The temporary closure of the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant next year will lead to the demise of both the Cadillac CT6 and the Chevrolet Impala. While General Motors‘ confusing approach with the CT6 is certainly newsworthy, the demise of the Impala is also significant – with the nameplate dating all the way back to 1958.
GM’s memo to plant employees sent out this week indicated the last tenth-generation Impala will roll off the line at Detroit-Hamtramck on February 28th, 2020. The Impala has gone on hiatus before (once between 1985 and 1994 and again between 1996 and 2000), but this time around, it’s very possible the sedan’s discontinuation will be permanent. Demand for sedans like the Impala is extremely low, with most consumers now preferring crossovers and SUVs. Additionally, GM is turning its focus toward electric vehicles and an age-old nameplate like ‘Impala’ probably wouldn’t make much sense on an electric vehicle.
Impala sales were down 19.38 percent in the first nine months of 2019, with GM selling 35,433 units so far this year, compared to 43,952 during the same time frame in 2018. That’s a rather large dip in sales, though 35,000+ is still a significant amount of vehicles. Like its crosstown rivals at Ford, though, GM is hoping it can convert owners of discontinued cars like the Impala into crossover and SUV owners and shuffle them into products like the Traverse and Equinox.
For comparison’s sake, Traverse sales were up 6.07 percent through to Q3 this year, with GM moving 113,491 units compared to 106,998 units in the first nine months of 2018. Meanwhile, Equinox sales have jumped 8.35 percent from 234,379 units in the first nine months of 2018 to 253,956 units through Q3 2019.
Sales of the current, tenth-generation Chevrolet Impala were highest in its debut year, with GM moving 140,280 units back in 2014. Sales have steadily declined every year since then and dropped to just 56,556 units for all of 2018.
While production of the Impala is set to end in early 2020, customers will still be able to buy new examples of the sedan for Chevrolet dealers for some time, as inventory of the sedan will remain at dealers throughout the country even after production stops.