While we already knew production of the long-running Chevy nameplate was set to end sometime in February, it wasn’t previously clear what day the final Impala would roll off the production line. We now know the plant will stay open through to February 28th and will produce the Impala up until then. After that point, the plant’s 800 or so employees will be transferred to other GM plants around the country while it is heavily revamped and retooled to produce GM’s new line of electric vehicles.
The last Impala to leave Detroit-Hamtramck very well may be the last Impala ever built. Experts believe the shift in consumer preferences from sedans to crossovers is permanent, so GM may be ready to leave the Impala name, which has only ever been attached to a coupe or sedan, in the past. It also doesn’t seem as though it’d be appropriate on one of GM’s forthcoming new electric vehicles, either.
The Impala has been brought back from the dead before, though. It went on brief hiatus between 1985 and 1994 and also was not offered between 1996 and 2000. Consumers hadn’t turned their back on sedans in the 1980s and the 1990s the way they have now, though, so the Impala’s resurgence does seem highly unlikely.
Sales of the current, tenth-generation Chevrolet Impala were highest in 2014, reaching 140,280 units. Sales have declined every year since then and dropped to a total of 44,978 units in 2019.
New Impalas will no longer be built after February 28th, but customers will still be able to purchase the vehicle new from Chevrolet dealerships until supply runs out. It’s not clear how many days of Impala stock will be on dealers by the time production ends, but the sedan hasn’t been a hot seller for quite some time, so it shouldn’t be very hard for customers to locate one on a lot nearby.
GM also announced this week that its Detroit-Hamtramck plant will build the Cruise Origin fully autonomous shuttle in addition to its new battery-electric pickup truck. The plant is set to become GM’s first dedicated EV plant, though it won’t be the only GM EV plant, with Mark Reuss saying this week that the company’s wide-reaching EV plan is “unmatched in the industry.”