Chevy Malibu Could Be Discontinued In 2022

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - June 9, 2020

With the Chevrolet Cruze and Impala getting the axe last year, we’ve been expecting terrible news for the Malibu to follow suit. Rumors of the Malibu’s death have been making the rounds since the Cruze went out of production in 2019 and once again when Chevy pulled the plug on the Impala earlier this year. Now, according to a report by GM Authority, the Malibu won’t be around after the 2023 model year, which means it will probably be killed off before the end of 2022.

The outlet doesn’t have a source for the information, but claims the decision to discontinue the Malibu is two years ahead of schedule. Originally, General Motors was expected to keep the Malibu around until the 2025 model year. 2023 was actually going to be an important year for the Malibu, as the midsize sedan was supposed to receive a refresh that year. That would no longer be the case.

Earlier this year, GM made the decision to halt new vehicle development because of complications and losses brought on by the coronavirus. So, the news to skip the Malibu’s refresh and push its discontinuation date forward doesn’t sound absurd. Furthermore, the outlet claims that the Malibu hasn’t been flying off dealer lots recently. In 2019, Chevrolet only sold 131,917 units of the Malibu in the United States. Back in 2016, the Malibu accounted for 227,881 units sold.

Chevy Malibu

Compared to some of the more popular midsize sedans on the market, the Malibu did not do very well last year. The Honda Accord (267,567 units sold), Toyota Camry (336,978 vehicles sold), Nissan Altima (209,183 cars sold), and Ford Fusion (166,045 sedans sold) all managed to outsell the Malibu. Midsize sedans like the Mazda6 (21,524 units sold), Kia Optima (96,050 sedans sold), and Hyundai Sonata (87,466 cars sold) didn’t do as well as the Malibu.

It certainly looks like Chevrolet is heading toward the same future as Ford, which decided that it would no longer sell passenger cars in North America besides the iconic Mustang. With the death of the Malibu, the subcompact Sonic sedan and hatchback will be the only small car that Chevrolet will sell in the U.S. But GM Authority believes that the Sonic could be on the chopping block in the near future. As the outlet points out, the U.S. is the only market where the Sonic is still available, having been discontinued in Mexico, Korea, and Canada to make room for the Onix.

If true, the death of the Malibu paints a dismal picture for the humble midsize sedan. Dropping sedans from their respective lineups has been the primary method for automakers to cut costs as consumers shift toward crossovers and SUVs. While perennial favorites like the Camry, Altima, and Accord outsold the Malibu, their respective numbers have dropped over the years. Consumers want the high seating position, availability of all-wheel drive, extra cargo space, and perceived safety that crossovers and SUVs bring over sedans.

While the Malibu will still be around for a few years, consumers will have to look toward the Camry, Altima, Accord, Optima, Sonata, Subaru Legacy, Mazda6, and Volkswagen Passat if they want a midsize sedan in the future. Compared to other competitors in the segment, the Malibu fell behind because of a lack of a hybrid powertrain, a bland interior design, and a small list of standard safety features. These may not sound like massive downsides, but the midsize sedan segment is cutthroat and a few issues are exacerbated because every automaker is trying to one-up another with the perfect vehicle.

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, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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