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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Next Chevrolet Malibu To Become Competitive

      GM Works Hard On The Next Malibu

    What can you say about the Chevrolet Malibu? Not much that is very positive to it. The model feels rushed and despite an emergency refresh, sales have been declining during the year. General Motors is hoping to change their fortunes by "hustling" a new Malibu to come out in a year.

    GM's head of global product development, Mark Reuss said at a investor presentation that the next Malibu will have "groundbreaking design but also groundbreaking technology."

    "When is the last time you saw a [midsize] car this distinctive and this dramatic from General Motors?" Reuss said to investors when showing a picture of the next Malibu.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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    "When is the last time you saw a [midsize] car this distinctive and this dramatic from General Motors?" Reuss said to investors when showing a picture of the next Malibu.

    1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue

     

     

    Why the Intrigue? Genuinely wondering here..

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    "When is the last time you saw a [midsize] car this distinctive and this dramatic from General Motors?" Reuss said to investors when showing a picture of the next Malibu.

    1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue

     

     

    Why the Intrigue? Genuinely wondering here..

     

     

    compared to it's rather stodgy contemporaries and predecessors it had a more revolutionary look.   A 98 Impala looked like a Malibu with smoked headlights. The Century and Regal both looked really "old people". The Grand Prix looked like a rounder version of the prior model.  GM's other midsizers were the Malibu/Cutlibu, the N-Body Alero and Grand Am were brand new, but even though the Alero shared the same theme with it's bigger brothers, it didn't wear it as well..... if you think about it, "the most dramatic midsize from GM" really isn't a very high bar to cross.  

     

    Honda/Nissan/Toyota were still (are still?) suffering from G.A.S. Over at Ford, they still had the bug-eyed Taurus and Sable. Chrysler was fairing better with the attractive new LH cars, but those don't meet Mark's qualifier of "from GM".

     

    The Intrigue was the rather revolutionary 1994 Aurora look applied to a mid-size car that most people could afford.  Nearly all of the commercials showed the car in black (it's best color IMHO) and made vague references to the idea of stealth and tied it in with X-files which was popular at the time. 

     

    I'd say that the newest Impala would rank up there as better, but I believe that is considered a full size car now, nothing else since the Intrigue from GM would even qualify and meet the criteria that Mark set.

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    The last sedan at GM that really changed things was the 08 Malibu. Compared to the previous cars it was a major step forward and is still seen as a solid good car. It looked good and more expensive than it was. It offered good engines and the ride and room was great.

     

    What hurt this gen Malibu was it never saw a real update and got old in a fast moving segment.

    GM had the present Malibu set around 2008 and was going to put it into play much sooner than they did but ran out of money. By the time they got it out they had to rush things to beat the Fusion. GM knew the car needed help and that is why the fixes they did offer cam the following year. They were planned before the car came out but it was too late to wait for them.

    The new model was well on the way and will not suffer the issues of the present car. They have had the time and money to do this one right as the have done with the C7. This is the car they would have liked to had in 2012 but it was just not ready. 

    the present car was just a gap filler for an aging 08 BU and the new 2016 model. The fact Is GM knew they had  hand that was lacking aces but sometimes you just have to bluff to buy time till the next hand and that is what is going on.

     

    The 2012-13 model was old before it even appeared and they knew it. But when it is all you have you just have to buy time. The previous model was a good car but it would have never held up till 2016 in this segment. 

     

    I own one and I know first hand. Good car but far from state of the art today.

     

    I wish GM could relate many of these back stories publically that leak out. It make a lot of sense of many senseless acts.

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    The last sedan at GM that really changed things was the 08 Malibu. Compared to the previous cars it was a major step forward and is still seen as a solid good car. It looked good and more expensive than it was. It offered good engines and the ride and room was great.

     

    What hurt this gen Malibu was it never saw a real update and got old in a fast moving segment.

    GM had the present Malibu set around 2008 and was going to put it into play much sooner than they did but ran out of money. By the time they got it out they had to rush things to beat the Fusion. GM knew the car needed help and that is why the fixes they did offer cam the following year. They were planned before the car came out but it was too late to wait for them.

    The new model was well on the way and will not suffer the issues of the present car. They have had the time and money to do this one right as the have done with the C7. This is the car they would have liked to had in 2012 but it was just not ready. 

    the present car was just a gap filler for an aging 08 BU and the new 2016 model. The fact Is GM knew they had  hand that was lacking aces but sometimes you just have to bluff to buy time till the next hand and that is what is going on.

