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.

shared from TTAC

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