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AUTOSHOW-GM says Malibu push will target SUV owners

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AUTOSHOW-GM says Malibu push will target SUV owners

Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:49AM EDT

FRANKFURT, Sept 11 (Reuters) - A top executive at General Motors Corp (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Tuesday that the automaker's plans marketing plan for its new Chevrolet Malibu include targeting Chevrolet and GMC sport utility vehicle owners who also own midsized cars like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

In an interview at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, Bob Lutz, the carmaker's vice chairman and product chief, said the move was necessary because the mid-sized car segment where Malibu competes is "stagnant".

"We've got to cannibalize somebody or we won't have done anything," Lutz said.

So GM plans to undertake a marketing campaign starting this fall that will focus a good part of its appeal on existing SUV customers.

"We have a huge number of Chevrolet and GMC sport utility owners who have non-GM passenger cars, usually foreign," Lutz said.

"And one of the primary appeals is going to be say, 'Hey, how about making that other vehicle in your garage a Chevrolet, too?' That's going to be a primary area of attack."

Lutz acknowledged there was a chance that some of Malibu's gains might come at the expense of Chevrolet's other mid-sized sedan, the Impala, rather than exclusively at the expense of rivals.

"We like to view them as being in different segments," Lutz said. "I'm not sure the average buyers will quite see it that way."

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher, editing by Quentin Bryar; Reuters Messaging: james.kelleher.reuters.com@reuters.net; email: james.kelleher@reuters.com; +1 312 636-8835)

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So they want to take away sales from thier own suvs or they want people to have both a GM suv and car(malibu) in their garage or am I missing the point?!

Edited by RJB
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So they want to take away sales from thier own suvs or they want people to have both a GM suv and car(malibu) in their garage or am I missing the point?!

Their aiming for people who buy a Tahoe and an Accord.

They want that Accord sale next time. They're thinking that if the customer is already in the showroom for the Tahoe, they can maybe talk them into the Malibu to replace the Accord next time around.

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RJB you are missing the point. They want the owners of their SUVs to replace their camcords with Malibus.

It makes sense, though they will have a tough time at it. Since GM is the King of SUVs, it will be interesting to see how they can get these people to check out the Malibu while their SUV is in for general service.

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