Chevy builds its last Impala

Chevrolet on Thursday built its last Impala, bringing to close a nameplate that dates back to 1958.

The final example, finished in red, is bound for a customer and not Chevy’s own private collection.

Impala production in recent years has been handled at General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck plant, with the big sedan built alongside the unrelated Cadillac CT6. The Cadillac also ceased production in February.

The Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which a little more than a year ago was destined to be idled, is set to benefit from a $ 2.2 billion investment that will see it overhauled to build battery-electric SUVs, pickup trucks, and even the Origin self-driving car unveiled by GM’s Cruise subsidiary in January. The plant is to be GM’s first dedicated to zero-emission vehicles.

While many Americans will have fond memories of the Impala, sales have dwindled in recent years as new car buyers turn to SUVs and pickups. Chevy sold just under 45,000 Impalas in 2019, down from a high of 311,128 in 2007.

The Impala started out life as a variant of the 1958 Chevy Bel Air but would become its own model line just a year later. The car proved to be a hit and later a right-hand-drive configuration was added, with the Impala even seeing production in knocked-down kit form in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Performance options were also added, with Chevy first launching an Impala SS for 1961.

We should point out that Chevy has ceased production of the Imapla before. Twice in fact. The automaker hasn’t said it is retiring the nameplate so perhaps we’ll see it make a return once again.

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