January 17, 2013
DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co., seeking to revive sales of its new Chevrolet Malibu, is working on speedy design changes to the sedan -- including the rear seating -- to make it more competitive with other midsize models, two people familiar with the effort said.
Updates will make the back seat feel roomier and the front end will gain some styling cues from the new Chevrolet Impala, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. The revamped version would reach showrooms in the third quarter, the people said. Swift improvements are needed to compete in the segment that includes five of the 20 most popular vehicles in the U.S.
While Mary Barra, GM senior vice president of global product development, said that some consumers were complaining about the back seats, she declined to comment on what’s being changed with the Malibu. CEO Dan Akerson told Automotive News in an interview late last year that changes were being made without elaborating.
“We’ve got some tweaks that we’ve made, that we already had planned, that will be coming out in the not-too-distant future that I think will assist,” Barra said this week in an interview at the Detroit auto show.