Click above for a gallery of the 2008 Chevy Malibu

Here we are, not yet through the first month of the new year, and Ed Peper, vice president at Chevrolet, is already predicting that the Bowtie brand will increase market share in 2009. What evidence does he submit to arrive at this early conclusion? Last year, Chevy managed to post an increase of six-tenths of a point in retail share in 2008, despite the horrible market conditions late in the year, with the Malibu leading the charge by increasing sales by nearly 40% over the previous generation.

The latest Malibu is certainly a good place to start, and Peper believes that the updated Equinox crossover will make similar inroads in the market. Peper also points to wins by the Malibu and Silverado in recent J.D. Power Initial Quality studies as proof that the brand's products are improving and are comparable to their import competition. These wins are a good place to start, and Peper says the brand will continue to heavily market its best products, but we maintain that it's a bit early to be tooting one's horn with only a half of one month's sales in the books.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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