     

    The 2012-13 model was old before it even appeared and they knew it. But when it is all you have you just have to buy time. The previous model was a good car but it would have never held up till 2016 in this segment. 

     

    I own one and I know first hand. Good car but far from state of the art today.

     

    I wish GM could relate many of these back stories publically that leak out. It make a lot of sense of many senseless acts.

     

    The '08 Malibu could have and should have been just refreshed rather than do the car we have today. Update the front/rear facias. Update the engines. Freshen the dash.  It would have been far better than what they've got now if only for passenger room concerns.   They may not have beaten the Camry, but they wouldn't be taking a negative 7% hit in sales growth. 

     

    Buickman is in the comments of that article talking about how the car just isn't marketed properly... but that's bull.  It is a severely compromised car when compared to the competition.  I don't even like the Fusion, but I'll still pick one over the Malibu.  Which is sad because I really liked the '08.

     

    Yes, I've driven them all. 

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    Sorry I own the last gen and a refresh would not have worked well either. This class is just too competitive and fast changing.

     

    The goal here was to increase the MPG and lose a little weight and that is what they did. The car really needed a new platform and that is what we will get in the new car. The weight will drop and we will get more rear leg room.

    Marketing is not good and I do agree with that. But even marketing can not fix all that was wrong.

    GM's marketing sucks on nearly all their products but yet it the product is class leading it still sells in great numbers in spite of there failures.

     

    This was just a tough time in a tough segment. They needed a new car and a new platform and only had one of the two. They made due the best they could till the platform was ready. In business you just can't always get what you want and this was one of those times.

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    Stopped by the dealership I ordered my truck from on Sunday (their site was showing a Trax, it was not there) and ran across a couple in their 60s riding in an Altima that was a couple years old.  He was looking around like I was, and then he spoke up:  they are advertising '14 Malibus at big savings... but all we could find were 15s.

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    The Alero and Intrigue were both good cars, especially the Intrigue.  You got a lot for the money, good looks, DOHC V6, better interior thatn what the CamCord or Chevy's had and not much more money and it had a sporty but comfy and class persona too.  Sort of what today's Mazda 6 is like, a bit unique looking, nice driving car that gives good value.

     

    The Malibu has sucked for years, the late 90s one was old school GM rubbish, in 2004 they brought out the new one that was supposed to grown in size and be competitive with the Camry, and it wasn't.   Then in 2008 they said the same thing, another fail.  2013 same result.

     

    I don't see what Chevy is going to do this time to fix the problem.  The Cruze has crept up in size and price, the Impala isn't that much more expensive, the Malibu gets squeezed in its own showroom, and there are probably 8 other mid size sedans that are better.  I think this is another example of Ruess over selling and under delivering.  What "groundbreaking technology" is going to be in a Malibu that wasn't in a Cadillac last year.  Unless they make the Malibu a Transformer than turn into a giant robot or turn into a cool car, I don't think people will want one.

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    The Alero and Intrigue were both good cars, especially the Intrigue.  You got a lot for the money, good looks, DOHC V6, better interior thatn what the CamCord or Chevy's had and not much more money and it had a sporty but comfy and class persona too.  Sort of what today's Mazda 6 is like, a bit unique looking, nice driving car that gives good value.

     

    The Malibu has sucked for years, the late 90s one was old school GM rubbish, in 2004 they brought out the new one that was supposed to grown in size and be competitive with the Camry, and it wasn't.   Then in 2008 they said the same thing, another fail.  2013 same result.

     

    I don't see what Chevy is going to do this time to fix the problem.  The Cruze has crept up in size and price, the Impala isn't that much more expensive, the Malibu gets squeezed in its own showroom, and there are probably 8 other mid size sedans that are better.  I think this is another example of Ruess over selling and under delivering.  What "groundbreaking technology" is going to be in a Malibu that wasn't in a Cadillac last year.  Unless they make the Malibu a Transformer than turn into a giant robot or turn into a cool car, I don't think people will want one.

     

    ground breaking for a midsize no-lux brand

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    We've heard this before on practically every Malibu since it was reintroduced for 1997.  Even the 1988 Beretta/Corsica was supposed to wow us with their quality and sleek designs.  The current Malibu was supposed to blow our socks off with its supposedly sporty, Camaro-inspired styling, but it's been a dud.  The front seat is a decent place to be, but just about everything else about the car is a little off.  That being said, I have a little more confidence in GM this time because their recent new vehicle introductions have almost all have been competitive, if not best in class.

