General Motors Crosses Out Buick LaCrosse, and Nearly Every Other Sedan
Buick's midsize sedan goes the way of the dodo when the Detroit-Hamtramck plant's production allocation runs out.
General Motors announced an intent to cease operations at five North American manufacturing plants after 2019 as part of its multibillion-dollar cost reduction initiative, one of which is the Detroit-Hamtramck plant where Buick's midsize LaCrosse sedan is manufactured.
Casualties of the plan include one Canadian factory, which has been under GM's wing for more than a century, and four other U.S. plants: two assembly and two powertrain factories. Global layoffs will lead to the elimination of 14,000 jobs from the company, at least 3,000 of which will be stateside due to a lower-than-expected take rate of contract buyout offers leveled at 18,000 salaried North American employees earlier this month.
Vehicles at the end of their product cycles such as the Cadillac XTS are getting the axe, as are unpopular models like the Buick LaCrosse, whose monthly sales in the U.S. have only exceeded 3,000 units thrice since the model's reinvigoration in 2016. The LaCrosse shares the Detroit-Hamtramck factory floor with the Cadillac CT6, Chevrolet Impala, and Chevrolet Volt, all three of which are also expected to be discontinued with the shuttering of the plant.
GM intends to reduce costs so it may invest in technologies crucial to the future of transportation, such as electric powertrains and autonomous driving, both fields in which GM is a competitive entity.
"GM has recently invested in newer, highly efficient vehicle architectures, especially in trucks, crossovers and SUVs," stated the automaker. "GM now intends to prioritize future vehicle investments in its next-generation battery-electric architectures. As the current vehicle portfolio is optimized, it is expected that more than 75 percent of GM’s global sales volume will come from five vehicle architectures by early next decade."