We’ve seen the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu undergoing testing, but last we knew, the new sedan wasn’t expected to go on sale until sometime next summer. That’s apparently no longer the case, as new reports suggest the midsize sedan’s launch has been expedited by nearly four months.
Chevrolet originally planned on rolling the new Malibu into showrooms beginning in the summer of 2012, but as competition in the midsize sedan segment continues to be red-hot, the automaker is advancing its timeline in order to counter new competitors in the segment.
“Since (GM CEO) Dan Akerson came aboard, he’s challenging us to move faster and this is the latest example,” company spokesman Dave Darovitz recently told The Detroit News.
According to the News, the 2013 Malibu is now slated to roll off assembly lines starting in January of 2012, and into dealer lots beginning in March. Production will occur at GM’s plants in Fairfax, Kansas, and Hamtramck, Michigan. The launch of the Malibu may create new jobs, but GM refrained from indicating how many positions, or at which location they may be located.
Although the current Malibu debuted in 2008, it remains one of GM’s best-selling models. In 2010, Chevy sold nearly 198,770 cars, a figure bested only by the Silverado full-size pickup in GM’s U.S. portfolio. Despite its success, the Malibu’s sales still fall short of industry leaders, including the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Ford Fusion, to say nothing of rising stars like the Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata.
As this new Malibu is a global car (it will be sold in markets outside of North America, albeit perhaps not with the Malibu name), Chevrolet is scheduled to unveil its new midsize hope simultaneously at both the Shanghai and New York auto shows next week.