Chevrolet is saying goodbye to an iconic model as the company ends the production of its full-size family sedan, the Chevrolet Impala.
The Detroit Free Press confirmed the news and stated the final touches for the last production version of the Impala began last week at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant when the body shell for the last model began to make its way through the assembly line. It is scheduled to be completed on February 28.
The Impala’s sunset marks the end of an era for Chevrolet with no immediate successor planned for the time being. But this also signifies the last internal combustion-engined vehicle to be built at Detroit-Hamtramck. The last Cadillac CT6, which was also built at the same plant, rolled out of the assembly on January 24. It was preceded by the Buick LaCrosse.
General Motors originally planned to shut down the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, causing outrage among its 1,800 employees at the time before deciding to re-open it in 1985. Since then, the Detroit factory has produced more than 4 million GM vehicles.
This time around, as the final Impala rolls off the assembly, GM is keeping the plant open but it will now be focused on developing electric vehicles full-time. Following the exit of the last Impala, the plant will temporarily close for 12 to 18 months for major re-tooling. It is believed to undergo a huge revamp to become one of the most state-of-the-art facilities in North America.
The plant will be the new home of the upcoming GMC Hummer EV, the self-driving Cruise Origin EV, and a number of other electric vehicles planned to join the GM lineup. But with the current lack of demand for EVs in America, the plant will begin production of fewer than 25,000 units.
The Chevrolet Impala first entered the market in 1957 and was built continuously until 1985. After a nine-year hiatus, it returned to the market in 1994 until 1996 and did not appear in GM’s lineup again until 2000. The model remained in production for the next two decades.