New Chevy Malibu will be sold globally, offer numerous styling changes

New Chevy Malibu will be sold globally, offer numerous styling changes
Rick Kranz
Automotive News | March 31, 2011 – 12:15 am EST
UPDATED: 3/31/11 12:25 a.m. ET
Chevrolet plans to sell the next-generation Malibu in nearly 100 countries and build the car in multiple locations, including China.
The Malibu concept will be unveiled April 19 at the Shanghai auto show and simultaneously Webcast at 8:30 p.m. EDT April 18 on www.facebook.com/chevrolet.
The Web reveal also will be streamed live on iPad and iPhone mobile devices.
The next Malibu marks another step by General Motors to reduce its engineering costs by selling the same model in numerous markets. It also is another move to enhance Chevrolet as a global brand, GM says.
Although all of the sheet metal on the concept is new, a 60-second video prepared by Chevrolet depicts an evolutionary styling change. A tall grille, split by a wide bar is one of the styling themes carried over from the current Malibu.
However, the concept incorporates a styling design that will distinguish all Chevrolet cars in the future: two taillights, on this concept rectangularly shaped, on each side of the rear of the vehicle. The Malibu will be Chevrolet’s first mid-sized car to be sold globally.
GM said the car will be assembled in two U.S. plants and labeled a 2013 model. U.S. sales begin next year. The concept also will be displayed April 23 to May 1 at the New York auto show.
“This Malibu takes Chevrolet’s established and award-winning nameplate to new places and introduces it to new audiences around the world,” Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet, said in a statement.
“Whether the Malibu is sold in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa or Australia, it has been engineered from the ground up to meet the needs of customers around the world.”
Details about the vehicle were not released. However, GM said the car will be available only with four-cylinder engines.
Other automakers – notably Hyundai and Kia – have also dropped optional V-6 engines in their mid-sized sedans to meet tougher fuel economy requirements and address shifting consumer preferences.
Additionally, GM said the next Malibu will offer suspension tuning similar to European vehicles.
“We look forward to offering the new Malibu to our customers across China,” Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group, said in a statement.
“The Malibu fully embodies Chevrolet’s tradition of dynamic styling, superior handling and outstanding fuel efficiency. It will address growing domestic demand in the upper-medium segment, especially among younger car buyers,” Wale said.
Last year, Malibu was Chevrolet’s top-selling car in the United States with 198,770 sales, a 23 percent increase over 2009.

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