While we've heard whispers the writing's been on the wall for themidsize sedan, it looks like the car could head to the chopping block sooner than expected.
GM Authority, without citing a source, reported this past weekend that the sedan will supposedly not return after the 2023 model year. That'd give it an expiration date sometime in 2022. It's been Roadshow's understanding the sedan was in for one more refresh in 2023 before it died off in the middle of this decade.
If the latest information rings true, the Malibu's planned refresh is off the table. It would certainly make sense after learning General Motorsdue to the pandemic. The decision pushed future vehicle refreshes further down the road, and it's likely the Malibu's planned changes were subject to a second look. A Chevy spokesperson told Roadshow, "We are not engaging in the speculation on potential product adjustments. Malibu remains in the Chevrolet product lineup."
However, Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting for AutoForecast Solutions, told Roadshow the Malibu is an "obvious" choice if GM wants to continue cutting costs.
"Midsized sedan sales have been hit especially hard in the demand shift toward crossovers," he said. "FCA, Ford and Nissan have already made moves to reduce production of sedans in order to shift their focus toward more profitable CUVs."
As for what will become of GM's plant in Fairfax, Kansas, that's not totally clear. The plant only builds the Malibu sedan and thecrossover.
"Removing the Malibu from those assembly lines will cause even more problems at the Kansas plant where capacity utilization is among the lowest in the US," Fiorani added.