Skip to comments.GM takes aim at Toyota Camry and Honda Accord with new Malibu
Posted on 09/28/2007 6:17:37 AM PDT by vietvet67
DETROIT: General Motors solved one problem this week by reaching a deal with the United Automobile Workers. Now it hopes its new Chevrolet Malibu will help solve another - winning sales and market share back from its Japanese rivals.
For years, family sedans have been a lower priority for GM and the other Detroit automakers. They focused instead on big trucks and sport utility vehicles, which earned tidy profits, while letting Toyota and Honda dominate the less-lucrative market for cars.
But the best days for those big vehicles have passed, and GM is eager to break the Asian stranglehold on midsize sedans, with a redesigned Chevrolet Malibu set to go on sale Nov. 2 that it views as its most important vehicle in years.
The company is spending $100 million to introduce the new "Bu," as executives call it, significantly more than it has for any other car in recent memory. It has to invest heavily, experts say, in order to make a dent in the market led by the Toyota Camry, the country's best-selling car for the past seven years, and the Honda Accord.
"It's tough to get the broad American public to reconsider an American car in that price class," the vice chairman of GM, Robert Lutz, said at an industry conference in northern Michigan last month. "The Camry and the Accord have established, and justifiably so, such strong brand value, which means that you've got to have a really outstanding car."
While the Malibu may be improved, so is its competition. This month, Honda began selling a redesigned Accord sedan that is bigger, more powerful and more luxurious than previous versions. The Camry and Nissan Altima were also overhauled last year.
(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...
They will never lay a glove on the Accord.
Does it have ABS?
The Impala LS could give the foreign cars more competition if only Chevy would wake up and make ABS standard on all Impala trim levels.
What the heck is a 3.5L V-6? Is that a new engine for GM? Just curious (I know little about cars).
GM has crawled in bed w/Toyota before (Matrix - Vibe) they might out to try again with a new model and factory (sans the union).
Mu Malibu is the reason I gave up on GM. I needed a full electrical job and tune-up at 50,000 mi. even though they sell you on the fact that it won’t need one until 100K. I asked if that 100k was part of the warranty and was told it was only a “guideline”.
Looks like every other P.O.S. on the market. As exciting as watching tar cool.
Did GM pay for this story? They’re joking right?
This reminds me a bit of a letter someone wrote to Car & Driver in response to Ford’s renaming the Five Hundred to the Taurus (and the Mercury Montego the Sable). The writer stated, “If Ford really wants to improve sales of their sedan, they should rename it “The Accord.”
Detroit as it is now will never be in the same class as Honda, Toyota or hell, even Hyundai.
And they keep the old name? Its already a blunder.
A 3.5 Liter engine with 6 cylinders. A rather large V6 considering the Mustang comes (or used to) in a 4.0 L V8.
That’s the new Malibu? Ew
In other news Slim takes aim at starting slot on an NFL team and Nobel Prize in Physics.
I agree ,, they can’t do it .. even Ford which had the wonderful Mazda 6 to build on for their midsize turned it into a (visual) turd ... GM’s ecotec isn’t good enough and they don’t have a lightweight modern 2.5l or 3.0l v6.. no matter what they do this car will be saddled with too much weight , a low revving engine that burns more fuel than the foreign equivalents and their interiors will STILL be cheap plastic held together with superglue and will fall apart after just a few years in the heat... they will continue to lose market share... Japan isn’t the problem , Korea is ,, they may eventually catch up to Japan but Korean cars will always have the edge in value and GM’s buyers aren’t quality buyers they’re value buyers..
That can be blamed on the design software which takes into account the ways to increase mileage by giving less wind resistance.
All vehicles, not just cars, look alike now except for the grill and taillights because they all want the same results.
I own 2 Toyota (unless they drastically change, I will always own Toyota cars). The funny thing is that my Sequoia is built in the US. It is more American than most GMs are.
This tells me that Americans can build quality cars. The only difference seems to be Unions and Management.
I thought that my (older) Lumina had a 3.8L V-6, that’s why I was asking . . . my recollection may be incorrect.
The same is true with most Hondas sold in the USA.
It ain't all that sexy, but it does its job and gives me no trouble. Oh, and a used one cost me $6,000. All it's cost me so far is one round each of ignition wires and brakes, and of course the regular oil changes.
When the Malibu-bu was introduced, the tag line on the ads was “The car you knew GM could build.” I instantly got a mental image of the Chevette, the Citation, and the Vega that my former in-laws had. No GM for me.
I've driven the 2008 Accord EX sedan (powered by the new 190 bhp I-4 engine) and it is quiet, powerful and very refined.
It looks like it was created by a committee of designers afraid to make any bold moves.
The vast majority of car buyers prefer dull cars.
