A new example of the Chevy Malibu sedan has not been produced in the United States since February due to the global semiconductor shortage.
The GM Fairfax Assembly plant, which produces both the Chevy Malibu and Cadillac XT4 crossover, was idled on February 8th due to a shortage of semiconductor chips. The plant has remained offline since then, meaning no new examples of the Chevy Malibu nor the Cadillac XT4 have been produced in the past six months. But while production of the Cadillac XT4 is set to restart on September 20th, General Motors has not provided a production restart date for the Chevy Malibu.
It seems GM will wait until it’s ready to begin production of the 2022 model year Chevy Malibu before restarting production of the mid-size sedan. The 2022 Malibu will introduce very minor changes to the nameplate’s options list and trim level structure. For starters, the sedan will ditch the base-model L trim level, making the LS the new entry-level trim going forward, and will come equipped with an electronic parking brake as standard across the lineup. The Shadow Gray Metallic and Black Cherry Metallic exterior colors will also be replaced by two new ones: Mineral Gray Metallic and Dark Ash Metallic.
GM has also removed various dealer-installed options from the Malibu’s order books for 2022, including the cargo area organizer, sport pedal kit, inside rear window sunshade and first aid kit, among others. The sedan will continue to offer two engine options going forward, including the turbocharged 1.5L I4 LFV gasoline engine producing 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, and the turbocharged 2.0L I4 LTG gasoline engine producing 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.
Vehicles like the Chevy Malibu and Cadillac XT4 have been produced in small numbers this year in order to free up more semiconductor chips for GM’s full-size truck and SUV models, which are its most popular and profitable products. As a result, GM has lost only one percent of its usual pickup truck production amid the semiconductor shortage, safeguarding the most important part of its business from the issue.