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AutoBlog: GM to discontinue mild hybrid Malibu, Vue, Aura for 2010 model year

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Filed under: Hybrids/Alternative, Sedans/Saloons, Green, Chevrolet, GM, Saturn

malibu-hybrid-1280-09_opt.jpg
2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

It's being reported that General Motors has decided to discontinue its existing mild hybrids going into the 2010 model year. The Chevy Malibu, and Saturn Aura and Vue have been available with GM's belt-alternator-starter (BAS) system since 2007, but have never sold in any significant volumes. The system primarily provided automatic start/stop functionality with a little bit of electric boost and regeneration. The system was limited by a weak motor and 36V battery system.

We checked with GM's hybrid spokesman Brian Corbett about the status of the mild hybrids. Corbett told AutoblogGreen that currently there are no plans for retail sales of any of the mild hybrid models.

"There will be some MY2010 production. We will fulfill some MY2010 fleet orders for the Malibu Hybrid. As part of the Memorandum of Understanding between GM and Penske Automotive Group, Saturn plans to offer the Aura, Vue and Outlook models in 2010. Specific details of which versions (i.e. hybrids) has not yet been determined. "

At the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, GM announced a more powerful, second generation BAS using a lithium-ion battery. The second generation BAS wlll debut in 2011 and should provide a more significant increase in mileage over conventional models, hopefully attracting more customers. GM sent AutoblogGreen a statement on the Malibu's discontinuation (reason: "elevated inventory levels of the 2009 model"). Read it after the jump.



Photos Copyright ©2008 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

[source: GM, All Cars Electric]

Continue reading GM to discontinue mild hybrid Malibu, Vue, Aura for 2010 model year

GM to discontinue mild hybrid Malibu, Vue, Aura for 2010 model year originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Jun 2009 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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If they can get the BAS gen 2 system to do everything they have been saying it should do, and be reliable, and cost close to the same as the gen1, they should sell like hotcakes.

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If they can get the BAS gen 2 system to do everything they have been saying it should do, and be reliable, and cost close to the same as the gen1, they should sell like hotcakes.

Which is what they should do.

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...which is the sad thing. Had this economic mess come a couple of years later GM might have been much better able to handle it, with much better product brought to market.

Chris

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No big loss IMO. Lots of extra complexity for very little fuel savings. The fact that the Cobasys battery packs installed in the '07 VUEs w/ the BAS were leaky, corroding, pieces of junk kinda ruined it also.

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Did they really sell many of these anyway?

Not really, but it's hard to tell if it was an issue with demand, or supply. There were some notable battery supplier issues IIRC, and they couldn't readily supply dealers with the cars anyway. Shame, at least the first iteration of the Vue mild hybrid was actually fairly advantageous according to the numbers. The cars (Malibu, Aura hybrids) not so much...

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Not really, but it's hard to tell if it was an issue with demand, or supply. There were some notable battery supplier issues IIRC, and they couldn't readily supply dealers with the cars anyway. Shame, at least the first iteration of the Vue mild hybrid was actually fairly advantageous according to the numbers. The cars (Malibu, Aura hybrids) not so much...

I had seen a few as company cars but not many as private personel cars. They just struck me as more PR than anything.

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The idea behind this was great, much like BMW's Efficient Dynamics, but I think GM made a silly mistake in labeling this as Hybrid. It drew immediate comparisons with the Prius, and since this system is not a full hybrid GM exposed itself to unnecessary criticism.

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The idea behind this was great, much like BMW's Efficient Dynamics, but I think GM made a silly mistake in labeling this as Hybrid. It drew immediate comparisons with the Prius, and since this system is not a full hybrid GM exposed itself to unnecessary criticism.

And with the similiarly sized Fusion Hybrid out for '10 and getting all the press, GM could see the Malibu Hybrid wasn't competitive, so they gave up..

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What is the development status of Gen II BAS? As other programs of GM on indefinite hold?

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What is the development status of Gen II BAS? As other programs of GM on indefinite hold?

Probably another of those 'wait until next year' things..

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Not really, but it's hard to tell if it was an issue with demand, or supply. There were some notable battery supplier issues IIRC, and they couldn't readily supply dealers with the cars anyway. Shame, at least the first iteration of the Vue mild hybrid was actually fairly advantageous according to the numbers. The cars (Malibu, Aura hybrids) not so much...

I can't imagine there was much demand. These cars posted horrible numbers compared to the competition (barely better than some competitor's non-hybrid 4cyls). The fact that GM paired a 4AT with them and GM took the "cheapest"... er... "least expensive" route with them shows their relative place in the world.

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I can't imagine there was much demand. These cars posted horrible numbers compared to the competition (barely better than some competitor's non-hybrid 4cyls). The fact that GM paired a 4AT with them and GM took the "cheapest"... er... "least expensive" route with them shows their relative place in the world.

They originally had a BAS paired with the CVT put in the VUE/ION, with the belt and accessory drive on the bellhousing. I remember seeing a model of this BAS engine/tranny setup at the Saturn display at the '03 Chicago Auto Show.

Probably would have had better MPG...for the whole 40K the tranny would last. :nono:

Edited by fightingbee
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oh nos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM cancels hybrids? surely the government is stepping in and taking control, telling GM to kill all performance cars. right, cause hybrids are performance cars....damn we won't have any cool cars to drive with these 10 sec hybrids gone

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good, hopefully they learned lots from gen 1. now make gen 2 so much better. either very cheap and decent, or awesome and not too expensive. ;)

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oh nos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM cancels hybrids? surely the government is stepping in and taking control, telling GM to kill all performance cars. right, cause hybrids are performance cars....damn we won't have any cool cars to drive with these 10 sec hybrids gone

Except, it's not really a hybrid. It just shuts of the engine at stop lights. And GM probably only sold about 20 of them.

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