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    bobo that is just it this is no longer the underfunded GM.

     

    This time I expect they will follow through as they now have the money to do it right and this time they had the time to get the new platform they needed.

     

    In the past GM was just buying time and trying to make due with what they had. I have had several program managers tell me that this is what we wanted to do but ran out of money before we got there. This is why the Camaro always had a solid driveline and always sucked once you got inside the car. Scott said by the time they got inside the money was gone. This no longer applies.

     

    As for the packaging yes that has long been an issue. Often the platforms were carried over so long that the hard points would get in the way and they could only do what the could to make a new or better car.

    Lutz was limited on the W body as the hard points were in place. The Camaro was limited as the Zeta hard points were in place. The Nox has a lot of wasted space for its size but the older Theta hard points limited what they could do with packaging.

     

    In the case of the Malibu I feel they were trying to cut mass and the only way they could with that car was to shorten it up. They wanted a few more MPG and tried to get it with the rear leg room. It was a risk that did not pay off. It really hurt because the previous car had so much room.

    Also I feel they had room to give because the Impala was coming and they wanted to move the Malibu down in size.

     

    Either way the new platform will be lighter and will have much better packaging because of the expandability of the new platform.

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    E2XX platform which from my understanding is not the same as the Epsilon II. We do not know the details yet but it is not a full carry over. This is much like the D2XX where it is not a Delta II and is going for more weight reduction and flexibility.

    The long and short of it the platform will not just be a straight carry over platform from the present car and will underpin future mid and full size FWD and AWD cars and SUVs.

     

    Little has been leaked but the E2XX is all new.

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    E2XX platform which from my understanding is not the same as the Epsilon II. We do not know the details yet but it is not a full carry over. This is much like the D2XX where it is not a Delta II and is going for more weight reduction and flexibility.

    The long and short of it the platform will not just be a straight carry over platform from the present car and will underpin future mid and full size FWD and AWD cars and SUVs.

     

    Little has been leaked but the E2XX is all new.

     

    My reading of GM platform conventions was (Platform)(Version)(Bodystyle)(Brand)... which to me means that if the Malibu is going to be on a new platform, it would need to be E3XX rather than E2.   E2SC would be the current car. 

     

    ... and yes, I know Delta platform Fs it up... our current Delta cars are actually version 1.5 rather than 2... the Cruze is called a Delta-II car, but it's really a D1SC.

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    E2XX platform which from my understanding is not the same as the Epsilon II. We do not know the details yet but it is not a full carry over. This is much like the D2XX where it is not a Delta II and is going for more weight reduction and flexibility.

    The long and short of it the platform will not just be a straight carry over platform from the present car and will underpin future mid and full size FWD and AWD cars and SUVs.

     

    Little has been leaked but the E2XX is all new.

     

    Isn't LaCrosse the first one to get on E2XX, followed by Regal/Insignia?

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    A midsize family sedan does not become competitive by being particularly fast, luxurious or beautiful. Those things may not hurt, but they are not that important. It does so by being practical and dependable. That is why Camry and Accord buyers buy those cars. That takes several generations of building cars that stay on the road for 20 years with minimal upkeep.

     

    Here are a few thing GM can do that few others can emulate.

     

    (1) Make it quiet. GM already knows how to do that with laminated glass, acoustic sandwich steel, etc. They should further the effort not dial it back (like they did with the current generation).

     

    (2) Bring back increased displacement, 2-valves per cylinders and single overhead camshafts. Why? Because that is the best way to get the most MPGs not high specific output engines. A 2.8 or 3.1 liter four with 8-valves and running an Atkinson cycle cam will get you about 170~180 hp and better mileage than a turbo 2.0 or DOHC 2.5L of a similar output. How about getting rid of all belts and relying on the chain drive for the water pump and having an electric HVAC. This can allow for no scheduled maintenance for 200,000 miles except for 20,000 mile oil change intervals.

     

    (3) Hubcaps are fine. Yellowish Halogen head lights are fine. Hey, even drum brakes are fine. Put the money in the cabin where the driver spends his time look and feel premium. Give the car a tall trunk and seat backs that fold flat for cargo. A smart phone shelf and cradle system over the HVAC console for cars without Navigation. How about a GM branded child seat which snaps in place in 5 seconds over either of the rear seats or between them without the need to thread seat belts through awkward hoops. Practical minded buyers care about these things.

