• Jan 7, 2008
The Chevrolet Malibu continues to do better than GM expected: the General moved 12,172 of the new model in December 2007, a 6.7% improvement over the same month last year. There are two factories currently building the car, and demand for the 2007 North American Car of the Year finalist is such that dealers still can't get enough of them.

It's a long way from the "we only expected to sell 500 Malibus in November" malarkey. The mid-sized segment champions probably aren't worried just yet, but they'll be watching. In December of '07, Toyota sold 38,831 Camrys, Honda sold 31,255 Accords, and Nissan sold 25,171 Altimas. The lack of Malibu inventory makes a good marketing and perception case, but GM won't want it to go on too long. The segment -- represented by what one Autoblog commenter called the "Camcordimabu" -- is highly competitive, and those buyers don't like to be told "Try us back in a month and we'll see if we can get you one."

Analysts say that what happens over the next few months will tell the tale. But really, this is about the next few years; the Camry and Accord have been doing around a thousand units a day, each, every single day for years. The Malibu will need to show it has that kind of endurance, and this is a good way to start. Still, GM better have a plan B in place to build as many Malibus as the market demands if it has any aspirations at all of swiping the Camry's title of Best-Selling Car in the U.S.

[Source: Seattle Times]


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  • 55 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Scott, Instead of dissing the Malibu and insulting other posters, why don't you brush up on your grammar. The Malibu ain't no fruity car :)
      • 7 Years Ago
      My local dealership in Bergen County, NJ, has about 6 on the lot - all sold - they don't even bother to keep one in the showroom as they are sold before they arrive.

      I also am being bombarded with advertisements, yet I've yet to see one on the road. Unfortunately, your average Joe consumer who can't/won't wait for one to arrive will head straight to Accord/Camry/Altima and leave the lot with keys in hand.

      I have time on my side, and will anxiously await delivery of an Imperial Blue LT2 for mid May, when I will need to replace my beloved Millennia. This car in looks/feel/ride is a great value for 23K.

      BTW - I think the rear 3/4 is one of the best angles, and I like the simplicity of the tail-lights (C&D compare them to a combination of both old and new Passat - which is quite accurate).

      • 7 Years Ago
      this is another loser from GM, it will be dead this time next year... accod/camry/sonata/atima are heads ups in this class...

      to comment ...Zack..you are 28 and if you needed a sedan this size, you would be interested in a Maliloser? don't know where you are from, but no 28 year old around so. cal would be caught dead in this GM dinosaur///// ever heard of Altima 3.5? Do some research before assuming this is a good alterative.......RIP GM.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Im sorry I live in so. Cal And i love the Malibu. So i have no idea what your talking about.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Wow, your from So Cal? Thats so cool.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I guess, depending on how you look at it, this is a nice problem to have.

      However, this should not continue to happen. Waiting list for the Enclave, waiting list for the 'Bu. I think it is safe to come into a launch with as many vehicles as you can, and adjust production up or down as needed.

      In other words, increase the "start build" day by 30 days ahead of the "launch date". You need to be rolling as many cars as you can, not taking reservations.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Diehard GM fans try to spin this as a positive when in reality it's not, especially in the midsize sedan segment the Malibu competes in.

      You can't get away from the Malibu's advertising, but you can't get one either. There are none rolling around here on the streets of the 5th largest city in the US. There are hardly any on the lots to look at. With so many excellent choices in this class why would anyone wait for a Malibu?

      GM made a grave error in hyper promoting this car before they could provide a suitable supply and it is going to cost them sales. By this time next year they will be yesterday's news and dealers will be slashing prices just as they do on nearly everything GM makes whether it's really good or not.

      GM is shooting themselves in the face just like they did the Enclave and the same thing will happen with the upcoming G8.

      People want these cars but the dealers don't have any to sell. Stupid.
        • 7 Years Ago
        get your facts straight. THe Enclave just had its best sales month of the year in December so dont give us crap about people not being able to get one. As for none being on the streets I have seen 3 already in America's 6th largest city.

        Note to autoblog and others: this car CANT outsell the camry and accord since there isnt enough capacity. Its estimated that GM can build 250k of these a year which is enough to threaten Altima but not Accord and Camry. GM has routinely sold more than 15k of the old model in previous years so rest assured they have the desire to exceed that with this car. Its a little too early to panic but the media has to turn any positive GM story into a negative sooner or later. How about we wait 6 months before calling this car a doomed effort? Three months out the gate and people are saying GM has blown this launch. I guess it would have been better to flood the market with cars without proven demand.
        • 7 Years Ago
        you can also add, ferrari and porsche to the list of complete failures, unable to meet demand for their product

        and dont forget the GTR, which is sure to 'flop' ridiculously hard!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have an Aura and none of the switchgear is cheap. Stop making stuff up just because you want to discredit a solid effort by an american automaker you hate. The stalks, buttons and dials in the Aura and Malibu are high quality and move as such.

      People buying cars in this class do not want $30k cars. Its great that you can get nav on accord and camry but few buyers car which is why 90% of those cars are sold without it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Cars always echo inside because glass reflects sound. It wasn't the hard plastic causing that.

        BT is a deal breaker for me, BTW.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The toys (Nav, Bluetooth) are just that. The everyman doesn't need that crap. Personally I'm quite happy with having my phone in my pocket and my earpiece on my head while driving. I personally would like BT if possible, but it's hardly a deal breaker.

