Last post on Feb 09, 2013 at 9:37 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Malibu
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Malibu, Sedan
#2375 of 4972 Actually a pretty good discussion going on here...
Sep 25, 2003 (1:16 pm)
...here's my $.02.
Reg...a Packer/Viking color schemed 'Bu would probably sell better than you think! Although given the intensity of that rivalry in recent years it might incite road rage incidents. It would be one way to introduce some needed color contrast to the Malibu's interior!
I think everyone has said their peace (or is it 'piece') about the Midwesterner thing. I grew up as a rural Cheesehead and now live in the heart of Mpls. From a sales standpoint, Reg is accurate about the distribution of domestic makes in rural areas. Rather than rural/Midwestern folks being "unable to read" (this was actually a Bob Lutz spin on the stereotype), I think is has as much to do with price point and dealership network as anything else. My Mom lives in a town of 2000 and she can drive down the street and get her car serviced at a dealer that sells every GM nameplate. Honda/Toyota/Mazda/VW dealers just don't have stores in towns that small. If the closest place I could get service on my Passat was 70 miles from my home, I may have given a domestic car more weight. Also, when you live in a small town/rural area, you make a lot less money typically...it's just the scale of the economy. While real-estate prices reflect the smaller paychecks, cars (your other big expense) are on a national scale. A Chev in LA costs the same as a Chev in Briggsville, WI. If you're making $30K a year versus $80K and gotta have a new ride, then that Cavalier w/ a 3000 rebate looks better than the Civic or Jetta. The resident from LA and Briggsville may even have the same reading comprehension scores OTOH, if you're in the Twin Cities (or other Midwestern Metro area), the auto demographics probably aren't far from LA.
Back to a couple of other points in Reg's post. Keep in mind that the Malibu was essentially signed off on by the Zarrella regime at GM. It's a transitional car, kind of like the Grand Prix was. For the mass middle market, the G6 will probably be the first car that has Lutz's full stamp on it (for sure the Epsilon Buick in 2006 will). So considering that the new 'Bu is a fresh iteration of a very positive trend at GM in the past several years...that is one of making high quality, high value, reliable, if conservative cars...I think Chevy did a fine job. Actually, that's faint praise...the new Malibu competes with and IMO exceeds the current Camry in terms of looks, feel and dynamics. You have to drive it to believe it.
Is the 'Bu perfect? No...they need to keep refining it every single model year. Without knowing details, I think most of the high impact improvements (seat fabric, more interior color contrast, more attractive steering wheel and shift lever)would be relatively inexpensive.
Finally, you want to expand GM's portfolio while hanging on to the base. By no means would it make sense to alienate their faithful buyers while 'shocking the world' in pursuit of import buyers. I'm talking style here not substance/quality. You need a solid, conservative entry in the mid-size field. Notice how well this works for Camry? Notice how shock and awe doesn't guarantee major success with the 6? You also can't ignore the fact that GM has other divisions and, thus, more up it's sleeve for this segment. Compare the G6 with the Passat, Accord and 6 before determining the outcome of this game.
Sep 25, 2003 (1:36 pm)
. A Chev in LA costs the same as a Chev in Briggsville, WI.
I don't think so. Many vehicles are priced appropriately for each market.
I think a lot of the GM bias in the Midwest has to do with production facility location. People that make the vehicles and their components are more likely to buy those vehicles. Not only because they feel some affiliation with the manufacturer but, because they get employee and supplier discounts.
Sep 25, 2003 (1:39 pm)
Wow. Great post.
First, an "off-color" comment. Obviously, being a Dolphins fan, I'd want orange & teal. But, seriously, since I do make it down for a game or two a year, the Maxx seems nearly perfect for that. Also a good cook, so I'd get a lot of use out of the rear picnic table (and the cargo hold seems fine, at least what we've heard so far, for the grill, etc.). Hmmm, a Maxx in Orange with Teal interior? Works for me.
