Chevrolet Malibu Plant Idled

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
chevrolet malibu plant idled

General Motors had idled its Fairfax, Kansas plant where the Chevrolet Malibu is built, as slow sales hamper the brand’s mid-size sedan.

A GM spokesman confirmed to Automotive News that GM “is taking idle time in December,” to “make sure we are aligning our production with demand.”

But a statement released by GM was evasive regarding the Malibu’s impact on the idling“We have strategically built Chevrolet Malibu stock levels based on scheduled downtime and a strengthening vehicle market…This idle time gives us an opportunity to conduct scheduled facility projects aimed at improving the plant’s future competitiveness.”

As of December 1st, GM had a 106-day supply of Malibus, higher than anticipated. The Malibu has endured a barrage of negative criticism since its introduction, and the car will get an early mid-cycle refresh after just 18 months on the market.

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  • Buickman Buickman on Dec 18, 2012

    the rear seat room is a problem and the Eco only launch was a poor choice. granted the product is crucial. my point is that today most products in general are equivalent in terms of features and price. the biggest factor IMO is image and perception. in this area the marketing makes the difference. were GM able to overcome the Gov't Motors moniker and the negativity over BK while driving traffic into the showrooms, we would be adding shifts not cutting them. Return to Greatness is the answer.

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    • Buickman Buickman on Dec 18, 2012

      @Buickman thank you sir.

  • APaGttH APaGttH on Dec 18, 2012

    GM really, REALLY screwed up the Malibu refresh. It is a bit of a jolt given the Spark is doing better than anyone expected, the Sonic is darn good, and the Cruze has solid sales. All of these vehicle launches went well, and met the segment needs well. The Spark is top in A segment sales, the Sonic is second in B segment beyond the maligned but much cheaper Versa. The Cruze is class competitive. The Malibu is a wreck - the decision to go smaller was flat out bad. For whatever reason compared to the Cruze and Sonic in particular, the bean counters apparently got a lot to say about the Malibu. The refresh can't come fast enough - and screwing up the D-segment is a bad thing - it is crazy competitive between Accord, Camry, Fusion...

  • Sketch447 Sketch447 on Dec 18, 2012

    The sad thing about GM is that it can never do right in some peoples' minds.... The Malibu is very competitive with its competition. But its competition is just too extraordinary. So why cast aspersions on GM for offering a conservative yet competent offering?? I don't hear people trashing the Corolla for being outdated, even though it is dorky looking, underpowered, has an ancient 4-speed tranny, and handles like a WonderBread truck. Toyota is piling discounts on it, yet no one mocks Toyota.....

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    • Rnc Rnc on Dec 19, 2012

      No GM can do things right, but when they do them wrong, they have this tendency to do them really, really wrong. The malibu is a bread and butter car (aka fusion, accord, camry) and they completely dropped the ball. The worst part is the fumble was from a 1970's or 80's GM game, build a decent product, push it out before its ready, every pissed of customer tells 20-30 people how crappy it is (while a happy one tells 5-7). It's just like every time GM tries to do something fancy regarding engines, the designs weren't flawed, they were just pushed out before the flaws were fixed to meet some deadline or save $10 (hell Range Rover was still using a GM designed early 60's OHC engine in the 90's). Aluminum blocks with silica coated sleeves, bomb. 8-6-4, bomb (and it could've been made to work, doing it mechanically was a bitch, but mercedes had mechanical direct injection in the 50's). The Quad-4, leave off one $10 part, bomb. Northstar was pushed out before the issues were taken car of (and the fixes were simple on that one, just didn't want to spend the money). Thats one of the reasons I think GM still hangs onto OHV, they've got taurus shock, if they build something new and special they are scared people will stay away because everytime they've done something special it was a disaster. And this is were the next problem comes in, if Ford can really get the next F150 down 700lbs and use EB 3L and 4L engines, they are going to eat GM's cash cow, while GM will do what with thier OHV's? (and they are great engines, problem is, no one else uses them, so the other makers, the improvments they make to thier 1.4's can be transferred to thier 6.2's and vice versa, GM can't). So GM needs to ditch the OHV, add 2 cyl. to thier (from my understanding) great 3.6 and move forward quickly. GM was given a lease on life (I don't see the urgency that Mulully or Ghosn incited and instilled), everyone braggs about the $9 or so billion they've made since exiting BK, most of that was interest payments not made on cancelled debt.

  • Charliej Charliej on Dec 18, 2012

    In my personal life, I like Hondas and Acuras. I have owned a Honda or Acura from 1980 through 2011. I never had a major problem with any of them. For work, I have had Ford or Dodge trucks, and have mostly been pleased with them. I had to do one transmission rebuild on a F350 with a box body at 225,000 miles. I have no complaints about it. The Dodge Sprinter cab chassis with box body blew a transmission with less than 100,000 miles. Still no complaints. I paid for the Dodge with the reduced fuel bill. When I was running two Ford trucks, the fuel bill was nearly $3000 per month. The Sprinter used less than half the fuel of the Fords. My current personal car is a Chrysler, bought in 2005. It has had a water pump and timing belt replaced and that is all, except for tires and other wear items. I like Honda products, but I don't think that Detroit vehicles are terrible. I have had good luck with Ford trucks, my Chrysler is doing fine. My late father had a Malibu "Classic" that was not really bad. The actual reliability of all cars has improved so much over the past few years that I would not hesitate to buy any name brand vehicle. Being in Mexico, there a quite a few that I would not consider, Renault, Peugeot, Seat. I may, however, try a Chinese motorcycle to see how they hold up.