New Malibu reflects tough lessons learned
PALO ALTO, California -- Chevrolet executives found out the hard way in 2012 that launching a redesigned Malibu which was just in the exact same ballpark as its mid-size sedan competitors was not sufficient.
That Malibu -- to be changed by the redesigned 2016 version that started sending to dealers this week -- assessed most of the cartons required for success in the hyper-competitive section. Fuel economy was above-average. Critics mentioned it managed decently. It topped the section in first quality for the past couple of years, based on J.D. Power.
But the old Malibu was somewhat brief on superlatives. And because of this, it's ceded market-share to all the top five opponents in the class since 2012, sinking to 8.2% of the section through November this year, according to the Automotive News Data-Center.
Lesson learned, states Jesse Ortega, chief technologist on the redesigned Malibu.
"The aim had not been to simply be competitive with this particular automobile," Ortega stated during a media push of the Malibu here this week. "We understood we needed to exceed the opposition."
To to show the heads of Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry and Honda-Accord clients, Chevy is touting several "first, greatest or only" attributes that can get the Malibu stick out from rivals, stated Steve Majoros, advertising manager for Chevy automobiles.
For starters, Majoros considers the automobile's svelte exterior styling will bring new buyers, using its uncommon, converging wrinkles across the side panels as well as a tapered back which has drawn comparisons to the Audi A-7.
And Chevy has a tale to inform on fuel-economy. Cutting about 300 lbs in the old Malibu aids the new, 1.5-litre, four-cylinder base motor get to an EPA rating of 27-mpg city and 37 mpg highway, better than most rivals. A hybrid variant that goes on-sale this spring may have an EPA evaluation of at least 4-7 mpg in mixed city and freeway driving, handily topping the hybrid versions of the Fusion and Camry and fitting that of the Accord.
But it is technologies where the Malibu may have the most exploitable advantage over competitors. It functions the Apple CarPlay infotainment interface, a 4G high speed wireless link and wireless mobile charging. A characteristic called Teenager Driver disables the sound when the seatbelts are not clicked and creates a a study card for parents to see how many instances their children exceeded a pre-set speed-limit, for instance.
"The engineering we are offering in this automobile will be quite surprising for most of US," Majoros stated.
A kitchen sink strategy to active safety characteristics offers the most in-depth safety package in the group, Chevy claims, including lane-keep help as well as a pedestrian-detection system.
IHS Automotive calls the redesign may assist the Malibu obtain market-share -- but just a small. It anticipates Malibu sales to grow 8% in 2016, to around 207,000, and then decrease somewhat in 2017, to around 200,000, nevertheless greater than this year's estimated total of 192,000. IHS calls the mid-size sedan segment total is likely to be level from 2015 to 2017.
2016 Chevrolet Malibu
Chevy must make up lost ground in the mid-size sedan marketplace with its redesigned Malibu, which replaces the unsatisfactory one found in 2012. General Motors repaired a crucial defect by stretching the wheelbase and including back seat space. But Chevy needs the Malibu to stand out with edgy styling and tech attributes that matches don't have.— Powertrains: 1.5-liter, turbo-charged 4-cylinder with a-6-speed automated transmission is the foundation; a 2.0-litre, turbo 4 banger with 8-speed transmission is accessible-- Technology: Adolescent Driver attribute to monitor driving behaviour; 4G LTE link; Apple CarPlay-- Security: Elective active safety comprises lane-keep help and a pedestrian-detection system-- Goal: 200,000-plus revenue a year (IHS prognosis)-- Opponents: Toyota Camry, Honda-Accord, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata-- Strengths: fuel-economy, new design, silent inside, tech attributes-- Weaknesses: No awd or V6 engine choice; 8-rate on the 2.0-liter only-- Bottom line: Handsome sheetmetal, more refined power trains and lots of technologies give the Malibu a opportunity to make inroads in one of the sector's biggest marketplaces.
It's possible for you to reach Mike Colias at [email protected]
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