I'm considering the sedan a "standby" at this point just in case. And no, I won't be too harsh tomorrow. I expect to be very pleasantly surprised. And the fact that you're one of the few who's driven one (in here anyway) says a lot.
Small aside: Wasn't aware that Buick was involved in the Epsilon thing except for the new Regal which is actually due a year from now as an '05. Is there another Buick that's related to the Malibu/G6 coming that I don't know about?
That's 2 for today. The above, and what ever is a Chevy Epica???? Never claimed to know everything, but 2 in one day? I'm starting to sweat. Help me out!!
#2378 of 4972 and now a couple of gripes....
Sep 25, 2003 (1:56 pm)
A couple of my bigger gripes about the Malibu are the 'made for rebate' pricing and the lack of a manual transmission. I truly wish they would have just retailed the LT model (top of the line, fully loaded) around 21-22K rather than $24.5K. IMO, it's a stupid-good bargain at $22K MSRP. Of course $20-21K out the door is what you're actually going to pay for a fully loaded Malibu after the inevitable huge rebate and negotiating to a few hundred $ above invoice. But if they'd just price it right to begin with, then the spin would be what a great buy it is rather than 'another domestic car being sold with rebates'.
Second thing, why can't they offer a manual transmission in this car? If the target is 250K sales/year, then 10% manual sales is certainly doable...and I'll bet a good portion of those 25,000 customers could be pure conquest sales if they spun it the right way. Reg, here's something we could both back 100% Consider this...orient the lower end of the Malibu range as "value-sport". Put together a collection of options with the forthcoming 2.4L Ecotech that would include a manual transmission option and all the other common comfort and convenience options. Then combine it with an advertising spin that invites comparisons to the top of the Focus, Civic, Corolla and (bottom of the) Jetta range. Here's where I think Chevy could hold on to (and expand) their mid-size base vs. Camry/Taurus etc...while making the Malibu appealing to import buyers. A sedan (and ESPECIALLY a Maxx) available with a 170ish HP 4 cylinder engine and a stick, priced from $18-19,000 could definitely make some noise. Of course one problem (other than the fact that mid-size cars give no respect to the stick in the USA) is that you'd potentially be stepping on the top of the Cobalt range as well. But a guy can dream, right?
Sep 25, 2003 (2:12 pm)
A Chev in LA costs the same as a Chev in Briggsville, WI.
"I don't think so. Many vehicles are priced appropriately for each market.
I think a lot of the GM bias in the Midwest has to do with production facility location. People that make the vehicles and their components are more likely to buy those vehicles. Not only because they feel some affiliation with the manufacturer but, because they get employee and supplier discounts. "
It's not a scientific argument so much as a hypothesis...that the rural/small town customer might be much more value-sensitive where the motivation is getting the best deal on a brand new car. Perhaps Michigan might be one state where social ques dictate that you drive a domestic, but other than that, I'm not sure there's much affiliation with the manufacturer unless you're living right in the shadow of a factory location. Again, just a hypothesis from a former rural Cheesehead (still a Cheesehead, just not rural anymore). While MSRP may be adjusted by market, interestingly my experience when shopping with/for family members is that the larger town/city dealer usually saves you a few hundred $ on the initial purchase. In my example, you'll often get a better deal (by a couple to several hundred $) if you purchase a Chev in Madison, WI rather than buying it in Portage, WI. (pop. 230K vs pop. 9K)
That's enough from my piehole today...have a good night all.
Sep 25, 2003 (2:54 pm)
agree 1000% totally on your idea for a sporting bu4/stick. Who cares if it conquests Cobalt sales. Don't fall prey to GM's worrys about internal competition. The other makes are your competition. GM is not GM's competition. Put the best Malibu combinations out there to raise as much interest as possible.
