The Chevrolet Malibu’s Future Is Uncertain47
The current ninth-generation Chevrolet Malibu was introduced in 2016 to much fanfare, but now, the sedan’s future is looking increasingly uncertain, as GM Authority has learned that the Malibu will likely be dropped outright after the 2023 model year.
Despite a refresh for the 2019 model year, Chevrolet Malibu sales have dropped off considerably since it was first introduced, and as GM continues to push forward with expensive EV and AV investments, unprofitable and underperforming products are being forced out. To note, Chevy sold just 131,917 units of the sedan in the U.S. market last year, a 42-percent drop compared to the 227,881 units sold in 2016. Meanwhile, in Canada, Chevy just 5,823 units last year, a 49-percent drop compared to the 11,503 units sold in the market in 2016.
Recent events seem to have exacerbated the issue. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, GM’s plan was to keep the Chevrolet Malibu in the lineup until the 2025 model year, with a refresh in 2023. Now, it looks as though those plans may have changed.
Both the Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Impala were discontinued last year, which makes the Malibu one of just two remaining Chevrolet sedans on sale right now, the other being the Sonic, which is offered as both a hatchback and a sedan. However, the Sonic’s days appear to be numbered as well, as the U.S. is the only remaining market where it’s still sold, following its discontinuation in Mexico, Canada, and Korea over the last few years in favor of the Chevrolet Onix.
What’s more, consumers continue to favor crossovers over cars in terms of broad buying trends. Even perennial sedan segment leaders like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord have seen declines as of late, with an overall eight-percent drop in segment volume for the 2019 calendar year. Another 15 percent drop in the segment is expected for 2020.
Sales Numbers - Midsize Mainstream Sedans - 2019 - United States
|MODEL||YTD 19 / YTD 18||YTD 19||YTD 18||YTD 19 SHARE||YTD 18 SHARE|
We’ll continue to follow this story for further developments. In the meantime, subscribe to GM Authority for more Chevrolet Malibu news, Chevrolet news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.
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Like every market segment – if you want to sell mid sized cars, you have to keep it updated. The Malibu’s design is now older than the Camry, Accord, and Altima. It’s not going to outsell them without some investment. Even as it stands, it’s not doing too badly given it’s age.
Canceling the Malibu is a mistake. Redesign it, offer AWD and a wagon variant, and give Buick a version.
Fewer people are buying sedans, but the segment is not going away. Ford and others are leaving the segment, giving Chevy a real opportunity for a reliable slice of that pie – which includes a lot of retail buyers and government fleets.
But they need to update the design, improve interior quality, and offer AWD and a wagon variant (Outback outsold the Malibu this year). While they are at it, Buick should have a good sedan. The latest Regal is very underwhelming.
Add the numbers up it equals 1,234,620. While the market might be declining that’s still a lot of market for GM to, once again, just abandon because they field a product that isn’t as successful as others. Typical GM.
BTW, did you notice the Fusion is placed under the Malibu yet sold more? How did the Fusion have 10% and the Malibu 11% when the Fusion sold 35K more units?
They built the Regal and offered it with AWD and a wagon.
How did that turn out? Nothing underwhelming just a product not really cared for here anymore. Even the acclaimed Stingers future is up in the air.
You have to really look at the big picture here. The sedans still being sold the top sellers are global models. The rest are not. Even then they too are in decline.
There just is little future and adding the other models like a wagon will not help if it is only sold mostly in North America.
This is a deal GM could invest billions to sell 130k sedans or they could invest in a CUV that sells 400,000 units per year.
I own a Malibu who else here owns one? I did my part who here has put their money where their mouth is?
I own a 2015 Malibu w/2.5 4cyl (non-turbo) 6 speed standard tranny. It gives me the same gas milage as my 2001 Toyota Corolla (I still have it and yes it runs fine). GM discontinued my model. Why?
I spend a lot of time on the road as a sales rep. The Malibu has some flaws, but they are forgivable. I only see a good vehicle that was not promoted in a positive way. A 1.5 turbo engine with a CVT (which I’m sure is purchased abroad)
Is not for that car.
Poor Marketing, flawed design concepts,
It’s like GM is asleep at the wheel.
I have owned a 2008 Malibu since new.
V6 six speed.
Good car with decent ride and handling.
But it really only can vary 4 people comfortably, it has a large trunk but rge opening is so small nothing large fits in.
My Acadia gets the same mpg can carry 6 and much more and larger cargo. It also has AWD and a better ride and as good handling.
