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#47 of 1514 Re: malibu 
Dec 25, 2006 (2:52 pm)
You are totally clueless in regards to GM's products or the potential "extinction" of it's buyers. Chevy is the #1 selling brand (not Toyota) so it is silly to say they are running out of buyers. Maybe you could say that about Mitsubishi or VW, but not Chevy. You can twist that fact any way you please but there is no getting around Chevy being #1.
OK, maybe extinction is too harsh. But there is no denying the fact that sales for the Chevrolet division are down 8.9% year to date compared to last year, while sales for the Toyota division are up 13.4% for the same time period. Why can't Chevrolet grow? Why is GM losing ground to the imports?
To say that the Malibu is woefully behind the competition because it doesn't offer ONE feature that is OPTIONAL on SOME of its competitors is very simplistic.
I never said it was because of ONE feature. It is the ongoing perception that GM is not competitive. How many import sellers offer an old-tech pushrod V6 in their mainstream mid-size sedan today? None that I can think of. Why is GM still building 4-speed automatics when its competitors are selling 5-speed autos or CVT transmissions? Why can't you get satellite navigation in a Malibu today when you can in an Accord/Camry/Altima/Mazda6? Want dual-zone automatic climate control in a G6 or Malibu? Nope, can't have it. But you can get it in several of the import sedans. Are you getting a clue as to why GM is losing sales and the imports are gaining?
Any person who has been buying Toyotas for 20 years and has not faith in domestic vehicles is not going to run to the Chevy dealer just because a Malibu has bluetooth. It's going to take a lot more than that. Besides, as I already noted most import sedans in this price range do not have this feature because its usually bundled with other expensive options like navigation.
You may want to tell Nissan that they are not allowed to offer Bluetooth in the Sentra and Versa, because they are doing it now. Also, Bluetooth is available in the 2007 Altima without getting satellite navigation. Last I checked, the Versa was Nissan's entry-level offering. Imagine being able to get Bluetooth in the Cobalt. Never mind, it's GM we are talking about.
See where I'm going with this? I'm not a GM basher, I want them to succeed. Yes, offering OnStar and remote start is a great way to differentiate GM from other car makers. But GM also needs to be competitive in other areas as well. I said I liked the styling of the 2008 Malibu...it's WAY better than the current offering. But it makes the current Malibu look so much more outdated. The problem is GM will be selling the current Malibu for at least another 6 months. How many more sales will be lost because of this?
#48 of 1514 Bluetooth
Dec 25, 2006 (9:37 pm)
It should be available on more cars. It has become cheap enough now that some of their low-end "free" phones that cell providers give away with a contract now have the Bluetooth feature.
OnStar is not a substitute if you have to sign up for Verizon serice plus also pay the OnStar monthly fee.
The fact that it is showing up on cars as low-end as the Versa and Sentra prove this point.
#49 of 1514 Re: malibu [shado4]
Dec 25, 2006 (10:40 pm)
<<But it makes the current Malibu look so much more outdated. The problem is GM will be selling the current Malibu for at least another 6 months. How many more sales will be lost because of this? >>
But most of them go to fleets anyway or at discount price so I do not see problem here.
The real problem is will they offer numb electric steering and outdated powertrain in new Malubi?
#50 of 1514 Re: 2008 Malibu Photos [rvoth]
Dec 26, 2006 (11:58 am)
Is stability control really that big a deal in a sedan? Personally I don't think so. Never in any of the 3 autos that I've owned (with the exception of my Tracker) have I had a fear of rollingover. I mean what are the true chances of rolling over in a sedan?......granted your chances of that happening are considerably higher in a Van or SUV. But it all depends on how you react in a dangerous situation. People prone to jerk the wheel to avoid hitting something should not purchase a Van or SUV.
#51 of 1514 Re: malibu 
Dec 26, 2006 (12:08 pm)
I have to agree with you there. GMs problem is that its loosing customers but it still outsells Toyota and Honda (for now). I always thought that the Cobalt didn't sell well because I don't see many of them on the road here in Metro DC. But on a Christmas road trip to Cannonsburg, PA I could not belive how many Cobalts I saw on the 4hour trip up and at Cannonsburg. I was truly surprised at how many I saw and wondered if they sold that well in other parts of the country. Then I realized that I wouldn't see many Cobalts in Metro DC or LA, Miami or NYC. The people in these parts of the country buy Caddy's, Beamers, Infinitis, Acuras, and so on.
