Chevrolet restyles and technically updates 2014 Malibu image

Only 18 month after the mid size sedan was presented in a new generation, General Motors tries to overcome the sales dip with an early restyling, while also beefing up the technologies inside.

In an effort to get back from a disappointing sales streak, the 2014 Malibu, hitting dealer showrooms now, was updated to improve fuel efficiency and interior space, gets a styling refresh and adds more technology and a new base 2.5-liter engine.

“We recognize the importance of this segment and how we needed to make sure we were as competitive as possible,” Chris Perry, vice president of Chevy marketing in North America, told reporters at an event here. “Eighteen months into it, we recognized that we needed to up our game.”

Chevrolet is also dropping the lithium-ion battery from the “start-stop” system. The 2014 Malibu now gets a more traditional lead-acid battery, which has no impact on the achieved fuel economy, even as last year’s version had a lithium-ion battery-based eAssist technology to boost mileage. Now, the new technology is standard on all 2014 models while the EAssist was a $1,500 option on 2013 Malibus.

Chevrolet marketing Vice President Chris Perry said, “We found we could get the same results from a less expensive technology and at the same time save the customer money.” He added the fuel-saver “won’t work in all cases, but we are looking at our other vehicles to see where we can use start-stop.”

General Motors also disclosed it’s gearing up for a new marketing campaign that is comparable to the one used when a new vehicle is introduced. The new marketing campaign strategy will include new television ads and would run for at least six months, he added.

Via Reuters, Bloomberg