Want a Cobalt with appeal? A 4 door 160hp Ecotec Cobalt with stick and abs/air and 17" tires and decent wheels out the door price of about 13 g. Cruise too. Make the Malibu a 175hp 4 or turbo four with stick and PW/PL sunroof in addition and keep it at 20 grand maxx.
I had an entire post that would not register because of Edmunds again. Type for 10 minutes and it blows it away. Can't the thing at least save your text of what you type if your login expires? Its entirely maddening and makes my blood boil. And it was a COMPLIMENTaRY POSITIVE POST TOO! And now I forgot what it was all about!
Lesson, before each post, copyclip to the clipboard. Edmunds won't do a THING to save your text when your login or their servers fail.
Oh yeah, something about the 6 sedna being quite dull looking in base form, the wagon and hatch are better looking, similarly the maxx is more interesting, blah blah, i can buy a dull looking car if its interior and powertrain/ handling are superior but if a car is dull to look at and dull to drive then no sale.
Jeff when do we get together and plan this Malibu design.
#2381 of 4972 Early Night for More than One of Us
Sep 25, 2003 (3:02 pm)
Since I have to get up at 4AM tomorrow (and Survivor's on tonite), this'll be it for me as well. Bet you're all saying "good riddance".
reg, please include in your midnight essay a quick blurb about the Epica. Thanks. P.S., your troubles in posting are STRANGE. Don't know what to tell you. I've made stupid, but minor mistakes, but THAT has never happened. "Login expiring"? What? Edmund's also gets very busy this time of day, and the wait time after posting is atrocious.
Guess I'll have to answer my question about the Regal myself. It's on an extended Epsilon platform and won't compete directly with the Malibu & G6. The L-Series replacement, which IS due for '06, WILL be a direct stablemate to the 'Bu/G6.
I'm confused by the recent posts re: pricing. Yes, I see "special" market discounts down here from time to time, but isn't MSRP the same nationwide? Maybe I'm missing that point.
Have a good night.
Sep 25, 2003 (4:38 pm)
wpbharry: well we have one thing in common, were both dolphin fans.
on the mid western thing: are the Dakotas and Nebraska considered mid western states? as far as being conservative states, take out indiana and you'll see that the upper mid west went "blue" in the last presidential election.
any small rural town will be dominated by conservative people with cars and a whole lot of trucks from the big three. it's not unique to the mid west.
#2383 of 4972 posting issues
Sep 25, 2003 (4:55 pm)
If your post is not strictly about the Malibu, the server won't let you post.
Heh, heh, heh ...umm, hmmm...... Oh yeah, right. I reckon THAT can't be true given what's gone on around here lately. Well, I can wish, can't I?
No, here's the real deal ... You can get timed out of Web Crossing while you are composing a post. It usually takes a while, how long I don't know, but it's "a while". You can be typing away and hit post and then you see the refreshed message display, but your post isn't there.
Here's what you gotta do right away - hit the back button on your browser. Your post should be in the post box. You can select it all and copy it. Then you MUST hit the forward button to return to the page that was displayed when you hit post but your message did not post.
(You are still with me, right? )
NOW you can paste that which you copied into the post box, click on post again and your message will post that time.
Trust me. Would I lie to you?
Sep 25, 2003 (6:25 pm)
I have tried to use 'back' before, but i cannot remember the success rate. By that point I am swearing so much. And I get rattled.
Harry-the EPICA from Chevrolet, not to be confused with the OPTRA, is the clone of the Daewoo Magnus / Suzuki Verona (HEY GM DOES DO WORLD CARS!!!!). However, do not fret. The Epica is only available in the land of the maple leaf and touk.
Check out Edmunds first drive review of the Verona/Epica. the dash is very pre 2004 TLish meets 626.
venus, often times states in the farm belt will vote democrat as the democrats have a better track record on producing farm subsidies and they fight 'corporate farming'.
That's all I will say about that, as I don't want to go far off topic. There are websites that can tell you just how much money goes out.
THAT'S ALL I'M GONNA SAY! 'bite' 'lip'.