The midsize sedan segment represents both one of the highest-selling and competitive spaces in the entire automotive market, coupled with an incredibly jumpy consumer base. There are next to no truly bad cars here, yet margin between victory and defeat can be incredibly slim, and repercussions for the stragglers comes in the form of buyers fleeing from a particular model or brand. Unfortunately, Chevrolet had to learn that the hard way.
The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu is sleeker, lighter, more fuel-efficient and it’s crammed full of new technology; Chevy’s betting it has what it takes to duke it out with heavy-weight segment leaders like Toyota, Ford, and Kia. In short, it was created to jumpstart the brands’ reformation in the segment, just like mindset behind the 2016 Cadillac CT6.
A midsize sedan like the Malibu is “the heart of what people think of a brand,” noted GM’s chief of global product development, Mark Reuss to Automotive News.
“If you do it right, there’s an opportunity to change the brand,” he said. “It’s what people think about the capability of the company.”
But as Chevrolet global VP Alan Batey points out, ticking those boxes “is not enough to threaten Honda and Toyota, who have truly dominated this segment for many years. You need more, and this Malibu delivers more.”
Batey hopes that features like 2016 Chevrolet Malibu’s new safety package for teen drivers will be one of the factors that will help Malibu regain the 1.1 percent market share that’s slipped from its grasp (8.3 percent in 2012 vs. 7.2 percent in 2013).