Executives at General Motors are already talking about the next-generation Chevrolet Malibu even around year before it is rolled out to the market. Typically, auto executives publicly discuss a future model closer to its launch, simply because it may affect the enthusiasm as well as demand for the current iteration.
In case of the Malibu, however, GM executives don’t worry about dampening the demand and enthusiasm for the current version, as its sales and market share has been in decline since its redesign for MY2013. So far this year, Malibu sales Chevrolet has been trying to revive Malibu sales by offering $3,500 in cash discount and a $189-per-month, $1,369-down lease, according to Kelley Blue Book.
The Malibu has been considered as the weak link in Chevrolet’s product lineup and GM is hoping the next-generation model would fix that weakness. With such situation, GM has been in a hurry to roll out the next-generation Malibu to market about a year from now – which would be faster than the usual cycle for the carmaker. Aside from that, GM executives are already raring to talk about the next Malibu.
"We've got our act together here on the midsize-car segment," Mark Reuss, GM's product development chief, said while showing an image of the next Malibu during an investor presentation in October. Back then, Reuss vowed that the next Malibu would have "groundbreaking design but also groundbreaking technology."
During the same conference, GM chief financial officer Chuck Stevens remarked that the next iterations of the Malibu and Cruze would cost less to build but command higher transaction prices that should result to around $800 million in improved variable profit in 2016. Not to be outdone, GM global design chief Ed Welburn told Automotive News in an interview this month that the next Malibu will "make a significant statement" with "a very passionate design."