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    People love LED lights though and disc brakes and DOHC engines.   These people have been groomed on the 2.4 liter inline fours of Camrys and Accords, and even small Kias and Corollas are putting LED lights up front because they want it to look like an Audi and look expensive.  I think a problem GM has is they think bold styling will win in this segment, when they need build quality, reliability and fuel economy.

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    People don't have a clue what DO

     

    People love LED lights though and disc brakes and DOHC engines.   These people have been groomed on the 2.4 liter inline fours of Camrys and Accords, and even small Kias and Corollas are putting LED lights up front because they want it to look like an Audi and look expensive.  I think a problem GM has is they think bold styling will win in this segment, when they need build quality, reliability and fuel economy.

     

    The Accord inline-4 was SOHC for years... people have no idea what DOHC or SOHC means. 

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    People love LED lights though and disc brakes and DOHC engines.   These people have been groomed on the 2.4 liter inline fours of Camrys and Accords, and even small Kias and Corollas are putting LED lights up front because they want it to look like an Audi and look expensive.  I think a problem GM has is they think bold styling will win in this segment, when they need build quality, reliability and fuel economy.

    I could agree with the LED Lights as visual is a big piece to the marketing, but I would have to say BS on the 2.4L DOHC inline Four. 99.999% of people could care less about what is under the hood. As long as it is quiet and reliable with minimal maintenance needed you could have what Dwight has stated with a 3.1L  2Valve single overhead cam engine as long as it is powerful enough with great gas mileage and 100,000 mile tune ups and 7500 mile oil changes at least.

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    Drew based on what I just read in the last 6 days the E2XX is termed the all new platform for the Malibu.

     

    Z you are correct the Insignia will be the second version globally. I was only speaking on the NA market. The mules for the Lacrosse and Malibu are out and it could be the Lacrosse model may really be the Regal?  It would make more sense.

    I have never seen E3XX used anywhere.

     

    Now some also claim this platform will replace the Lambda at some point too. I have seen little info on this but it matches up with GM wanting to cut the number of platforms. The Theta is going to the D2XX as it is.

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    Drew based on what I just read in the last 6 days the E2XX is termed the all new platform for the Malibu.

     

    Z you are correct the Insignia will be the second version globally. I was only speaking on the NA market. The mules for the Lacrosse and Malibu are out and it could be the Lacrosse model may really be the Regal?  It would make more sense.

    I have never seen E3XX used anywhere.

     

    Now some also claim this platform will replace the Lambda at some point too. I have seen little info on this but it matches up with GM wanting to cut the number of platforms. The Theta is going to the D2XX as it is.

    I don't doubt you are correct.... I wouldn't be surprised at GM screwing up it's own platform naming convention.

    The other thing I've read is that the second position in the code indicates the version of the car on the platform rather than the version of the platform.... which also would be incorrect for Malibu as the next one would be E4SC in that case.....

    any way you slice it, if the next malibu is on an all new version of the epsilon platform, it's either the 4 version on the Epsilon platform or it's the 3rd version on the Epsilon-II platform or it's the first version on an Epsilon 3 platform... so E2 doesn't make sense. But as I said above... Delta-II cars in NA are called D1 which can't possibly fit the 3 cars currently sold on it.

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    People don't have a clue what DO

     

    People love LED lights though and disc brakes and DOHC engines.   These people have been groomed on the 2.4 liter inline fours of Camrys and Accords, and even small Kias and Corollas are putting LED lights up front because they want it to look like an Audi and look expensive.  I think a problem GM has is they think bold styling will win in this segment, when they need build quality, reliability and fuel economy.

     

    The Accord inline-4 was SOHC for years... people have no idea what DOHC or SOHC means. 

    True but they know what the Camry and Accord have is what they want.  10 years ago Chevy tried the we'll give you a pushrod V6 for the price of a CamCord 4-cylinder, no one cared, they bought the CamCords still.

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    People don't have a clue what DO

    People love LED lights though and disc brakes and DOHC engines. These people have been groomed on the 2.4 liter inline fours of Camrys and Accords, and even small Kias and Corollas are putting LED lights up front because they want it to look like an Audi and look expensive. I think a problem GM has is they think bold styling will win in this segment, when they need build quality, reliability and fuel economy.

