Chevrolet Struggling to Make Malibu Competitive

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A complete redesign can't come fast enough.

The current Chevrolet Malibu, the one you can buy at this very instant, is not your best bet for a midsize family sedan. And Chevy knows this. When the latest model debuted in 2013, it quickly became clear its competitors had the upper hand. Specifically, the Malibu's rear seat is too small. Even an emergency refresh, which helped somewhat, hasn't boosted the Malibu's sales enough. In fact, its share of the midsize car market has slid, so far down 7 percent this year.


It's even been outsold by the Chrysler 200 and Kia Optima in the past two months alone. To help counter that decline, Chevy is now offering some serious deals, such as a $189-per-month, $1,369-down lease. But GM is fully aware this isn't the best solution. In fact, the existing Malibu is pretty much a goner in terms of making it competitive. The only realistic answer is to get the next generation Malibu out as fast as possible. More than likely, it'll debut about a year from now at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. But unlike when the current Malibu launched, GM is determined not to screw this one up. "We've got our act together here on the midsize-car segment," stated GM VP of product Mark Reuss.

He also stated that it'll have "groundbreaking design but also groundbreaking technology." Even GM design boss, Ed Welburn, said the next Malibu will "make a significant statement" with "a very passionate design." In the meantime, anyone looking for a decent, but far from perfect, family sedan, Chevy will be more than happy to sell you a Malibu at a damn decent price.

A.J. Mueller, FCA US
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