Frankly, we wouldn't be surprised.
First, it was the Chevrolet Volt, Cruze, and Impala, and now it appears yet another sedan from the bowtie brand could be sent to the chopping block. To be fully honest, we wouldn't be in the least bit surprised to see this happen. According to Automotive News, the Chevy Malibu mid-size sedan is due to permanently retire in 2024. Yes, that's still nearly four years away, but the Malibu was once an integral part of the brand's North American lineup. The nameplate was revived back in 1997 following a 14-year absence. The Chevy Malibu can actually be traced all the way back to 1964.
For now, Malibu sales remain strong, but they have been dropping. In 2016, total US Malibu sales reached 227,881 units. Last year, that number dropped to 144,542. This year's final tally will likely be even worse.
However, the decision has been made to let the current generation model, which was updated for 2019, to simply run its course. No successor will be planned. The Malibu is currently built in Fairfax, Kansas, the same manufacturing facility that builds the Cadillac XT4. However, it does not appear Chevy is giving up on sedans entirely, like its cross-town rival Ford.
An indirect Malibu successor is possible and it's likely to be an all-electric vehicle. Remember, GM has big EVs plans with 20 new vehicles set to arrive by 2023. This does not include hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants of existing models. A Tesla Model 3 rival from Chevy actually sounds pretty interesting.
In the meantime, the Malibu still has a few years of life left in it, unlike the Ford Fusion. We wouldn't be surprised to see it receive one last refresh, say for 2022, before it's discontinued. This is only a rumor for now as Chevy has not confirmed anything, but it's a rumor that makes sense. The Malibu has done a fine job and it's a solid mid-size family sedan for the money, but times are changing.
General Motors has already learned a harsh lesson for refusing to change with them, hence its aggressive EV plans.
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