PHOTO: The Cadillac XT6 during its reveal back in January. / Photo by Alexander Willis
By ALEXANDER WILLIS
The new Cadillac XT6, announced to be manufactured at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill back in January, will be on the market by Q3 as announced by Plant Executive Director Ken Knight during the Spring Hill Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on Thursday.
Knight was the featured speaker at the Chamber’s monthly luncheon. He said the Spring Hill plant is currently manufacturing 45 Cadillac XT6s this week, and will continue its efforts as the vehicle’s release date draws closer.
The Cadillac XT6 is described by GM as luxury crossover vehicle, and features three rows of seats, a 3.6-liter V6 engine. It is estimated to cost between $50,000 and $60,000 from the automotive research company Kelley Blue Book. The estimated cost places the XT6 snugly between the XT5, which starts at $41,695, and the Escalade, which starts at $75,195.
“We’re making, I think, 45 this week, so that’s the stage we’re at – we’re working out the kinks with our suppliers and our own processes,” Knight said. “It’s a very advanced vehicle, I have had a chance to drive one already to Florida and back, and to Michigan and back; 3,275 miles in about ten days, and I can say it’s a very relaxing vehicle to drive. It’s super quit inside, great seats, I got about 24 miles per gallon, and I enjoyed everything it has.”
Knight continued sharing his experience with driving the new Cadillac XT6, and how he had made use of its more advanced features.
“I had the night vision; it shows infrared in high [definition] on the screen, so on foggy mornings, which do happen here once in a while, you can see that armadillo on the side of the road and avoid him,” Knight said. “It has adaptive cruise, and you can’t wait to own this. Very natural response, super safe feature for all that creeping traffic.”
While Knight shared his excitement for the launch of the new vehicle, what drew even more praise from him were those working at the Spring Hill plant, and all the achievements he’s seen them accomplish.
“We’ve been recently recognized as a top three performer in terms of energy conservation and environmental friendliness from the Tennessee Valley region,” Knight said of the Spring Hill plant. “We’ve received from the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry the Environmental Excellence award for engagement and stewardship initiatives on site and in the community, and this is a special one; six times we’ve been recognized as a winner of the Energy Star Challenge – a global competition among automotive and industrial plants for reducing energy consumption on a per-human basis.”
Knight went on to share the plant’s continued efforts in supporting the local community, revealing the plant had awarded $100,000 in grants over the past years to local nonprofits such as United Way and the Boys and Girls Club of Maury County. Knight also said that they plan to continue these efforts in 2019, with more details forthcoming.
“Everybody can buy the same machinery, what makes a plant great is all of its people,” Knight said. “How we work together, and that Middle Tennessee value where we say good morning, look each other in the eye and know we’re going to go after it… that’s what makes the difference. So that’s why Spring Hill has got a very bright future, because we get it.”
Knight has been in the automobile industry for almost 40 years, starting his work in Pennsylvania in 1980 at a Volkswagen manufacturing plant. Knight got his start working with GM in 1993 when he accepted a job in Germany, and continued to with the company until this day.
Employing almost 4,000 people, the GM plant in Spring Hill is the largest GM facility in all of North America, producing nearly 4.5 million vehicles since 1996 and announcing more than $2 billion for the plant’s operations since 2010.
The new Cadillac XT6. pic.twitter.com/BLZshvZn0l
— Alexander Willis (@ReporterWillis) January 24, 2019