Two days ago, General Motors announced that its assembly plant in Orion will receive a $245 million investment. That’s a helluva lot of money, but what is it for? A mystery model tells General Motors. According to a new report citing insiders, we should expect Orion to build a small Cadillac crossover SUV.
Those $245 million are expected to go into state-of-the-art manufacturing solutions. GM says that 300 new jobs will be added to its assembly complex before an “all-new vehicle program unlike any in the plant’s 32-year history” will kickoff. But does the small crossover have any chances to be built in the Orion Township?
Considering that production of the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano was cut by 20 percent and 100 workers were laid off, we’re not sure up to this point. But consider this as well: GM Orion will handle production of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, a thoroughly modern electric vehicle that needs modern tooling and manufacturing tidbits. Does a Cadillac fit in this picture?
The peeps from Motor Trend, as in Jonny Lieberman and Alex Nishimoto, think so. They alleged that a GM source declared that "a future crossover with no predecessor" is what’s what, while "the gaps in [the Cadillac] product lineup are obvious." Therefore, don’t expect the SRX-replacing XT5 to be built here.
Spring Hill, Tennessee, will handle manufacturing duties for the XT5. Last year, Cadillac trademarked CT2 to CT8 and XT2 to XT8. MT is adamant that the sub-XT5 models are the XT3 and XT1. But guess what - there’s no trademark application for XT1. As such, we’re betting a tenner that Orion will likely handle production of the Cadillac XT3, a crossover SUV that will compete with the likes of the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. Or XT2...
The sub-XT3 model will likely be called XT2 and compete with the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. As for the XT7, it will rival competitors such as the Mercedes-Benz GL/GLS. Finally, the XT8. We believe that Cadillac won’t use this nameplate because the company has previously declared that the Escalade moniker is here to stay.