        That, and those who want this car will not simply walk down the street to the Toyonda dealerships because it's not in stock.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I drove a rental Aura that was pretty much maxed out on the options and hated it. I can't stand the hard plastic door linings. The fricking car caused the radio and conversations to echo because of all the hard plastic in it. I hope the Malibu isn't the same way.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The storage lot for the Honda dealer is full of Accords. If I was interested in a Malibu and was told "Here is the only one we have.", I'd probably be headed to the Honda dealer.
        • 7 Years Ago
        If you buy $22K items based upon availabilty, you deserve to go broke.

        I'm not saying this won't cost them sales, but in the case you talk about, if you really know one is better than the other you'd be smart to rent for two months until the right car comes in instead of buying your next 5-year ball and chain based upon expiration of a free rental car period.
        • 7 Years Ago
        My three closest Chevy dealers have a total of 15 Malibus, only three of which with the V6.

        The two nearest Toyota dealers have 170 Camrys.

        The two nearest Honda dealers have 174 Accords.

        The two nearest Nissan dealers have 150 Altimas.

        The two nearest Hyundai dealers have 189 Sonatas.

        A $22K appliance sedan isn't a toy you can wait 2 months to special order exactly the way you want. It's the car you need by the end of the weekend before your rental coverage ends. This is costing Chevy a lot of sales.
        • 7 Years Ago
        In terms of getting you to work, pretty much all cars in a class are interchangeable. The distinctions that'd make you choose one over the other - color availability, aesthetics, steering feel, better radio, which wheels you like better - frankly don't matter except between your years and aren't going to make anyone broke. Except the automaker if he can't deliver what you want in time.

        When your car gets totalled and you have 7 days rental coverage to find a new one, 5 of which you need to go to work and can't play car shopper... yes you really do need to buy on availability. For people who aren't car hobbyists, this isn't even painful.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This car is good, very good, 4cyl, 2lt model, you simply cannot go wrong with this car, way to go GM............+
      Christopher
      • 7 Years Ago
      ok so it doesn't have blue tooth... it probably will soon enough (not that we should be holding phone conversations while driving) no nav who really cares.. why would i want to pay 1500-2500 dollars for factory nav when i could go to best buy and get a tom tom or garmin for 300 dollars. such things as this would never be a deal breaker for me... the blue tooth.. i could see that being a deal breaker if a benz didn't offer it to some executive in a suit.. but otherwise no. I MUST HAVE MY PHONE BLUE TOOTH SYNCED TO MY CAR I NEED IT I WANT IT I WONT BUY A CAR THAT DOESNT OFFER IT MY PHONE CALLS ARE VERY IMPORTANT WE ARE TALKIN NATIONAL SECURITY HERE! WAH!!! he he he he he
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Christopher
        Some guy in a suit? My cell phone has Bluetooth and it was $49.

        Those "add-on" navigation options are pretty ghetto. That's like saying "Why go to a car stereo shop to get TVs professionally installed when you could just go to Walmart and get those little clip-on ones for $50?" There's obviously a big difference in quality and aesthetics.

        Have you ever used voice activated Honda navigation? In my opinion it's well worth the $2000. Climate control is totally integrated, as is voice directions. Press a button on the steering wheel and say "find gas station" and it gives you a list of options, you pick one, and you get audible directions... and it's updated every year. I'd like to see your $300 Tomtom do that. You can also program phone numbers in to the car, and make and receive calls with your phone in your pocket. If someone calls and the radio's on, it attenuates the radio and tells you that you have an incoming call. Give it a voice command or hit a button on the wheel and it picks up. Just start talking like you would if they were in the car (their voice comes through the stereo and your voice is picked up by a mic in the ceiling) and when you're done hit a button on the steering wheel to end the call and it restores radio volume.

        Pretty slick... and I can get that in an Accord, and have been able to for a long time.

        If they're going to market it as a competitor to the Accord, it should offer the same amount of options, OR be significantly more value for money. None of this is new either, so I can't imagine it'd be expensive for them to do. I test drove an 03 Accord coupe V6 with this nav system in it. 2003!

        Oh well - I guess the two cars will remain for two totally different crowds.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think GM is very smart to keep production in check. it keeps the quality and demand up.

      for those to young to know, this is a page ripped right from the Honda playbook.

      before the late 80's, Hondas weren't things you just went down and picked up. the dealer might have one of each model in the showroom (maybe), and these were (of course) loaded with every possible Honda accessory; each one also had a "sold" sign on the windshield. you essentially got on the list, and hoped your car would show up in a few months. of course, the price was always MSRP+++ dealer markup, and any thought of negotiating below that point would be met with great laughter. after all, you were buying a HONDA; where else could you go and still buy a two speed, semi-automatic transmission in 1980?

      the one thing domestic manufacturers have finally learned is profit is more important than numbers; keep the quality and demand up, and folks will pay attention.

      it's a rather interesting turn to see the Japanese manufacturers put quality in the back seat, and volume up front.

      and to those who think Malibu production and sales are lower than GM says: grow up. just because you are not personally seeing vehicles doesn't mean they are not selling. I've been to two different Chevrolet dealers when they get Malibu shipments. both usually get two truckloads per week; 95% of the cars are presold, and have gone home with their proud new owners within 24 hours.

      AZMike

      • 7 Years Ago
      Oh how I wish I had the finances to get myself into one of these...
        • 7 Years Ago
        That hideous looking thing could only possibly be sold in NA. Awkward rear light assembly and over the top grille.
        • 7 Years Ago
        ditto.

        There is something about this damn Malibu! I dont even like cars like this!
      • 7 Years Ago
      the only thing that sucks is u have to visit a chevy dealer (yuck) to get one. I like this car, but car dealers with prices in this range are the creepiest folks aound...up there with ford dealerships...and well most all others....why does car purchasing still seem to be so painfull?
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