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Brian from Cheers & Gears, the GM aficionado site, sent us a link to a forum thread that is definitely of interest. Keep in mind that there's no official confirmation of any of this yet, so we're taking it with a grain of salt until we hear it from someone at GM. With that established, let's dig in.

The word from one of C&G's posters who is apparently in the know is that the next-generation, Zeta-based Impala has been delayed and will now launch in June 2010 instead of 2009 as originally planned. According to the insider, no reason has been given for the delay (if it's true), but speculation is rampant. Some think the delay is posturing in the face of new fuel economy proposals moving through Congress, while others believe that funds are possibly being diverted to the Chevy Volt program. One theory we thought sounded viable is that Chevy wants the two-mode hybrid version of the Impala to debut at the launch of the new car and not one year later, so moving the launch date back a year would line them up nicely.

[Source: Cheers & Gears]

GM Product Czar Bob Lutz revived our hopes for a bevy of Zeta-based RWD vehicles, including the Impala, earlier this week when he confirmed that plans to produce these vehicles were moving forward despite the pending fuel economy proposals and swirling political battles, but that drivetrain lineups would likley change. Obviously, we're all eager to eschew the W-platform and get on to the good stuff that the Zeta promises to offer. If the rumor is true, only three more years to go.

GM would appear to be fine regardless, as the current Impala is an incredible 20.6% up in sales for the year so far with 28,171 units sold last month (the Toyota Camry sold 37,911 and the Honda Accord 28,926 in April, just for comparison's sake).

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't like the front end in that photo, its looks old, dated and doesn't suit the rest of the car!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Maybe the realized it was too fugly and it wouldn't have a chance in the marketplace.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What is selling unexpectedly well? The Impala? Must be one of those middle America things... The only Impalas I've seen in Cali have been police cruisers.
      I posted this a few weeks back. Here on the East coast, that thing is really selling. Standing at the trainstation waiting for my wife to pick me up, six of then pulled up in 20 mins. All driven by pretty well off folks. Also shocked by the numbers the ugly duckling current gen. Malibu is doing. I think that folks are actually getting the word on the value of these cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Damn. If the Impala keep sgoing up in sales it could pass the Accord. Of cource the Accord is being redesigned next year and the Impala isn't.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Both of the posited explanations for the delay make sense. GM certainly demonstrated their ability to move more quickly by shifting resources to a high priority program (their fullsize SUV's). Doing the same thing with the Volt program, if they could actually pull the schedule in, would be a very powerfully competitive move to make. As a company, they do appear to be on the cusp of a real roll.
      far jr
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree with #1 and #2 but wait until June 2010 and the Impala will look quite long in the tooth! I also suspect Impala sales will be down next year as many Chevy buyers switch to the new Malibu as a similar sized car with a newer platform and fresher styling.
      • 8 Years Ago
      dont build this POS.
      let Buick build Park ave and Rivera, they have mmuch better line and designs.too blend what do you think you are? Toyota?
      Ben K.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Speaking of rumors, the story gets better. Do you get the impression GM changes their plans alot. That's not a bad thing, they reevaluate their strategy constantly. Here's a good example, a year ago Feb., the GM/OKC plant was idled due to slow SUV sales. OKC was competing with Oshawa in Canada for the Camaro. OKC has always been one of GM's best U.S. assembly plants with several J.D. Powers awards. GM invested $700 million at the 27 year old OKC factory just five years ago to build RWD midsize SUV's. In March of 2006 the local union made GM a proposal to save $143 million annually and the state of Oklahoma offered $200 million to retool OKC. Fan clubs and consumers would benefit from the central location at the crossroads of America, Route 66, I35 & I40. Much like Bowling Green, KY, where the Corvette is built, enthusiasts could enjoy car meets and plant tours. OKC would be a great factory for Heritage musclecars. The offer went unheeded. Now, with gas prices going up, a loyal fan base may be the only way to insure the long term success of these great cars. OKC could have been retooled sooner to begin with, since it was idled. Fans and owners deserve to be rewarded with this experience. It has been so successful at the Corvette plant. Go figure. A year and a half to go to Camaro countdown.
      • 8 Years Ago

      #7 --- It would seem unwise to compare the Impala to the Altima, etc, when it is longer than a BMW 7 series.

      I think GM is stalling on the RWD cars until they can get concessions from the UAW and CAW, so the vehicles will be profitable.
      far jr
      • 8 Years Ago
      Steve B...If that is the case, maybe middle America is a more important market than you like to think.

      Midsize car trends:
      Altima...DOWN 12.4 percent
      Camry... UP 2.2 percent
      Accord... DOWN 0.9 percent
      Mazda 6...DOWN 24.1 percent
      Fusion... DOWN 2.5 percent
      Impala...UP 17.9 percent
      The Impala is growing sales like crazy compared to the others! This trend has been taking place for months.

      GM total sales were down 2.2 percent However, this is a result of daily rental sales lowered by 36 percent. GM retail sales were actually UP 3.6 percent.

      So Impala sales are growing faster than the competition even while GM rental sales are down by 36 percent. Camry was up only 2.2 percent even with the addition of a hybrid model and a complete redesign.