• Nov 25, 2007

GM spent $150 million on the ad campaign for the new Malibu. Intriguingly, though -- and after all the work that went into the car, all the hype, all the ads (we dig the one with the jogger running into the car, even though it's not a new Malibu), and all the great reviews -- GM only expected to sell 500 of them in November, the car's first full retail month. That's right: GM sent 3,500 of them to dealers. And they only expected 500 of them to get off the lot, down the road burning gas.

Well, as George W. Bush said, GM "misunderestimated." GM's on track to sell nearly the entire allotment, with 3,000 cars looking to be on the move. Lutz said dealers don't have any because they keep selling out of them. The same phenomenon is being reported for the Buick Enclave. which is not only exceeding sales expectations, but swiping the expected younger buyers from the Saturn Outlook. Hey Mr. Lutz: that's because the Enclave looks curvy and cool, and the Saturn, uh, doesn't.

In a Wall Street Journal article about the perception gap between American cars and imports, GM chief Rick Wagoner said "Building a better car and assuming people will buy it doesn't work." To you, Mr. Wagoner, we would like to present the Malibu and Enclave as Exhibits A and B, and retort: wanna bet? If they prove to be as reliable as we know you can make them, then you shouldn't have any problem selling them. Now, get us a Camaro that looks like the concept, a CTS Coupe, a hot Solstice coupe, and a Volt by 2010, and you might be able to shift your concerns to building inventory as opposed to moving it.

[Source: Reuters]



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  • 57 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's great for GM, glad to see their getting their act together.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ditto that David. I might actually purchase this car. I haven't seen one in person but it looks nice and all the reviews are great and side by side with a Camry this looks very attractive. The harder choice is between the new Accord and the Malibu. It would be nice if the Malibu had a little more power on the 4-cylinder motor like the Accord and a six-speed auto (later in 2008 I hear). I think I will need to make that call when I test drive both cars.

      Personally I think it is great that the Malibu is exceeding (even apparently low) expectations. GM may be of diminished importance to the American economy from days past but it is still a bellwether US company. Some of these recent moves have made me consider buying into GM stock. To Rick Wagoner... "It's the product stupid." If you don't have good product, marketing can't overcome that. Buyers are a lot smarter these days.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Camcordimabu...This car is a hit and will take it's place with those others.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wagoner is right, as shown by the commenters who get on here and trash domestics. Heck, other people show the same biases by saying about the GT-R "It's still a Nissan".

      Selling out your entire 3,000 Malibus in the first month doesn't indicate the cars is going to be a runaway success. It's a good start though.

      I think the Enclave stuff might have to do with the reports on here that GM was cutting Enclave production, despite the sales.
      Brad
      • 7 Years Ago
      General rule. Never buy a domestic car in the first year of a model change. By the way, look at a picture of a Camry next to a 2008 Malibu. What? Both are made in Tenn.? Almost exactly the same. GM, What is your fixation on round tail lights? I am sick of them! I have seen this car. My first impression was that many corners were cut as far as quality.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The new Malibu looks cool and is about the same price as a Fusion. No wonder they are sold out of them. A v6 camry is over $30,000 while the Malibu is about $4000 cheaper.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My wife and I took an 08 Ltz out for a test ride and loved it!We left a deposit on one.They only had one and it was sold already.As soon as my wife and I got up two other people where ordering them as well.We currently own a 2003 Altima that we have not had much trouble with.But the car is very" tinny".dings easy ,road nosie is loud.I did notice the doors alot more solid on the Malibu!I've bought nothing but Chevy trucks and the 1994 SS impala new.so I'm happy to see them come out with a car my wife really likes.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice rental car. The Aura is better looking, cheaper and isn't a cheapo Chevy
      • 7 Years Ago
      BWAAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA. Wait. wait. seriously? 500? Honda shifts 30,000 new accords from mid sept to mid october (their first month) and GM's estimate is 1/60th that? Seriously? BWAAHHHAAA. marketing bs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the New Mailbu looks pretty nice with the new grill. However, from the time I became interested in cars i still have my mind set that GM cars are overly large, overpriced and under performing. Its the image that they have given themselves since they haven't been able to compete with other manufactures who are pushing technology while maintaining lower prices.

      Buick is for old people. And the Caddy, well it used to be an old mans car but personally they have managed to change there image into a more sporty appeal but yet still to expense for someone my age ^mid 20's.

      I am in the market for a new car and well i do not know what i want. I was very interested the the BMW 135i but now they have overpriced that car. So i'm still looking for something that fits.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Really?

        The most expensive variant of the most expensive sub-compact car (and it's from one of the most expensive brands) appeals to you? Wow, you have rare tastes there.

        What did you expect really? You thought it would be affordable?

        Honestly, I don't get the 1-series. Unless you have a small garage, it's a waste. It doesn't get gas mileage like a sub-compact car, and it won't cost to insure what a sub-compact car costs, let alone cost what a sub-compact car costs to buy. Yeah, it might handle a little better than the 3 series, being 150 lbs lighter and a bit shorter, but the 3 series handles plenty well anyway.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Good job GM! I think the 500 unit sales goal is pretty silly, but they could have said 1000 units and have sounded as silly by how they blew the numbers out. It makes sense though that they not predict that they will shoot the lights out at the start seeing as how they have been burned by that before. The Aura is a similarly well executed car, but has been just ok in sales. This must be why they were a little gun shy on their predictions.

      I saw a new Malibu driving last week and it looks way better on the road than it did on the display stand. This car has presence and people take notice of it. This is the hit GM has needed for so long!
      • 7 Years Ago
      that's a nice looking car
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