It was November 2018, and the sky seemed to have fallen on Cadillac enthusiasts and owners the world over when the brand announced plans to discontinue the CT6. As it turns out, this will not be the case. That’s right, the Cadillac CT6 is not being discontinued.
That sound you hear is a general feeling of elation from the Cadillac faithful.
On November 26th, 2018, Cadillac parent company – General Motors – announced a not-insignificant restructuring that would entails the closure of various plants. Among these is the Detroit-Hamtramck facility, which is home to various GM products, including the Cadillac CT6.
A day later, a Cadillac spokesperson confirmed that the CT6 would end production in June 2019 and be discontinued thereafter in North America, while continuing to be made and sold and China. The timeframe would allow enough time for Cadillac’s all-new 4.2L Twin-Turbo V8 Black Wing engine to be offered in the refreshed, 2019 CT6. The spokesperson said that the Detroit-Hamtramck plant would build plenty of CT6 units to keep in stock and sell during all of 2019. Disheartened, we cried ourselves to sleep that week. But apparently, we shouldn’t have.
According to Cadillac president, Steve Carlisle, and GM President, Mark Reuss, the CT6 was never supposed to have been a part of the restructuring. The execs stated that company officials did not communicate Cadillac’s plans for the CT6 correctly at the time. In fact, Carlisle added that the company “never said” the CT6 would be discontinued, and that the luxury brand was always planning to keep the large sedan as its showcase for technologies like Super Cruise and the Blackwing V8.
We should note that both executives are rather new to their positions. Carlisle took over for Johan de Nysschen as president of Cadillac in April 2018, at which point Reuss – who at the time served as GM’s product development chief – assumed responsibility of Cadillac within the GM corporate structure. Prior to the change, GM president Dan Ammann held the president role. In December 2018, Ammann changed jobs to head GM’s Cruise self-driving department, and Reuss was promoted to the role of GM President, an inconveniently-named role that is typically known at other firms as Chief Operating Office (COO).
Where To Now?
Both Reuss and Carlisle said that the automaker is evaluating options to continue selling the CT6 in North America. The execs stated that production could move to another plant, without going into too much detail.
Another option is to import the Cadillac CT6 from China, something that Carlisle described as being the least desirable. He added that the company has some time to sort out a new plan before the final Cadillac CT6 rolls off of the assembly line at Detroit-Hamtramck on June 1st.
Notably, the production discussion will be part of negotiations with the UAW, since the current labor contract expires in September 2019.
The 2019 Cadillac CT6
The CT6 receives a refresh for the 2019 model year consisting of an updated exterior, new, tactile controls for the infotainment system on the interior, two new engines and an all-new transmission. The first new engine is an all-new, turbo-charged 2.0L four-cylinder assigned production code LSY, while the second is the all-new, hand-built, Twin-Turbo 4.2L V8 assigned production code LTA and branded as Blackwing.
The Blackwing is offered in two versions: a regular-output variant making 500 horsepower slated for the CT6 Platinum, as well as a high-output version making 550 horses in the nearly-$90,000 CT6-V, which was initially announced as the CT6 V-Sport.
All 2019 Cadillac CT6 engines will be mated to a brand-new, state-of-the-art 10-speed automatic transmission.