Chevrolet Malibu dies.

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Another one bites the dust…

Despite recent rumors about a new generation based on the Chevrolet Trax/Buick Envista platform, GM just announced that Malibu production will end in November 2024. This means the planned late May switch to the 2025 model year is probably not happening.

The Kansas plant where the Malibu is being built is also making the Cadillac XT4. After the Malibu, the XT4 will stop production for a while starting in January 2025. Then the plant will be updated to produce the next-generation Chevrolet Bolt, as well as resuming production of the XT4 in late 2025.

That’s good news about an all-new Ultium-based Bolt, but what will happen to the Cadillac XT4 in 2025? With production stopped for most of the year.

Cadillac just released a revised 2024 version of the XT4 and I guess they would expect sales numbers to pick up a bit from last year. (22,708 sold last in 2023). Which will be pretty tough with production being stopped for most of 2025 unless they can produce enough before the pause. And who knows, maybe the XT4 will start production again in late 2025 as a 2026 model could be a new generation.

GM is already saying the new Ultium Bolt will be built on the same assembly line as the Cadillac XT4. Are they telling us the next XT4 could be an Ultium based EV?

However this wouldn’t make much sense since Cadillac is getting ready to launch the new Cadillac Optiq…

Here are a few previously published illustrations of what a next-generation Chevrolet Malibu could have looked like.

And even the next generation Chevrolet Bolt, starting production late next year as a 2026 model.

While Toyota and Honda can still figure out how to make money with their popular sedans like the Camry and Accord, it is sad to see GM failing to do the same. The Camry isn’t new at all and the Accord is a redesign of the previous generation… And yet, these have been getting great reviews and are selling well. The Chevrolet Malibu sold over 130,000 units in 2023. Which was more than in previous years. I’d say that’s pretty good for a car that came out almost 10 years ago.

GM didn’t need an all-new Malibu, they could have gotten away with a striking redesign. Something that can be done but was not willing to.

Sad indeed…

Conversation 4 comments

  1. I wouldn’t count the Malibu out for good. I suspect it may return after a break. Here’s why – unlike Ford which saw improved profitability but lower overall revenue, GM’s Mary Barra has steered that company to both higher profitability and increased revenue giving them the capital to move forward with Bolt production transitioned to the Ultium platform. Remember, the Bolt was “cut” also. But that means, right now, they’re shuffling production and some models have to stop to begin making something new. Barra has also mentioned moving into hybrids, and this is where I suspect GM is going. They’ll have their two Ultium facilities, and I suspect they’re happy for the moment with that technology but will be sharing its platforms and systems into upcoming hybrids for economy of scale benefits. NOTE – Her prior role was Ex VP Product Development, Supply Chain, etc.. so she knows how to navigate these changes and play a strategic game for new products and cost. Under her, GM has started to guard its nameplates. So when the dust settles, my bet is GM will reintroduce a new Ultrium-hybrid Malibu (possibly with PHEV option). I’m quite impressed with her and all you have to look at is how adeptly she handled the UAW negotiations and the press, in contrast to Jim Farley (Fords CEO) who acted like a scorned frat boy, and now has an adversarial relationship with his own workers. This lady is playing the long game and I think she’ll win it over Ford, because she learns from the mistakes. Looking at stock prices, apparently WallStreet thinks so too.

  2. Vince,
    Do you think that besides the Bolt that GM will also offer a new generation of the Buick Velite 6 or Velite 7 (updating them in China and possibly bringing one to the U.S.)? Thank you.

  3. It’s really hard to know what’s going on with Buick EVs for the US. The Velite 6 and 7 are old and now they are concentrating on the Electra Series (Electra E4 and Electra E5). They should definitely sell the Electra E4 over here. But who knows…

  4. I thought the Malibu was getting a redesign for 2025. Guess not. The XT4 is obviously such a poor seller that GM can get away with skipping a year of production. Hasn’t a new XT4 been introduced in China recently? I’d guess when production resumes it will be the new model.

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