Vehicles | February 28, 2020 9:20 am

The Chevy Impala Is Dead. The Electric Hummer Will Take Its Place.

The iconic American sedan has rolled off the line for the final time

A red sedan in front of city buildings
Another American sedan kicks the bucket. Thanks for the memories, Chevy Impala.

In recent memory, the Chevrolet Impala has not been considered a cool car, but unlike less worthy sedans, it did become an icon of American reliability. Bryan Cranston said it best in the movie Drive, “Chevy Impala … no one will be looking at you.” 

That, of course, was hyperbole. But on Thursday morning, the last Chevrolet Impala rolled off the assembly line at General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck factory, as the Detroit Free Press detailed. The automaker’s discontinuation of the 60-year-old model, which was previously announced, finally came to pass, and Americans can expect to see fewer and fewer Impalas on the road.

Why did GM decide to scrap the Impala, a car that traces its first model back to the ‘50s? Is it because drivers gave up on the nameplate, or sedans in general? As Keith Pandolfi wrote for InsideHook, not quite — the blame lies more with the shareholders, as larger vehicles like crossovers and SUVs make more money, and automakers are looking to make a buck wherever they can in a volatile industry. 

The end of the Impala isn’t bad news for Detroit, though. The Michigan plant is about to undergo a 12-18 month renovation to become GM’s first dedicated electric-vehicle assembly. That means no more internal combustion engine. Instead, the automaker will be building forward-looking vehicles like the highly anticipated GMC Hummer truck and the self-driving Cruise Origin.

The last Chevrolet Impala at the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck plant. (Chevrolet)

As the Free Press writes, as the Impala retires, so do 130 of the factory workers who have devoted their lives to the model over the years. 

When asked about the sedan, Joe Nickowski, who has worked at GM for 43 years, told the Free Press, “I hate to see it go.” But he did add that he’d like to pop back in once the Hummer rolls off the line.

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