General Motors Corp. will end production of the Chevrolet Monte Carlo after a 30-year run.

The sixth-generation coupe, currently assembled at GM’s Oshawa, ON, Canada, plant, will cease production in June. No plant employees will be affected by the move, because the Monte Carlo represents only about 5% of output at Oshawa.

GM first started making the coupe in 1970 to compete with Ford Motor Co.’s Thunderbird. GM cut the model from the Chevrolet lineup in 1988 and brought it back in 1995.

This latest cancellation of the car was announced Tuesday to Chevrolet dealers.

Sales for the front-wheel-drive Monte Carlo reached only 1,639 units in January, down 1.5% in 2006.

A Chevrolet spokesman says the decision to end Monte Carlo output reflects sagging sales, as well as the need to prepare for the late-2008 start of Camaro production at Oshawa and the third-quarter launch of the redesigned ’08 Chevy Malibu at GM’s Fairfax, KS, plant.

“It was a natural evolution and progression that led to this decision,” the spokesman says.

Another reason is the Impala is set to go rear-wheel drive for ’09 and is expected to pick up some of Monte Carlo’s small, but loyal customer base.

The upcoming Pontiac G8, which initially will be imported from Australia-based GM Holden Ltd. for sale in 2008, could be built in Oshawa, according to GM executives who have yet to make it official.

scanderson@wardsauto.com