To be honest I like my truck best over either of these.
To spend more money on the Bu they may as well flush it down the toilet. This is a dying segment and all non global models are at a deep disadvantage. To the gobble models that too are decreasing in sales.
Anyone else really own a Malibu or is this just more fake concern.
Anyone else here that thinks getting rid of the Malibu is a poor idea that actually owns one?
Come on so many complaints but so few owners?
This could be a major part of the reason the car is at risk. While declining sales at 130,000 sound like a lot it really is small compare to Nox sales.
500,000 used to be the norm for this class or more.
Many will complain but few will put the money out on their opinions.
We own a 2020 Fusion Titanium. Sold a 2016 to buy the last model year. We bought the Fusion for being the better looking car and the better value.
My sister owns a 2019 Fusion Sport. Once again the better performing car. We would own a 2020 Sport if Ford didn’t kill it.
Brother in law bought a 2019 Impala Premier.
I know many people in my circle that have no interest in a crossover. No options exist. It’s hard to sell cars you don’t produce or advertise. Camaro anyone?
I’ve owned a 2013 and 2016 Malibu, and purchased a 2022 earlier this year. Great car that gets good mileage while giving us the room we need. The domestics ditching these cars – especially with expensive fuel – will push many to other marques. They won’t be back.
The Buick Regal had a wagon, V6, and AWD. All things you want in the Malibu. Which sold better?
Honestly, it pains me to say it, but the Equinox IS better than the Malibu. I have been in both. It wasn’t always this way. GM is pouring money into a profitable segments, and that money turns into a good, profitable car. They ARE NOT pouring money into the Malibu as they were before. They are pouring money into creossovers. The ‘bu is dead. Deal with it.
131k units sold in comparison to some SUV models that can’t and potential EVs that won’t even sell half of that combined, but we are lead to believe the Malibu is not profitable or worth keeping.
Ive said this before but with the UAW benefits and wages it costs Ford & GM more, than it costs Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, etc, to make the exact same vehicle. So, this is one reason I suspect they’re exiting the market for more profitable ones. While I think this is short sighted, and suggest they make fabulously styled, high content, high value cars and charge more for them ( I believe consumers will SEE the value and “gotta have styling”) I do understand the situation. THIS is EXACTLY why GM went bankrupt by the way…
Maybe a Charger-like vehicle will take it’s place form t4 to V8. VSS-R and BEV2 are the platforms that can hold a new, larger GM sedan.
Just don’t see why you would hand over the market to all the foreign makes. If you want to buy American you would have no choice. plus the Malibu hybrid was one of the best in it’s class before it got cancelled. Dumb move to shelve it. They hardly advertised it.
GM desperatly needs to address the obvious inadequacies in their B/C segements. If they keep this nonsense up its looking more and more like my next car will be be from another manufacturer. I guarantee that my next vehicle, to replace my aging Sonic, will not be a large, sloppy cuv. I might consider the Trailblazer if it is given a more powerful motor, the suspension and driving dynamics are great, but the 1.3t 9spd its not a significant improvement over my Sonic. GM will have to develop a replacement for the Sonic/ Cruze and continue improving the Bolt if they would like my continued patronage. If GM does not announce a project like this by 2022 my next car will probably be a Mazda. By 2022 Mazda will have a 2.5t awd hatchback that will straight up embarrass anything in GMs B/C segment.
The problem is, GM doesnt try when it comes to sedans. They offer little standard safety features in contrast to its rivals and something as basic as awd isnt even available.
One reason 4dr sedans aren’t selling is the goofy mail slot sized trunk lids that make even small sized coolers impossible to load into the trunk.
I would also venture to say that the modern sedan is just too low. I had a Malibu as a loaner once, and I had to literally craw down into it. The older sedans had easier egress and exit. I think that is something that has been lost to the Big Three. The population is getting older and a vehicle that is hard to get into will be stricken off a buyer’s list. IMHO, bring back LARGE American sedans as in RWD and 210″+ in length. That is a market that I feel is untapped but would attract a lot of buyers- especially those used to those cars and the 50 year old+ market that remember those cars from their youth. If GM were making a RWD Caprice, Fleetwood and/or Electra, I would have bought one yesterday.
But Chevrolet offered the Impala and Ford offered the Taurus in their most recent versions, for several years, and the sales figures kept dropping year after year. And now they’re gone. Why was that happening? I think most of that market moved over to the Traverse, the Explorer, the Enclave, the Durango and Grand Cherokee, to name a few, And the Lincoln and Cadillac owners moved over to the Navigator and Escalade, respectively, or those brands other SUVs.
