2012 Chevrolet Malibu sells better than Malibu Eco due to incentives

Article by Anita Panait, on July 30, 2012

Although 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco has been attracting attention of customers at dealers’ showrooms thanks to its mild-hybrid technology feature and muscular redesign, potential buyers are inclined to choose the outgoing 2012 Chevrolet Malibu, thanks to incentives surrounding the current model. With the incentives, the 2012 Malibu could be acquired at around $6,000 less than the newer model.

GM launched the 2013 Malibu Eco in March 2012, six months before the new 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine was to be launched across the United States. The early rollout of the 2013 Malibu Eco was prompted by a decision by GM chief executive Dan Akerson to pull the eAssist version ahead of the base variant.

This also prompted other carmakers to leapfrog the redesigns of their units: Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. But since the 2012 Malibu is more affordable thanks to incentives, the 2013 Malibu Eco has become just a sideshow for the current model. As a matter of fact, from March to June 2012, GM sold only around 7,000 Malibu Ecos, which pales in comparison with the sales figure for the 2012 model at about 100,000. 

GM is set to roll out the 2013 Malibu with the new base engine early in August and the variant with a 2.0-liter turbocharged power plant this fall. GM markets the 2013 Malibu Eco as a mid-level trim powered by a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine fitted with GM's eAssist mild-hybrid system, which returns 25 mpg in city driving and 37 mpg on the highway.

The 2013 Malibu Eco has a starting price of $26,095, including shipping. The 2.5-liter version, meanwhile, will have a starting price of $23,150, including shipping. It returns a highway mpg "approaching the mid-30s."

Making its worldwide debut during the 2011 Auto Shanghai will be the newest from Chevrolet, the 2013 Malibu. However, it will also be unveiled at the same in the U.S. This means the 2013 Malibu will be presented in two of the almost 100 countries across six continents where it will be offered for sale. The new Malibu has a more aggressive stance and an even sportier appearance due to the broad shoulders, wider stance, and a spoiler integrated in the rear section.

Its wheelbase is shorter by 4.5 inches (114 mm) compared to the previous version but the tracks, both front and rear, are wider by 2 inches (51 mm) at 62 inches (1,574 mm). Chevrolet Brand Champion and GM Exterior Design Executive Director Bryan Nesbitt revealed that the design of the Malibu’s exterior is similar to that of its siblings the Corvette and the Camaro. As such, he added, this will allow the Malibu to bring the feeling of sportiness to the family sedan class.

Meanwhile according Chevrolet Marketing Vice-President Rick Scheidt, the current Malibu has left a lasting impression and by redefining what a midsize American car is, also changed how people in general thought about the brand. He added that the new Malibu is able to offer more in terms of the intangibles that customers of today want.

These include more content and features, better fuel efficiency, excellent craftsmanship, stunning style, and dynamic abilities that can rival most high-end sedans, he continued. Being its first global midsize sedan, Chevrolet is confident this will attract customers from New York and all the way to Shanghai, and even those from Brazil to Australia.

It has everything customers need from having an expressive design, fitted with cutting-edge technologies, equipped with powertrains that are truly fuel-efficient, and exceptional drive performance.

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