Production line at GM’s Orion Assembly plant in MichiganEnlarge Photo
General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] has confirmed it will invest $245 million in its Orion Assembly plant located just outside of Detroit to support the launch of an all-new vehicle program that will be “unlike anything in the plant’s 32-year history.” Understandably, one would naturally assume GM is hinting at production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV, however, the planned 200-mile electric car was previously confirmed for the Orion plant back in March. At the time, GM said it was investing $160 million in the plant to support production of the Bolt EV.
According to Motor Trend, the new vehicle program is likely to be that of a smallish Cadillac crossover. A source told the magazine that the mystery vehicle will be “a future crossover with no predecessor” and that “the gaps in [Cadillac's] product lineup are obvious.”
Cadillac is known to be working on at least two new crossovers, a compact model to take on the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA, and a large one with third-row seats to compete with the Audi Q7, Volvo XC90 and possibly a new Aviator from Lincoln. Considering the Orion plant is currently responsible for compact and subcompact cars, the Buick Verano and Chevy Sonic respectively, it’s more likely we’ll see a Cadillac compact crossover built at the plant rather than a large one.
It’s been previously reported that the Cadillac compact crossover will arrive on the market in early 2017. Its platform will likely be a high-riding version of GM’s new D2XX platform which is designed for compact and subcompact cars. The next-generation Buick Verano is also set to share this platform, so it’s likely we’ll see the two cars built on the same line.
The compact crossover is part of a $12 billion investment in new products and technology at Cadillac. We’ve already seen the 2016 CT6, and later this year we’ll see an SRX replacement. Other models in the pipeline include the aforementioned large crossover, a compact sedan, a replacement for the ELR, a proper flagship sedan and possibly even a sports car.