Only 18 month after the mid size sedan was presented in a new generation, General Motors tries to offset slow sales with an early restyling, while also adding new technologies.
In an effort to reverse the disappointing sales, the 2014 Malibu, hitting dealer showrooms now, was reworked to improve fuel efficiency and interior space, update the styling and add 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.”
And, in a move that highlights the tension between high technology and high cost in the auto market, Chevrolet is also dropping the lithium-ion battery from the “start-stop” system. The 2014 Malibu now uses a lead-acid battery to improve fuel economy and achieve the same fuel economy as the older model, which used a lithium-ion battery-based eAssist technology to boost mileage. The new technology is standard on all 2014 models; 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 said it’s planning a marketing campaign comparable to a new vehicle introduction for the updated 2014 version. “We’re looking at this as an all new launch,” said Chris Perry. The marketing campaign will include new television ads and run at least six months, he added.
Via Reuters, Bloomberg
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