    The Accord inline-4 was SOHC for years... people have no idea what DOHC or SOHC means.
    True but they know what the Camry and Accord have is what they want. 10 years ago Chevy tried the we'll give you a pushrod V6 for the price of a CamCord 4-cylinder, no one cared, they bought the CamCords still.
    Your cause and effect meter is still out of wack. The pushrod v6 was the best part of a terrible car. It wasn't the engine that pushed people away from those cars.
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    As long as GM understands dose it really matter?

    These terms are for internal use and for car geeks like us to debate. The general public has no idea or care what you call them other then the name on the trunk lid.

     

    As for the features. The public has come to expect specific things in a car. If these things are not there many people will pass no matter if they understand the realities or not.
    this is part of the perceived value they see in a car.

     

    Many people can afford a Fusion or Hyundai but they dream of a Audi. They may not get the attributes of a real Audi but they can get the DOHC and the LED lights that the Audi has. The key to selling a car is perceived value and if you think you are getting a better car you will buy it.

    This is nothing new as Chevy offered the OHV V8 back when you could only get it in the Cadillac and Olds in the GM line up. Also they went to fins in 57 as this is what the more expensive cars had. Back then they marketed the 57 Chevy as being like a Cadillac in  many ways.

     

    There are two ways to build a car. You can give people what they need or you can give them what they want. If give a choice they will always take what they want or perceive to be better no matter how good or bad it is.

    The first thing you need to do when you are building a car for the market is try to meet or exceed the customers expectations or what they precise is important or of value.

     

    Case in point. We all could live our lives easily in a Chevy Spark. It will get us to work and back and do about all we need on this side of a pick up truck. This is the same argument of push rods and anything else that is out of style. But if all Chevy sold was the Spark they would not sell a lot of cars.  So they offer a full line to meet the needs and wants of people. Generally people try to buy the most car for the money they have. Few people buy the base car but most try to load them up with many things they really don't need but things they want.

     

    Same applies here as you can either give the public what they want or you can lose the sale to the company that will give them what they want.
     

    You have to look at the big picture here. There is more to this than just what they need as what they want or expect plays an even greater part.

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    Based on what I've seen of the prototypes running around, I have high hopes for the newest Malibu. With that said, I wouldn't be surprised if GM found a way to screw it up. It seems as if for every step forward they take with the Malibu, they make some sort of compromise that keeps them a few steps from leading the class. Over and over again. 

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    Based on what I've seen of the prototypes running around, I have high hopes for the newest Malibu. With that said, I wouldn't be surprised if GM found a way to screw it up. It seems as if for every step forward they take with the Malibu, they make some sort of compromise that keeps them a few steps from leading the class. Over and over again. 

     

    GM needs to get over the 90 - 95% complete product is a good product mentality. Guess what it is that 5 - 10% that magazines pick on and harp on the biggest.

     

    I want the engineers, accountants, managers to give 100% just like they gave for the Corvette.

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    Based on what I've seen of the prototypes running around, I have high hopes for the newest Malibu. With that said, I wouldn't be surprised if GM found a way to screw it up. It seems as if for every step forward they take with the Malibu, they make some sort of compromise that keeps them a few steps from leading the class. Over and over again. 

     

    GM needs to get over the 90 - 95% complete product is a good product mentality. Guess what it is that 5 - 10% that magazines pick on and harp on the biggest.

     

    I want the engineers, accountants, managers to give 100% just like they gave for the Corvette.

     

     

    That's why I don't want to see rear drum brakes on a Malibu... on a Cruze... maybe.

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    took a malibu out for a spin again when i had my pile of sht (Cobalt) in for recalls a couple weeks ago.

     

    I've been positive about the car before, but it really stood out as uninspired and half baked and dated this time.  Maybe its because of other competitors I drove since.

     

    So many basic things wrong with the car, even still its a decent car.  Competition is too fierce and better in different things.  You can't have a family car with all the flaws like the Malibu has.

     

    no back seat (but there is almost a foot of nothing under the hood)

    weird styling from some angles despite the nice beak, its not cohesive

    bad interior / dash design and other crappy seat materials on most of the trim levels

    cramped front seats and low dash, low pancake roof

    2.5 can get raspy, where is the 8 speed or CVT?  Where is the 1.8t?

    poor marketing, poor pricing and trim level / features packaging (not even a USB port on the LS???)

    nissan, honda, toyota aggressively lease their cars, GM does not for the Malibu.

