• Jun 11, 2009
2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

It's being reported that General Motors has decided to discontinue its existing mild hybrids going into the 2010 model year. The Chevy Malibu, and Saturn Aura and Vue have been available with GM's belt-alternator-starter (BAS) system since 2007, but have never sold in any significant volumes. The system primarily provided automatic start/stop functionality with a little bit of electric boost and regeneration. The system was limited by a weak motor and 36V battery system.

We checked with GM's hybrid spokesman Brian Corbett about the status of the mild hybrids. Corbett told AutoblogGreen that currently there are no plans for retail sales of any of the mild hybrid models.

"There will be some MY2010 production. We will fulfill some MY2010 fleet orders for the Malibu Hybrid. As part of the Memorandum of Understanding between GM and Penske Automotive Group, Saturn plans to offer the Aura, Vue and Outlook models in 2010. Specific details of which versions (i.e. hybrids) has not yet been determined. "
At the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, GM announced a more powerful, second generation BAS using a lithium-ion battery. The second generation BAS wlll debut in 2011 and should provide a more significant increase in mileage over conventional models, hopefully attracting more customers. GM sent AutoblogGreen a statement on the Malibu's discontinuation (reason: "elevated inventory levels of the 2009 model"). Read it after the jump.



Photos Copyright ©2008 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: GM, All Cars Electric]


GM STATEMENT:

Production of the 2010 Malibu Hybrid model is being suspended due to elevated inventory levels of the 2009 model.

The inventory levels of the 2009 Malibu Hybrid will provide adequate product in the marketplace. This decision will have no implication on other 2010 Malibu offerings or Chevrolet hybrids.

Please know service for 2008-2009 Malibu Hybrid vehicles will not be an issue due to an adequate supply of batteries obtained by General Motors. The hybrid system components continue to be covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty and all current and future Chevrolet customers will receive the usual service maintenance on remaining Malibu Hybrids.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Where is the 2 mode hybrid cars? 2 mode hybrid is wasted on SUV's and trucks where the fuel mileage in the city is matching highway fuel mileage. But both Chrysler and GM mate the 2 mode hybrid up with big motors instead of smaller motors. I admit the only Chrysler motor with cylinder deactivation is the 5.7L and keeping it in 4cyl mode saves gas. If only they would offer it in the charger and 300C where the fuel mileage would be better and offer an economy version of 2.7L 2 mode hybrid. GM has the cylinder deativation with the 3.9L why not add 2 mode hybrid with that motor?
      Why didn't they 2 mode hybrid the Dodge Avenger with the 2.4L or even a 2.0L? Would have made a good runabout for government vehicle. Now the Fusion will do that.
      Why did GM cancel the 2 mode hybrid Saturn Vue without having a Chevrolet equivalent? Why not have a 2 mode hybrid Malibu?
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's pretty hard to sell a car that people don't even know exists.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good. The mild hybrids were completely outclassed by other mild hybrids (see Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda Insight), much less full hybrids like the Ford Fusion Hybrid. GM needs to develop full hybrids for these vehicles for them to stay competitive as alternative-fuel vehicles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cue the GM bashing headline of "GM Cancels Hybrids!"
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is it really that difficult to implement start/stop systems on cars? You'd think more (if any) US cars would have the setup by now after reading about all sorts of cars in other markets coming with the start/stop tech.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The 4-banger with the six-speed transmission does about as well on the highway and no battery hassles.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ BoneHeadOtto

        But don't forget all the added smugness that comes with driving a hybrid lol
        • 5 Years Ago
        sure the 4cylinder does the same on teh hwy but no one buys a hybrid for the highway. They shine in the city. I can see the point of the mild hybrid. Increase city fuel efficiency for minor coin. Consider this
        The malibu costs $25500 and the Fusion costs $27900 for a difference of $2400.
        But the malibu got 29mpg combined while the Fusion got 34mpg combined in car and drivers comparison test.

        So if you drive each car 15k miles a year and gas costs $2.50 a gallon, then the Fusion only saves you $190 a year in gas over the Malibu. So it takes over 12 years !! to make back that tine $2400 premium.

        So go ahead and drive what you like and dont fret about mileage. I would take a mild hybrid over a full. And i think all cars should be mild hybrids with start stop. This Malibu was unfortunately a poor example.

        • 5 Years Ago
        They don't stand a chance against the Fusion Hybrid.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Finally!

      These vehicles were nothing more than a horrible marketing lie and a massive Fail by GM. Calling them "Hybrids" with huge badges splashed across them was an insult to their customers. They didn't offer nearly the benefits or sophistication of a ten year old Honda Insight let alone Ford or Toyota's systems and they couldn't even compete with 4 cylinder models in the same range. It was a marketing exercise and a failed attempt to make it look like they were in the Hybrid wars.

      Maybe the new management at GM is finally starting to make smart decisions.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think they screwed up by calling it a hybrid.... it is not really a hybrid, just a start stop motor in a sense, so they should have called it malibu with engine start-stop or something. The concept in itself is great and has to go in all vehicles because we waste a lot of fuel idling around. But no way i pay $4000 for start stop!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm still waiting for the Malibu two-mode hybrid. What's taking so long?
      • 5 Years Ago
      This reminds me of an ad GM played for Malibu not long ago that goes something like "Camry Beware! The new Malibu is here" where...? where...? where....? ..... lol. Now the hybrid soon the regular model will be out of production.
      All hopes on Fusion to kick Camry out of the pedestal.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They seem really half-assed attempts compared to the Fusion Hybrid, but since the Two-Mode tranny hooks up to the 3.6L V6 in the Vue Hybrid, that could be a neat variant for the Malibu. Big V6 power with reasonable gas mileage, not to mention the sanctimony of hybrid ownership.
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