Roadster Redux: GM Kills Cadillac XLR

January 27, 2009

Yesterday we reported that the Honda S2000's days are numbered. In yet more bad news for wind-in-the-hair fans, Cadillac announces a Spring departure for its XLR roadster.

XLR sales dropped 28 percent for 2008, bringing a total of only 1,250 units last year. The XLR is built at GM's Bowling Green, Kentucky plant, which also builds the Chevrolet Corvette. The two vehicles share a platform and various chassis components.

2009 Cadillac XLR

2009 Cadillac XLR

Enlarge Photo

Currently, the Bowling Green plant is idled due to GM financial problems; it is scheuled to re-open on February 23. 40 specialized XLR assembly workers, a small cadre dedicated just to that vehicle, are directly affected by the decision to cease production in the spring; while layoffs sound likely, it's not known whether or not they will remain employed. A total of 154 Bowling Green assembly workers will be laid off indefinitely by March 1.

Unlike the Honda S2000, the XLR was never a strong player in its segment, going up against established players like the Mercedes-Benz SL and Jaguar XK. Cadillac's Art and Science design direction was perhaps a bit awkward on the Corvette chassis, and other journalists took issue with its rather plain interior given pricing that ranged from the mid-80s to over $100,000.

[source: The Daily News]

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