Really, the biggest cars on the world market these days are the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the BMW 7 Series, and the biggest Lexuses and Infinitis. and those cars are high-end to extremely-high-end, and considered niche market cars. The only car that would be considered to be a “large” car and in the more affordable market is the Toyota Avalon, and even with the demise of the Taurus, Impala and Lacrosse, it’s not setting the world on fire, sales wise. If there were still such a market for full-sized cars, I think the Avalon would benefit from the loss of those models, and would grow in sales. It seem that the only demographic calling for the return of “large” cars seems to be the rapidly aging Baby Boomers. The rest of the driving world isn’t interested in bigger cars.
Yes and no, a big mainstream car today would have to be roughly 200 in (Charger sized) and no more than 205 in for a full-sized mass-market lux car because anything larger than that an SUV/truck can handle it’s bulk effectively and efficiently. Will we see a 210+in car from GM again?, probably with the Celestiq but that’s a niche market.
130,000 is a healthy number! It keeps Fairfax working.
Malibu should be refreshed: new exterior design, new interior, AWD and more power to the 1,5L.
Guess GM wants Chevrolet reaches the same market share of Cadillac.
Its a shame because even right now you can’t find any new compact American sedans, soon this could be midsize ones as well. Perhaps if GM could find a platform that is easy to modify that can underpin multiple segments of car models, they’d be able to stretch the dollar far enough to make it worth the effort. The alpha platform still has a lot of untapped potential, despite it being for RWD based models, I’m sure GM could figure something out if they are motivated to do so. I have a great idea what they could do with the Alpha platform that would please a lot of enthusiasts but not sure if it would fly in the executive suite…
I don’t think that you will see any other cars come from the Alpha Platform. The Alpha will be replaced by the VSS-R.
Very true, hopefully it’s even better and they can utilize it to have a good variety of models! 🙂
I have owned two Malibu new , 2011 & 2016 Limited LTZ. I really like the car. Perfect size. Love the dashboard. Seats not real comfortable. Great gas mileage, 24 in town, over 30 highway. Regular gas, won’t buy a vehicle requiring premium gas. Front brakes lasted 90,000 miles. Rear brakes still original and in good shape. Only real disappointment was I thought when you bought a LTZ model you got all the options. I was wrong. No rear view camera and missing were
Safety items like lane change warnings etc . I would buy another Malibu.
So articles like this come out, putting more stress on the vehicle, thus more people shy away from it, thus sales go down, thus GM says “see how there is just no case for sedans any more”, thus the car fades into the memories of all and is then laid to rest in the big car heaven. Do you see the problem????
First, GM and all brands need to fully commit to sedans no matter what. Second, they MUST stop projecting the death of these cars, thus placing more undue burden on them. Third, journalist must stop reporting these stories with headlines like “The Chevrolet Malibu’s Future Is Uncertain”. Lastly, advertise the darn things! Oh, and let’s not forget: For everyone crying over the demise of the sedans, you need to go out and buy them and buy American brands instead of the Toyota’s and Honda’s.
I agree. I had a 2016 Malibu Premier. It was a great car. Ford opted out of sedans and I moved to Chevy (I was a Pontiac man, but they killed that, too). I now drive a Chrysler 300S and love it. If FCA cancels that, I guess I’ll move to the Charger.
But if FCA cancels the Chrysler 300, it’s likely the Charger and even the Challenger would go, too as they are sister cars built off the same architecture that dates back to the early 2000s, when Daimler owned Chrysler and it’s likely the Ontario plant that currently builds the three vehicles couldn’t survive on just building the Dodge models. As it is, it’s not likely the plant is running at more than one shift, due to slow demand its products.
With Ford, Chevrolet and Buick out of the full-sized market, FCA is losing a giant opportunity to get some market share by not throwing some advertising dollars out for those cars, as those drivers that want a larger car don’t have much else to pick from.
I’ve delivered over 100 Malibu’s to commercial customers, LT trim levels and below. My 50k+ miles in Malibus helped me choose one as my latest vehicle a year ago. I purchased a Premiere and am completely satisfied. The 2.0L has plenty (250HP) of power and economy is good. I had one 50 mile trip that produced 47 mpg, albiet at 55 mph. It has all the safety features and creature comforts I need. I think it’s short-sided for GM to abandon sedans. I own a Silverado and Traverse. I much rather drive the Malibu than those others except on slick roads. Nothing wrong with the Malibu but the other 2 are more sure-footed in those conditions. The Blazer and Malibu have similar interior comforts. Equip a Blazer like my Premiere Malibu and you just spent an extra $10K+. All to get AWD. That doesn’t make sense to lots of households including mine.
