Breaking: The Chevy Sedan Is Not Yet Extinct (Though Buyers Are Working On It)

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
breaking the chevy sedan is not yet extinct though buyers are working on it

Unlike Ford, which plans to put its sole remaining four-door passenger car underground by 2021, General Motors’ Chevrolet division is not quite ready to kiss the sedan goodbye.

While the automaker did cull its compact Chevrolet Cruze earlier this year (sparking a wail of grief from a certain writer whose year-old daily driver now bears an defunct nameplate), and while the Chevy Impala is also scheduled to bite the dust come January, the long-running Malibu is said to have at least a few good years left in it.

According to Automotive News‘ updated product pipeline, the midsize Malibu, which underwent a facelift for 2019, “is expected to continue until at least 2024.” The same longevity cannot be claimed by the subcompact Sonic and Spark, which appear ready to follow their larger siblings into the grave within a year or two.

Come that hazy tombstone date, the Malibu might be “indirectly” replaced by an electric vehicle, the AN prophets claim. A refresh could occur for 2022, should GM deem it practical.

Built in Kansas City, the Malibu underwent significant changes for 2016, enjoying large gains in fuel economy and a significant loss of weight. At the same time, the sedan’s much-maligned backseat gained some much-needed volume. Sales volume followed, with that year being the model’s best showing since GM returned the Malibu nameplate to the Chevy stable in 1997.

Alas, good things rarely last, and GM watched Malibu sales fall from nearly 228,000 in ’16 to just under 186,000 in 2017. Last year brought another tumble, to the 144,000 bracket — its worst sales year since 2007.

If you’re wondering whether there’s good news for this sensible sedan in 2019, you can probably guess the answer. There isn’t. Through June, Malibu sales fell 14.7 percent, mirroring the performance of so many midsizers — and cars in general — throughout the industry. If the trend continues, and there’s ample reason to believe it will, one wonders if 2024 is too rosy a prediction for the Malibu’s end date.

At least its Fairfax Assembly home, unlike the Cruze’s now-shuttered Lordstown facility, hosts a crossover under its roof.

[Images: General Motors]

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  • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Jul 31, 2019

    Corn-based ethanol scam? Correct! Sugar cane ethanol is WAY better. Sugar cane derived ethanol, as is produced in South America, can be produced for approx 5% of the cost of corn-derived ethanol (production costs, not logistics of shipping it). The corn-derived ethanol thing is a MASSIVE SCAM ON TAXPAYERS/CONSUMERS and MASSIVE WELFARE TO BIG AGRICULTURE. Sugar cane grows like crazy, even win the wild, with almost no required extra fertilizer, water or other commoditized input. Corn is a fertilizer and especially water intensive crop (corn requires about 100x the amount of water that sugar cane does to grow). CONGRATULATIONS AMERICAN TAXPAYERS/CONSUMERS. You literally could have ethanol at the pump for approx 1/5th the cost of what it is now BUT FOR CONgress and "both" "different" political parties bending you over, repeatedly, par for the course in every facet of your life.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jul 31, 2019

    Agree corn based ethanol is a scam and we are all paying for it as taxpayers and the damage it does to our vehicles and power equipment. It would be interesting to know just how much dollarwise the damage that corn based ethanol does to vehicles and power equipment--I would guess it would be at least millions per year.

  • FreedMike So it has transited out of existence here...
  • TheEndlessEnigma Self fulfilling prophesy. Ford spends virtually nothing on sales and marketing for the Transit....then scratches their collective heads not understand why it doesn't sell to their assumed objectives. If you do not market the vehicle, it will not sell. Pretty simple to understand really. Ford sure is working hard to make itself a niche automobile company, trucks and SUV's only. But that's OK, Kia/Hyundai/Toyota/Honda and yes even Volkswagen & Nissan are more than happy to sell to those customers Ford is apparently happy to walk away from.
  • NJRide I would think this segment would have a following but I guess not enough of a price difference with larger vans and probably too unrefined to be a sort of minivan alternative
  • Stuki Moi "...until I realize they're just looking for an open spot that doesn't have a hydrant next to it."As if that's some sort of excuse..... It's almost up there with the yahoos who effectively park, blocking a street, to wait for someone who looks like he may be, maybe..., leaving his parking spot at some point in the future.If you need to park; practice drive and dive. Cars have good brakes these days. Keep traffic flowing, come what may. That's the name of efficient driving game. Not all manners of "yes, but I'm like, you know, like...." so that everyone else are stuck behind you.
  • Dukeisduke I don't listen to AM that much, but I still listen. I think it's stupid not to include it in new cars.