#52 of 1514 Re: malibu [shado4]
Dec 26, 2006 (12:16 pm)
Without getting into the specifics of Chevy's sales I suspect their sales are down due to a decrease in SUV sales and the fact that they have cut fleet sales across the board. The question is, will they be able to outsell Toyota this year? As far as I know the answer is yes. GM is not losing ground this year, it's share has been up or down slightly depending on which quarter you examine. Overall GM is doing no worse than last year in terms of market share and they are doing it with far less discounts. With the Malibu and 2007 Silverado Chevy is likely to have an increase in sales next year.
The 2008 Malibu SHOULD make the old car look old. That is the point. Nissan decided to make the new Altima so evolutionary that most people wont even notice it's all new. If you want people to rush out an buy your new model you have to make it worth trading in their old models. I can see that happening with the Malibu, but not the Altima.
The Fusion, Sonata, Galant and 6 lack dual zone auto climate control. Only the Accord, Passat and Camry have it but you cant get it on the Camry SE for some stupid reason. Want dual zone on a 6 or Sonata even though they are imports? Nope, cant have it.
GM is finally phasing out 4 speeds in mainstream cars. The G6/Aura already have 6 speeds and the Malibu will as well. The Vue will also have one. 4 speeds are older technology but the differences in mileage between a 4 speed and 5 speed are minimal. Compare the mileage of the Aura/G6/Malibu with the 3.5L engine to the Accord or Sonata or Fusion (6 speed) and you will see virtually no difference. As for pushrods, you need to look into that a little more. GM's newest pushrods have VVT while the Fusion, 6 and Sebring do not. Pushrod tech is no older than OHC technology, it's just mechanically simpler. OHV engines are trusted to run trucks, SUVs, sports cars and the 300C so I dont see why they cant be used. As far as I know the Japanese never made pushrod engines in america which is why they dont have them to this day, it's not like they made them and then "upgraded" to OHC layouts because they deemed OHV inferior.
Bluetooth is available on the Altima as part of an expensive package. Navigation isnt required, but another package with tons of unrelated features. Bottom line, on an Altima V6 you have to spend $30k to get bluetoooth which means 90% of Altimas will not have it. Does the Accord have bluetooth? Passat?
#53 of 1514 Re: malibu [savetheland]
Dec 26, 2006 (12:19 pm)
a 4 speed will be offered in the Malibu. The electric steering will most likely be offered on the 4 cylinder and hybrid models but not the V6 models. The G6 has dropped electric steering on V6 models and the Aura doesnt even offer it.
You can call the Malibu's likely powertrains outdated but all that matters is performance. The g6 has a four cylinder combined with a 4 speed with I suppose you would call outdated but it still gets 23/33 which is better than many cars, including the Fusion with a 5 speed.
#54 of 1514 Interesting Article
Dec 26, 2006 (1:47 pm)
Will the new Malibu change GM's fortunes? It will help, but GM still has a long way to go.
Detroit News article
Quote: "The biggest challenge GM faces is that more and more people, especially the young, are excluding us from their consideration list," the study said.
Hence my desire to see GM become more proactive when it comes to embracing newer technologies like Bluetooth. I am hoping that Chevy makes the 2008 Malibu a showcase for forward thinking that will draw more people into the showrooms.
#55 of 1514 Re: malibu 
Dec 26, 2006 (5:04 pm)
"You can call the Malibu's likely powertrains outdated but all that matters is performance."
It more perceptions than facts. GMs new OHV engines with VVT are pretty well engineered - fuel effective and smooth. I drove some time ago rental Pontiac GP with OHV and could not figure out what engine was under the hood. But I did not try to race it though. You probably will notice trying to rev it up. But for Pontiac being sport sedan company it is essencial to have latest technologies under the hood. For Chevy may be it is not so important.
Electric steering can be done right, but GM needs to put more engineering effort to improve it.
#56 of 1514 Re: malibu [savetheland]
Dec 27, 2006 (10:23 am)
GM has done electric steering right on the Cobalt SS s/c coupe. That car's steering has been lauded but I suspect that some of the changes that were made negate the fuel economy advantages of electric steering. I dont think the feature is going anywhere so I look for them to refine it in the future.
MT has a clear pic of the Malibu in the February issue. They said the engines are 2.4L and 3.6L so I guess no OHV engine will be offered. They like the styling a lot and said this car is worthy of being called Malibu.
as for Pontiac, the have a direct injection turbo four that crushes the audi 2L turbo. I would call that technology. The G6 has a DOHC V6 and 6 speed auto, sounds pretty up to date to me.