impala every time I take it out ! I have every luxury feature plus in my Impala. Everyone thought I was going to buy another BMW—oh no ! Impala was what I wanted. I love the ’64 Impala — who doesn’t from my generation ? — the 80’s generation. I was so sad to hear this news. I hope they realize that this is a big mistake ! In my opinion and the many people I talk to about cars — a fully loaded special edition Impala beats a Sedan BMW any day ! My disclaimer (my husband is a mechanic) so I know a lot about cars because of his skill set.
At least there’ll be plenty on the used market.