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]
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.