     

    Why no new platform?  all new and not half baked carry over.  Look at ATS/CTS Caddy has a new platform and look at how awesome that turns out.  Yet your bread and butter product in the most competitive segment gets an antique platform.

     

    Malibu can still exist with Impala, Impala will be around in its new style for a while now, but Impala is still going to be larger and heavier and have more lux and powertrain options.  Malibu can be lighter, more efficient, but still have room and offer a nice large interior too.  It will still leave room for the Cruze to grow a bit too.

     

    When we were getting our ford fixed, we had an altima rental and you know, it really did well at some basic things that i think are most important to a lot of average buyers.  It was huge inside (kids and wife thought it was spacious and comfy).  It got great mpg (pushing 35 for awhile until we got it rear ended), and when you didn't ride it hard, it was responsive and quiet and moved out ok.

     

    Passat and Fusion are my favorite two cars in the segment, like the Legacy and Mazda6 too. Altima I see why people get them.  New Sonata is terrible.  You see the Malibu gets lost in the shuffle.  New spy photos look promising.

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    Well this is why I believe things will be different this time.

     

    The last two Malibu's were done under duress. The 08 was really just a better car on the same platform with a lot of help from Bob Lutz to make it more appealing. Let put it this way he did a lot with so little to work with. It helped the others in the segment were also nothing that engaging.

     

    Now on the Bu we have now. I is simple it was a an old design carried over till they could get it out to buy time till they could get a new platform. It was a car cooked up under several different people and it lost the Lutz factor that could have put a little more lipstick on this pig.

     

    Today GM is not the same GM of old. They now have money and are making money again. They had the time to get the new platform done. The folks overseeing this car are the same people who are over seeing the new product like the Impala and the coming Camaro and other recently new products of GM that have shown marked improvements in all areas.

     

    Folks we are coming out of a transitional period and there had to be come compromise and some delays as so many things needed down and there is only so much money for so many programs at a specific time. The man power alone can not so it all either.

     

    These are not excuses but rather the nature of the business. Like many of us at home we would like to concrete the drive, build the pool and build a new 10 car garage for our new Corvette Collection we bought at Barret Jackson. But like the reality we may be able to so many of these things over many years but not in one.

     

    The long and short of it is this car was in the planning before the present car came out and with the new platform it will yield many good things and bring many surprises I feel to the model. Lets face it GM is now a company that is willing to let Cadillac go large with their own stuff as they should vs. just making do with what ever they can get from the other divisions. I do not see them short cutting the new Bu as it is a very important segment.

    GM 5 years ago would have taken the cheaper way out but today things are much different.

    Again this is big picture stuff and you have to consider all the factors not just the ones you know about.

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    The problem goes beyond Malibu and to GM's over product planning.  The Impala starts at $27,000 while the Toyota Avalon is $32,000.  A Buick LaCrosse is $33,000 (because Buick is not a luxury car or even a premium car really, it costs what the Avalon and Azera cost) while a ES350 is $40,000.  The Malibu gets squeezed because the bigger GM front drive sedans sell cheap.  The Impala should be $30,000 base, the Lacrosse $36,000 base.  They need to open up the $23-30,000 space for the Malibu (and Verano can be in there too because it is small).

     

    Once they do that they can focus on the car, but the midsize segment already has 9-speed automatics, self parallel parking cars, all wheel drive, turbos all over the place, several good looking cars, several 35-38 mpg cars, etc.  Not sure where they go with the Malibu, unless it is pushing over 40 mpg with a 10 speed automatic and a 200 hp 1.8 turbo with all wheel drive and 10 airbags and a 100k mile warranty, what are they going to do that isn't already done.

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    Well GM is in the process of realigning their products and platforms.

    Future Cadillac's will be more expensive as will the Buicks that will fill in the gap left by Cadillac. This will bring room for the Chevy line to spread out a bit. With the loss of the SS it will give the Impala room to expand and offer more options it could not at the price point it was held too.

     

    As for what can they offer  the list could go on for ever but the key is what can they package into the car to remain at a Value price point. Chevy is the most difficult car to market and price as when you have more room you can all sorts of things but when it is being held to a price you much offer the things most valued or perceived by the customer that brings value to the line.

     

    GM with their trickle down technology can also bring things from the Buick and Cadillac lines that the development cost is already covered on. Things like AC seats and heated steering wheels etc.

     

    Package it up in a good solid looking package with above average quality and they will bit on it. We have seen this with the present Cuze.

