Modern Camaro Forums banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,668 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dealers struggle to get new GM product on the lot, worry about how long buyers will be willing to wait.


General Motors Corp. has finally built a family sedan Americans crave, yet dealers across the country are having a hard time getting the cars on their lots.

It likely will be spring before GM is able to build enough of the new Chevrolet Malibus to meet demand, the automaker's sales chief said Wednesday. Meanwhile, thousands of dealers are without a made-over Malibu on their lots.

GM says the shortage is a good problem to have -- and several automotive analysts agree.


But the automaker is walking a fine line in the utilitarian and highly competitive midsize sedan segment, in which consumers have scores of options and limited patience.

The new Malibus "are turning faster and more prolifically than we anticipated. They're selling well in Southern California. They're selling well in Flint," Mark LaNeve, GM North America vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing, said Wednesday. "We don't have anywhere near the availability we'd need for peak (sales) performance."

GM last month ramped up Malibu production. The cars are built at GM's Orion factory, as well as at the Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kan., where the last generation Malibu was built.

LaNeve said GM anticipated big demand for the new Malibu, but not to the extent the automaker has seen since the car hit showrooms Nov. 1.

GM sold about 7,000 Malibus in November, roughly the same number as last year. December sales are expected to be higher now that more dealers have the cars in supply.

Analysts say it will likely take several months to truly gauge Malibu's success.

The Malibu's dramatic overhaul has been a hit with auto critics, and consumers appear to be responding. GM is looking to Malibu to steal customers from the top-selling Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

"I have three on the lot right now, and if I had 20 I'd be happy," said Guy Drose, sales manager of Raymond Chevrolet in Antioch, Ill. "People are asking for options on the vehicles that we don't have on the lot at the moment.

"Hopefully, they'll see the value in the car and wait."

Competing with Accord and Camry
Like in many industries, having a car that's hard to get can help generate buzz and push up the selling price -- because dealers don't need incentives to draw in customers.

GM has intentionally limited the supply of its high-end Buick Enclave crossover SUV, introduced last year, and the strategy appears to be working.

But the Malibu is far from a niche or luxury car.

The midsize car segment is the biggest and most crowded in the U.S. vehicle segment, with sales topping 3.2 million through November. Honda rolled out a sporty new Accord last year and Toyota's recently refreshed Camry has done well.

"You walk a fine line between not having product in the showrooms to sell and wanting that product to be one of those where people are saying, 'Hey, how did you get your Malibu?' " Rebecca Lindland, an industry analyst with Global Insight in Lexington, Mass. "For a really long time, that has been the least of GM's problems.

"But you can't test their patience for too long."

Ideally, a new vehicle should be in full supply just as the introductory ad blitz is under way, which in the case of the Malibu is right now, said Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jesse Toprak.

"If they don't have the inventory that's going to be necessary to meet demand, that may cause some lost sales," Toprak said.

As long as GM manages to bring supply in line with demand within the next few months, he said, the automaker should do well.

"If the distribution timeline stretches beyond that," he said, "there could be problems."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
That's good news for GM, looks like they have a hit on their hands, though it might've been a better idea to wait a month or two before putting it on the lots to build up a steady supply. Think they'll have another hit with the G8 when that hits the showrooms too. Anyways, way to go GM. :roxor:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,774 Posts
wow..there is a problem that might sway buyers from getting the car...what they should do is if they do not have the car tell them go to Saturn and check out the Aura..if the Saturn guys have one.

but you know a dealer will not do so..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,298 Posts
I think the Saturn costs more than the Malibu.

By the way, we have 6 cars on the lot, 3 more "in transit", and 6 more on the production line. The V6 is hard to find, and was on constraint....But we have two HOT LTZ's here!

We had a Chicago area dealer willing to give up one Corvette for two Malibu's received....They had 12 vettes, and 0 Malibu's. Now THAT'S odd....a dealer willing to give up his Corvette allocation for Malibu's!!!! Told the GM to GO FOR IT!!! Give up 4 for TWO VETTES! I told him I'd sell them for a few hundred over invoice on here & a vette Forum!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
601 Posts
I'm glad GM is selling all the new Malibus quickly. I will watch closely, but I'd bet the same thing happens with the Camaro and maybe G8.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,774 Posts
WOW...good for both of you..and glad you have some bu's to sell :D

and I just check the local paper they are about the same price...not going into to much detail for just a Sat morning browse ;)

They are on the same platform so I would hope they were competative.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,229 Posts
I'm glad that Chevy has built a winner for the masses. Next hard to get Chevy..the Camaro.

The local dealers have gotten in a few lately. My wife likes them and they are #2 on her list after the G8.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,420 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,298 Posts
I drove a Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry at the Malibu training. Without lying, the Malibu (LTZ) impressed me the most. They did step up the quality. I can't tell you how many Toyota / Honda buyers came in and just drove it......some that just bought cars in the last few months.....I have yet to hear someone say "it isn't as good as they claim". In fact, most of them say they will buy it when their :ricesmiley: is ready to be traded. :patriot:


Test drives are FREE - get out and drive one!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,420 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
^^ Lol.

I love the Accord coupe and the Camry SE is a looker but if I was in the market for another 4dr sedan in that range, I'd have a hard time deciding between a Malibu and the Aura.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,717 Posts
My inlaws have a new malibu, got the last and only one on the lot at the time. V6 fully loaded exactly what they were looking for. It's every bit as nice as what I have read. Steering and brakes were impressive! I could turn it with my pinky finger!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,420 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,298 Posts
That's because other dealers are trying to trade for them, but no dealer is willing to give them up on a trade. A dealer does not have to volunteer for a trade....That's why their starting to offer Vettes in trade....It's obvious which of the two are selling better now! And besides....no money in vettes since there are 5-7 major vette dealers with a web presence, selling just over cost. Exactly why we're going away are cars! We turned down a vette....Not by MY choice, but we may reconsider that as spring approaches, and we hit 10+ malibu's on the lot. Impala is still selling hot for us - give me more impala's so I can feed my family!!!!

:roxor:
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top