Six-Month Report: Chevy Malibu Continues To Win New Customers, Offers More Diverse Lineup
DETROIT – It’s been approximately six months since Chevrolet’s redesigned Malibu was launched. In that time, it has received critical acclaim – including being named 2008 North American Car of the Year – and numerous recommendations by consumer groups.
More importantly, the new Malibu is resonating with customers. In only the first quarter of 2008, market share is up 1.3 points over the same period in ’07. Much of that growth is due to retail sales, which increased 110 percent during the first three months of the year, with three large, import-heavy states showing dramatic growth:
Florida sales are up 91 percent
New York sales are up 135 percent
California sales have leaped 186 percent
In fact, some dealers are reporting retail sales increases of nearly 1,000 percent over 2007 Malibu sales.
“The new Malibu is the car Americans have wanted from Chevrolet,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “Its combination of amenities and value are at the core of Chevrolet’s philosophy, but the Malibu brings them together in a drop-dead gorgeous design that makes it a must-have car.”
Malibu customers are demanding more uplevel models, reflecting buyers with higher household incomes than the previous model. Many of those new customers are bringing in a non-GM vehicle to trade, too: More than 40 percent of trade-ins are non-GM vehicles and among them, the number-one trade-in is a Toyota Camry.
A variety of efficient powertrain combinations gives Malibu customers choices that all return excellent fuel economy, including a new four-cylinder/six-speed automatic transmission combination that was recently added to the lineup. It uses the powerful 2.4L Ecotec engine paired with a specially calibrated six-speed automatic to deliver EPA-estimated mileage of 22 in the city and 32 on the highway. That’s better highway mileage than Accord or Camry.
Also available is the Malibu Hybrid. It is the most affordable hybrid version of a midsize sedan in the market, delivering 24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, without having the highest price tag.
When it comes to safety, the Malibu is an impressive performer. It earned the government’s highest possible NCAP crash safety rating: 5 stars. That means the Malibu scored 5-star ratings for driver and front passenger in frontal crash testing; and 5-star ratings for front and rear seating positions in the side-impact crash test.
The Malibu’s roster of standard and available safety features includes:
Dual-stage frontal air bags with GM Passenger Sensing System
Head curtain side-impact air bags (front and rear outboard seats)
Front seat-mounted driver and front thorax air bags for side impact protection
Front safety belt pretensioners
LATCH child safety seat anchors
Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS
StabiliTrak stability control system with panic brake assistance (LT and LTZ)
Tire pressure monitoring system
All Malibu models come standard with OnStar 8.0, which features advanced automatic crash notification.
Efficient performance and a long list of safety features fulfill important consideration points that customers place on all new cars, but the Malibu also delivers with a package of details and qualities that are difficult to quantify. From an exceptionally quiet driving experience to upscale interior lighting, the Malibu conveys the feeling of a more expensive car. Additionally, details such as standard XM Satellite Radio, remote vehicle starting and even a household-style rear-seat power center are features uncommon in the segment.
“We couldn’t be happier with the Malibu’s enthusiastic reception in the market so far, but we’re hardly resting on our laurels because the competition is fierce,” said Peper. “We will continue to improve the car to strengthen its leadership position and help make Chevrolet the best car brand in the business.”