You know, I'm sure everything you've said is true, but the real reason the Malibu can't catch the Accord or Camry is that the majority of the folks GM is targeting (Camry and Accord owners) wouldn't be caught dead in a Malibu - it would just be too embarassing to go into the office and tell folks you're buying a Malibu.
If GM really wants to sell this car they need to change the name.
"GM has not allowed critics who have driven the Malibu to publish their thoughts yet, but the car received mostly positive coverage at the Detroit auto show this year."
That doesn't bode well - if the reviews were glowing, you'd think they'd let them leak...
More pictures of the car in question:
Not a bad try, but not as good as the Camry's design.
If GM really wants to compete, they need an edge and offer a 5 year/60,000 bumper to bumper warranty like Hyundai and Kia does. Otherwise, they’re no match for Honda or Toyota or the Koreans.
GM better get their service departments at their dealers up to snuff if they are going to make a dent. My local dealer crows on and on about their service department. I could list a page worth of problems concerning my vehicle and my wife’s in reference to service. It’s a joke.
I think most of the problems with the union workers putting pop cans in the doors and just leaving parts out are in the past. The typical line worker doesn't care whether he's bolting in a part that will last 3 years or 20 years, so I blame the quality problems on management.
Call me in 2017 and tell me how the 2007 Malibu has held up. Then I'll look at the 2017 model.
Simply put, the car is uninspiring.
Yet, on this very thread the ultra boring Accord is lauded. Hundreds of thousands that car and the downright homely Camry are bought by eager Americans every year. The fact is people LIKE land and boring, and it’s been ever thus since the days of the Chrysler Airflow.
From what I've read about the Saturn Aura, the 3.5 is an older engine design paired, in the Aura XE, with an older four-speed tranny. The Aura XR comes with a newer design 3.6 engine and the new six-speed tranny.
If that is at all wrong then I'll surely be corrected.
The vast majority of car buyers prefer fuel efficient, reliable, and functional cars. Relatively conservative styling is simply coincidental to that.
The new Malibu is a great car. It will do better than you think. The venom some here have for the big three is unbelievable, and sad...
But, unlike Japanese carmakers, GM executives want to make less make less money by selling less cars.
Takes aim at Toyota, hits own foot.
With all due respect, the Camry is one of the ugliest cars out there and has always been designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. I have to conclude that so many people are so biased against the American manufacturers that NOTHING they do would ever be enough.
The newest Camry design looks like a egg on wheels. I'll wait to see this one on the lot before saying yay or nay.
I do love Red. Have to see what shade they come up with. I'll wait for some reviews before I'd even think of buying one.
I looked at the 2006 Malibu and Impala before buying my 2006 Hyundia Sonata. I'm happy with my choice but G.M and Ford are making good strides in quality IMHO.
My wife and I both drive a Camry now.
I don't know whether it is "LIKE" boring, but rather they want reliable, comfortable, good gas milage, decent power and reliable (yes, I said it twice). I'm not going to give up those to get something "exciting" for my primary car. That, and most car companies' idea of "exciting" is slapping a spoiler on the back of a sedan.
I’ve seen this car in person. The proportions are very good, the interior appears very well thought out, with materials and build quality that are up to the standards of Asian rivals. Some may not like the Chevy “corporate face” but it was drawn from the iconic late sixties and early seventies Impalas, Chevelles and Caprices. The look debuted on the latest iteration of the Impala in 06, which registered quite an uptick in sales, leading Camry in sales for a few reporting periods, but certainly not for the entire sales year. The 3.5 liter V-6 is a version of their 3.6, which is in a vehicle I own, very refined and good power, 275 hp., 25+ highway mpg, and this is in a 5,000 GVW vehicle (GMC Acadia). The direct injection version of this engine, installed in the new Cadillac CTS (stunning car, btw) does better still, 300 hp, better mileage. All these vehicles have a new, computer-controlled 6 speed transmission that is state of the art. I’m proud of what GM has done, as far as turning itself around under Bob Lutz. Cadillac is back, definitely. If they would only produce the Sixteen concept, with or without the V-16. Chevy is coming along nicely. The Lambda series CUV’s (Acadia, Outlook and Enclave) have achieved sales domination with less than two years on the market. Those of you who, for whatever reason, cheer on the demise of domestic automobile manufacturing are in for a surprise.
GM dealers are notorious for not honoring warranties.
Who cares what it looks like. Point A to Point B ... without paying mechanics.
It's sad, but entirely believable given the miserable products the big three sold for so long.
My son in law helped build that sequoia
I have a 2005 Impala and love it. It has been a very solid and dependable car. It has 65,000 on it and the only maintenance, beside new brakes, has been routine maintenance. I always have and always will buy American. I am never going to line Japanese, German or Korean pockets ever.
The Camry is homely? Wow, what do you think is stylish?
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