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    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

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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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