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    The problem goes beyond Malibu and to GM's over product planning.  The Impala starts at $27,000 while the Toyota Avalon is $32,000.  A Buick LaCrosse is $33,000 (because Buick is not a luxury car or even a premium car really, it costs what the Avalon and Azera cost) while a ES350 is $40,000.  The Malibu gets squeezed because the bigger GM front drive sedans sell cheap.  The Impala should be $30,000 base, the Lacrosse $36,000 base.  They need to open up the $23-30,000 space for the Malibu (and Verano can be in there too because it is small).

     

    Once they do that they can focus on the car, but the midsize segment already has 9-speed automatics, self parallel parking cars, all wheel drive, turbos all over the place, several good looking cars, several 35-38 mpg cars, etc.  Not sure where they go with the Malibu, unless it is pushing over 40 mpg with a 10 speed automatic and a 200 hp 1.8 turbo with all wheel drive and 10 airbags and a 100k mile warranty, what are they going to do that isn't already done.

     

    The Lacrosse started at around $25k when it was introduced years ago... it is The Jeffersons of the GM lineup right now just like the CTS on a steady march up-market. If you think the Lacrosse doesn't count as a premium car, you really need your head examined.  The Impala has moved up-market too, but it changed platforms, markets, and capabilities drastically, so that is to be expected where as the Lacrosse has largely stayed the same in platform and purpose.  Most retail Lacrosses sell at a fairly high transaction price, with customers opting for the V6, AWD, and leather. 

     

    Keep in mind that Chevy has one extra car in the lineup compared to competing brands.  Ford has the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Taurus. Toyota has the Yaris, Corolla, Camry, Avalon. Nissan has the Versa, Sentra, Altima, Maxima. Hyundai has the Accent, Elantra, Sonata, Azera, (Genesis is Hyundai's rump lux brand). VW has the Golf, Jetta, Passat.

     

    Chevy has the Spark, Sonic, Cruze, Malibu, and Impala. Each of Chevy's cars straddle the segments of the competition due to pricing.  A Sonic can be competition to both a Fiesta and Focus, a Cruze can be competition for a Focus and a Fusion, an Impala can be competition for a Fusion or Taurus. It all depends on a customer's value judgement regarding size. 

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    Spark = nothing

     

    Sonic = Fiesta

     

    Cruze = Focus

     

    Malibu = Fusion

     

    Impala = Taurus

     

    SS = nothing

     

    At least that is how Chevy sizes them up

     

    The match ups are behind on the Cruze and Bu as GM is behind in terms of product and the new models will soon arrive.

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    Maybe Chevy doesn't need an extra model, maybe they need better models.  Or maybe they need more body styles, like a Cruze Coupe.  I don't really know what the solution is, I think Chevy's lineup is more about quantity of products, but not so much quality, and each model comes in one body style, except for the Sonic which has sedan and hatch.   Honda and Mazda have only a few models, but they get them all right, Chevy needs to get the cars right and they haven't gotten the Malibu right in 18 years, so I doubt they get it right this time.

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    That may be how Chevy is doing it.. but in the marketplace the Sonic is playing against both the Fiesta and Focus on price (and in the Sonic's favor, the Focus just got cheapened out big time).  A Sonic LT 5-door automatic is $18,490, a Focus SE 5-door automatic is $19,045, the price difference in the sedans is similar.  Sonic RS tops out at $24,000 and Focus Titanium at $24,560.  That tells me that Chevy may be sizing the Sonic against the Fiesta, but they're pricing it against the Focus.  

     

    The Cruze starts at $16,100 yes, but you can option it all the way up to $29k if you get the diesel with nav and a sunroof. That's clearly Fusion Hybrid territory (Fusion Hybrid SE is $26k) that the Focus doesn't play in.  The Fusion starts at $22,5 (Malibu starting price too) and gets nearly to $33,700 if you go crazy.... and as already mentioned, the Impala starts at $27k which is what the Taurus does.    The SS's competitor from Ford is the Taurus SHO. 

     

    Can't base segments just off of size because often times people buy cars for how much room they can get for their dollar.  With a set amount they're willing to pay, that means they can often cross multiple size segments.

     

    "I want to spend about $23k" puts Focus, Fusion, Sonic, Cruze, Malibu, Civic, Accord all on the same shopping list until other attributes are selected. At $28k the competition is even fiercer.  Chevy is casting the widest net, but is suffering for it with a less than 100% middle entry. 

