The New Chevrolet Malibu: The Car You Can't Find

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz

With $150m in their pockets, Chevy's ad men are touting the new Malibu as "The Car You Can't Ignore." Apparently the dealers can ignore it, though. I went to not one, not two, but three dealers in search of the new 'Bu. At the first, Performance Chevrolet in East Meadow, NY, they don't have any in stock. "We will have more by the end of the month." Uh, that's almost a month away. At dealer two, Robert Chevrolet in Hicksville, NY, neither the front space facing the street nor the showroom had a new Malibu (although they did have a Corvette sitting next to an Aveo). Around back they had a Malibu LS tucked away from public view. But the salesman couldn't find the keys to unlock it. "You can look in the window though." Gee, thanks. The third dealership was the charm. Charm as in lucky; the dusty dealership has all the charm of the DMV. East Hills Chevrolet Oldsmobile, in Roslyn, NY, had several Malibus in stock. I was even allowed to sit in one (Egad!). Just goes to show: it doesn't really matter how good the car is when the dealers bite.

Justin Berkowitz
Justin Berkowitz

Immensely bored law student. I've also got 3 dogs.

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4 of 48 comments
  • Pch101 Pch101 on Nov 09, 2007
    How do you seriously compete in the family sedan category with 1-10 copies on the lot of a large dealership when right next door the competition has over 60? This is one of the disadvantages of having too many dealers. For a production run of a given amount, having a large number of dealers means having less inventory per dealer. And because those dealers are stuck with other slow moving inventory sitting on their credit lines, burning interest expense every day, they are less likely to order too many new Malibus until they are able to dump older inventory and can see some evidence that the new car will be in demand. They could have saved money and possibly gained some traction by launching regionally (perhaps starting in the Southeast, for example), creating momentum in some market areas, and then growing it from there. Am I alone here, or do I see this becoming the next Aura? More high hopes and hype, that ultimately fizzled out.
  • Humourless Humourless on Nov 09, 2007

    Funny how GM Canada can't even bother with full specs or pricing on their website. Just a "coming this fall" (uh, guys, we're halfway through the season already) and the usual marketing bumpf. Not that I'd buy one anyway. Yet another car that doesn't seem to offer a manual tranny. At least not in any of the (very limited) photo gallery shots.

  • Frank Williams Frank Williams on Nov 09, 2007

    Apparently Chevy's ad agency can't get their hands on one either. All of the TV ads I've seen where they actually show what the car looks like use computer-generated pictures of the car instead of the real thing.

  • Shaker Shaker on Nov 09, 2007

    No manual tranny, and a 4-speed auto mated to the 4 cyl ... Did I also hear that that tranny is to be built in China (until a domestic plant comes on line?). I don't trust GM auto trannies to begin with; one made in the "Land of Misfit Toys" is even worse.