• Dec 18, 2009
Prior to declaring bankruptcy, General Motors began delaying new products in an effort to conserve cash. The news was disappointing to enthusiasts and brand loyalists, but with its cash piles dwindling, the General didn't have many alternatives. Post-bankruptcy, GM finds itself with $40 billion in cash and a lot less overhead, so where is the money being spent? Automotive News reports that Vice Chairman Bob Lutz confirms that many of the products that were delayed are now being accelerated, adding "Once we got out of the bankruptcy and started having money available, we were able to pull a lot of our programs forward."

One example of the pull-forward is the next-generation Chevrolet Malibu. Early this Fall, GM told us that the next Malibu would arrive in 2012, but Lutz says that time frame has been pulled up to 2011. The next Malibu will reportedly be all-new with a platform based off of the Buick LaCrosse and 2011 Buick Regal. The new 'Bu will apparently have a shorter wheelbase than the current model while still managing more interior room.

Lutz told AN that the uplevel Malibu will have chrome appliques lining the side windows, a trait he says is associated with German and Japanese luxury vehicles. Lutz apparently added that $50 worth of chrome translates into an additional $500 to $600 in perceived value to customers. Beyond the Malibu, Lutz noted that there are "a bunch" of other vehicles being pulled forward to pre-bankruptcy production cadences, though he didn't offer any specific examples.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]


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  • 44 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Forget the Malibu, how about using some of that 40 billion to get the Volt into drivers hands a little bit sooner.
      Or bringing the Diesel version of the Cruze stateside.
        • 5 Years Ago
        2 years ago: Volt is vaporware it can't come out by MY2010 or 2011!

        1 year ago: Yea vapor ware... what's that you say about mules? Well they can't make the deadline. It'll be rushed and as a result quality will suffer.

        Now: The volt can't come soon enough! Why is this car taking so long to get to the market? Just like the camaro it's taking forever to get here!

        I hate listening to the peanut gallery about the volt.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So does this mean . . . . Camaro z/28?
        • 5 Years Ago
        The pre Z28 is already being tested. (I know someone who is working on it)
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Lutz told AN that the uplevel Malibu will have chrome appliques lining the side windows, a trait he says is associated with German and Japanese luxury vehicles. Lutz apparently added that $50 worth of chrome translates into an additional $500 to $600 in perceived value to customers."

      Thanks for bringing up a tidbit of useless information that had been already well established within design language and perceived value. Good thing you haven't gone into retirement yet Bob!
        • 5 Years Ago
        David: You're too stupid to be a part of this discourse. It is waaaaay over your head, run along and go play a round of jacks or something.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "$50 worth of chrome translates into an additional $500 to $600 in perceived value to customers."

        That explains why the fanboys love the Fusion. They think it's a $60,000 car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Fusion is an overchromed piece. It was always nice when I had an Oldsmobile, tasteful chrome around the windows that "lesser" cars didn't have.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Bob Lutz told AN that the uplevel Malibu will have chrome appliques lining the side windows... DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        This has been a well known fact in auto design for freakin DECADES n Bob "I Got A BIG Mouth" Putz just realized it after 30-40 years in the freakin business...!!!

        Thank God he's workin at the Giant Mess... maybe time to think retirement... Boob!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Doesn't the current Malibu already has this? Why is this news?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Malibu is too fresh for a redesign in 2012.

      I will love that 4.8l diesel to be built or maybe a RWD full-size sedan or a refreshed Impala.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They probably want to move it to the new Epsilon II platform as soon as possible. Right now it's the only current car still in production that rides on Epsilon I.

        I say "current" due to the impending demise of Saab.
      • 5 Years Ago
      More chrome. Yeah, cuz nothing says "expensive" like cheap chrome.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, there is a very big difference between cheap chrome and good chrome. I've been working with auto parts for a while now. German, Japanese, and American.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Is there such a thing as cheap chrome? Chrome is chrome. What makes it good or bad is the application of it. There's a thin line between classy and gaudy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        IMO, anything that is plastic made to look like chrome is not really chrome. To me, chrome is metal. It's sort of akin to throwing a bunch of Carbon Fiber decals on a car and saying it's made of Carbon Fiber.

        But, since plastic chrome is what about 95%+ of the cars built nowadays have, I guess my opinion is somewhat moot.

        Then again, I'm not a big fan of chrome in general. My mother's Malibu LTZ has much more of it than I'd be happy with. Overall though, it's still a nice looking car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A tiny chunk of that money should have gone into finishing the excellent and virtually completed 4.5 Duramax diesel, a small block turbo diesel that puts out 310 HP and 520 lb-ft of torque.

      Yet another dumb move by GM.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I read it. My problem is with your quote "Adding chrome strips to immitate a well designed European or Japanese car"... When I see chrome trim, I don't think "wow, that must be a well-designed European or Japanese car!"... For Christ's sake, KIA has chrome trim! All it does is add an upscale touch. No harm- or imitation in that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        .....man I love this comment system.

        The above comment went to the invisiblepenguin dude
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they want to add perceived value for me, forget the chrome and improve my local dealerships. I was interested in the Equinox/Terrain until I visited my local GM dealerships. I am sure I will be interested in the Cruze in a year or so, but unless those dealerships shape up between now and then, no bowtie for me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The real question to me is will they add the "perceived value" without upping the price, or try to grab the extra $500-600 for their short-term profits? Personally, I abhor too much chrome, but if they're at least trying to make the car feel more valuable and keeping them at the same price, that's one step better than the old GM.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @UCJR
      to be completely fair though, all of fords rebadging efforts (save from mazda to ford or the other way around) are fairly obvious ripoffs of one another. Especially if you go back into the past a bit. I'm looking at you taurus....
      • 5 Years Ago
      chrome window trim. Whoopee.
      If this is the kind of "new" thinking that's supposed to save GM, Ford and Toyota have nothing to worry about.
        • 5 Years Ago
        He never said it was new thinking. All he said is that it helps with the perceived value, which is most definitely true. That little touch of chrome really adds class.

        Also, the current gen upscale Malibu has this, so obviously GM already thought of it...
      • 5 Years Ago
      @ UCJR
      To be
      • 5 Years Ago
      So what do people think a Harley is worth?
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        And a nice Ducati will run you 90,000 dollars. Would anyone who bought a GM even notice it? Probably not: no chrome bits at all, just things like titanium, aluminum and carbon fiber. Those things don't add perceived value though...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Clearly you need to visit the HD website. Their top end models run more than a Malibu. I'm not talking a base Malibu either, even a check-all-the-boxes LTZ model runs less than some Harleys!
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