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    Maybe Chevy doesn't need an extra model, maybe they need better models.  Or maybe they need more body styles, like a Cruze Coupe.  I don't really know what the solution is, I think Chevy's lineup is more about quantity of products, but not so much quality, and each model comes in one body style, except for the Sonic which has sedan and hatch.   Honda and Mazda have only a few models, but they get them all right, Chevy needs to get the cars right and they haven't gotten the Malibu right in 18 years, so I doubt they get it right this time.

     

    Even with age against it, I would still pick a Cruze over an Elantra or Civic or Focus.  It's not because I'm some fanboi, it is just a more solid feeling car.  The quality of the Malibu or Cruze or Impala isn't an issue, they are all fine there.  The Malibu is just out classed in size and efficiency compared to its competition. 

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    The fact is the value segment has only so much room and they have to offer so many different models. It is the 10 pounds of crap in a 5 pound bag deal.

     

    Ford and Chevy are limited up to $50K on their FWD and Sedans. You get over that and there are just too many good cars to just settle to buy a Ford or Chevy unless it is a Shelby, ZL1 or Corvette.

     

    The reality is the SS will go away and this will let the Impala stretch to a higher price with some performance options lifted from the XTS?

     

    The next Malibu will be more expensive but it will be a smaller Impala. I see the Impala being the V6 car and the Malibu will be the Mid range 4 as they already are.

     

    The Cruse is really a car targeted at the smaller lower price group but Lutz wanted the Cruze to be the best equipped car in class. This raised the price but in the end it also sold more cars to people wanting a better car in this class..

     

    The reality is there is going to be some over lap in Ford and Chevy on their models as neither has enough room to not have some overlap.

     

    As for Chrysler they just don't have enough models to over lap yet. The issues of not having a really sold small car line has hurt them for years and even now the Dart and 200 are much better than what they had but are still not even close to class leading cars.

    With all the changes in Café that are coming we will still see a lot of changed to come. Smaller engines and even smaller cars will become an issue and keep everything in flux.

     

    I laughed the  other day where I found a Chevy ad from 1957 with the entire car line up. They showed about 15 plus versions of the 57 Chevy and the Corvette n a parking lot. That was the line up to models with a bunch of trim levels on one.  times have changed and we are not finished seeing the changes.

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    That's actually exactly the direction the industry needs to go in; MORE variation on LESS lines.

    Having 4 or 6 sedans under the same brand separated by 4" in overall length is poor resource allocation.

     

    I have a hard time justifying both a Spark & a Sonic. Fold into one, add 2 more body styles. MUCH better return on the dollar.

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    Un fortunately the world has changed and people today demand more from everyone. Just look at the menu at Mc Donald's and think back to when all they had was a burger Fish and a fry.

     

    The issue is in the value segment that Chevy plays in it is the be all for everyone anymore. The driving force in the future is the need for more MPG balanced with keeping a car as affordable as possible yet not losing quality. Then packaging it into something that is livable.

     

    Not an easy task anymore. I can assure you if a product planer could get away with it they would love to do one model and make 72 variations of it.

    But then again that is getting to where the platforms are now. We are down to what 3-4 at Chevy in the cars and they are making how many cars out of them?

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    I can assure you if a product planer could get away with it they would love to do one model and make 72 variations of it.

    I can assure you; for the same dollar spent we could have more than just CUVs and sedans. In fact, judiciously planned; it could save money. Long-term/big picture planning is not at the forefront of the auto industry.

     

    I see your penchant for the hyperbolic remains steadfast: I said : 'make one (better, more varied) line out of the Sonic / Spark' and you said '72 variations of one car'.  

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    That's actually exactly the direction the industry needs to go in; MORE variation on LESS lines.

    Having 4 or 6 sedans under the same brand separated by 4" in overall length is poor resource allocation.

     

    I have a hard time justifying both a Spark & a Sonic. Fold into one, add 2 more body styles. MUCH better return on the dollar.

    We agree here.  All those sedans overlap, and there are hardly any other body styles. The old days of BMW did it well when you had a 3 series sedan, coupe, wagon and convertible.  4 body styles of one model.  They muddied it up now, but I think fewer model lines with more body styles would help Chevy, rather than all these similar vehicles overlapping.

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    ^ BMW certainly isn't the template I had in mind- the 3-series had variety but the other lines did not.
    And it's not just Chevy by far, with that we're right back to looking at BMW; the SUV lines all overlap, too.

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