For the life of me I can’t understand what on earth GM’s plans are. So much time on corporate speak, inclusivity programs etc, and bugger all product development. Why don’t they buy a market leading Camry and pull it to bits and copy it.Its how the Japanese learnt and God knows GM needs to learn.
That’s the problem, instead of making a great American sedan like in the past and like the Charger GM kept making “Cammy fighters”. Just make a great, efficient American sedan that reflects the muscle/pony cars and people will buy, you don’t see Germans making oat-brand, plain crap for their mainstream cars.
I agree and I don’t particularly like the Camry in anyway, but there’s no denying it’s the market leader and that’s where we all want GM to be
I think the manufacturers tend to remember the “good old days,” back in the early 2000s, when it wasn’t uncommon for them to produce 200K to 300K vehicles of many lines, and now see production figures less than 150K as “failures.” They have to know that they won’t be able to sell pickup and SUV trucks to everyone. Many people are very happy driving a stylish, well-made sedan, regardless of how popular trucks are, these days. The manufacturers ought to look to have some of the current profits from the trucks subsidize at least one line of sedans, like the Malibu or Fusion. I remember back 20+ years ago, GM and Ford used the profits from high-margin cars like the Cadillacs and Lincolns, especially the Eldorado and Escalade and Mark III though Mark VIII, and the Lincoln Blackwood pickup, to subsidize the low or no-margin cars like the Corsica and Cobalt, or the Escort and Focus, which, at those years, sold millions.
GM has no research, no marketing and no leadership. What a shame. Another bites the dust.
Nor do they have any form of a cohesive advertising campaign. Nothing. No 21st Century equivalent of Dinah Shore / See the USA in your Chevrolet. No “:Like A Rock”. Nothing.
LOL!!! Dinah Shore??? WTF? Chevy hasn’t used her in about 60 years. I’ve seen old YouTube videos of her TV commercials, but don’t ever remember seeing her old spots for Chevy since I’ve been alive. And I’ll bet more than 70% of the readers here don’t even know who she was.
I’m sorry. But if they discontinue the Malibu, I’m unlikely to by a chevrolet product until I see a good car worth buying from them. The suvs they have are great and all but I don’t need an suv and if the Sonic is going to be the only sedan they produce, count me out because I don’t drive small cars. I currently have a Malibu and for a young driver like me, that’s all I need. I’m a musician and it fulfills my needs. What chevrolet needs to do is take the Malibu and give it a whole new make over. Make people change their perception of h the name Malibu. Actually make it live up to its name actually. Idk what GM is doing with chevrolet right now but the lineup is boring and although it may seem like a good plan, it’s not gonna be pretty in the end. The SUV craze won’t last forever.
So disappointed in Chevrolet still waiting on part back ordered for my 2015 Malibu since November 2019 and it’s now June 2020. I’ve been a loyal customer over 10 years and I refuse to buy a new car when my car is perfectly fine and all I need is one part. I’m so happy I didn’t take the offer of 2500 towards a new car and Chevrolet is discontinuing the Malibu.
Please e-mail me at [email protected].
We can take action. Peter.
Just what part are you in need of?
Please post it so we can confirm this is a true post!
I have been a Malibu owner since I had my first Malibu back in 1978 & now I have a 2018 Malibu & I love it, I don’t understand why GM would get rid of them, they are great & dependable cars & I hope they continue making them, because they are cheaper on gas compared to a pickup truck, especially when gas prices are higher now days, than it was when we were younger.
GM’s disastrous lack of leadership strikes again!
Sales are dropping die to quality. Toyota and Honda are much more reliable cars. If GM wants to stay in the game they have to make cars and trucks that last more than 100k without major repairs! Example Chevy Cruze. I’m not going to pay 30-50 thousand dollars for a vehicle that won’t make it to 100k. Wale up GM.
$50K for a Cruze? No way. It would be impossible to even have paid $50K for an factory stock Impala. Trucks and Corvettes, for sure, but not a Cruze.
A last year 2019 Cruze topped out at around 28K and the current Malibu Premier tops out around 38K. Not sure where your getting 50K from. Even the 2020 Impala Premier tops around 42K so nothing in Chevy’s sedan lineup goes to 50K!