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Link: http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080329/AUTO01/803290339/1148


Sharon Terlep / The Detroit News

Article quotes - Full article at link.

"The Malibu is probably one of the most significant intros GM has had in recent history -- it's a very positively received redesign," Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jesse Toprak said. "And now it's legitimately competing against the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, which is something no midsize sedan has been able to do."

The car still isn't convincing droves of customers to trade in their Camrys and Accords. Only 1.4 percent of Malibu buyers traded in a Camry, which has long dominated the massive midsize segment, according to J.D. Powers. Another 1.4 percent traded in a Honda Civic and 1.3 percent traded in a Nissan Altima. And fewer than 1 percent traded their Accords.

But those numbers are an improvement from the old model, which didn't even register a measurable level of Camry, Civic and Altima trade-ins.

Mostly, the Malibu is still wooing buyers who already owned a GM vehicle. About 40 percent of those who bought the '08 Malibu previously owned a Chevy, compared with 48 percent of owners of the old models.

Pricewise, however, the difference is striking.

The average transaction price of the '08 Malibu was $22,358 through March 25, just $30 less than the average selling price in November, when the car was launched, according to J.D. Power. The '07 models are selling for $17,075, down from $17,787.

A year ago, the old Malibu was the cheapest of seven key midsize sedan entries in the United States. A V-6 Malibu sold for $7,000 less than a comparable Nissan Altima, which topped the list in March 2007 with a $27,223 average transaction price. This month, the Malibu is fourth on the price list, with the V-6 going for $26,218, about $1,000 less than the Accord, which had the highest price.

GM included more standard options, such as stability control and interior lighting, in the new Malibu, Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper said this week. The automaker's data shows the average Malibu buyer is 49, four years younger than for the previous model, and the vehicle is winning converts on the West Coast, where domestic carmakers have struggled to make inroads.

Buyers also are opting for more richly packaged models, Peper said. The highest trim level -- the $26,795 LTZ model -- comprises 21 percent of sales, compared with just 5 percent on the old model.

"There's a ton of stuff in these vehicles, and people are willing to pay more," Peper said. "They see the value."

A price bump is expected in any new vehicle launch, but auto analysts say the size and consistency of the Malibu's higher taking price is unusual.

Not all of the money will make it into GM's coffers, since the automaker likely is spending significantly more to build the new models. The automaker also spent more than $300 million on a massive marketing campaign to sell new buyers on the revamped four-door.

The automaker needs all the revenue help it can get as it struggles to stave off further losses amid a slumping U.S. auto market and declining demand for high-margin large trucks and SUVs.
 

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When production equals demand, how about a conquest rebate geared to Camry and Accord owners?

Nice to see such a high (and profitable) LTZ package take rate.
 

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Starting to see more on the road and they are really sharp, especially in darker colors. I can see it taking the most sales from the Camry because it is such a boring car. The Accord and Altima are at least a little more sporty. I'm not sure why the Civic stats are there but it is nice to see those owners upgrade to the Malibu when they are ready for a larger car. Hopefully the trend continues for this car to show GM how important the actual product is to the consumer. The new Malibu is light years ahead of the old one in styling, fit, finish, and content.
 

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In order for any conquest sales to make a difference, GM is going to have to get through to Camry/Accord owners that the cars GM builds now are just as reliable long term as Hondas and Toyotas. Whether or not it's actually true, Cam/Cord people are convinced those cars won't break for 200k miles. And the stigma GM continues to have is that their cars will. Now, GM has gotten past the perceived initial quality with better interiors, tighter fit and finnish, and more solid chasis. Now they just have to prove these new cars will be reliable long term.

That will take time. It will also take word of mouth.

Japan didn't start eating sales away from Detroit overnight, and thus the opposite is the same. But it is a start.
 

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fastball is right. Its what GM has to do and it will take time.

I'm really close to convincing my friend and his wife to trade in her 2003 Stratus for a new Malibu. They both say the Malibu is tops on their list.
 

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I'm thrilled with my new LTZ! Had to pull some strings to get a V-6 model, but it finally arrived. I don't think GM did a very good job of getting the car to the dealers. They did a great job advertising them and leaking info last summer, but NO cars! I still don't see them on the roads yet. I think my count of Malibus so far in So. CT is 4! One of those cars had a dealer plate and has been the ONLY LTZ I have seen here.

Seems like they're doing the SAME thing with the new Camaro- leaking info/pics/videos etc. Now, when they come out, let's see how long they take to get to the dealer after their introduction. You can't bait the public like that and then expect them to WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!

It would be nice to see a dealer that had all color combinations in stock across ALL model lines- LS, LT, and LTZ instead of just LS/LT.

Anyway, I'm glad I have mine. I love it. There are a few things I would like to see added or changed, but overall, it's as nice as the Buick LaCrosse CXS that it replaced!
 

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Starting to see more on the road and they are really sharp, especially in darker colors. I can see it taking the most sales from the Camry because it is such a boring car. The Accord and Altima are at least a little more sporty. I'm not sure why the Civic stats are there but it is nice to see those owners upgrade to the Malibu when they are ready for a larger car. Hopefully the trend continues for this car to show GM how important the actual product is to the consumer. The new Malibu is light years ahead of the old one in styling, fit, finish, and content.

What isn't stated here but is implied is that there is a massive surge away from SUVs and trucks toward cars. GM is losing a ton of BOF buyers but they are apparently keeping most of them in house as new Malibu, Acadia, Enclave buyers. Now they need a world class competitor to the Civic, Corolla, Mazda3, Sentra. It's a little too early to make an estimate on the Astra but I think it's a little too basic.

Ditto Toyota and probably soon Ford. Both are losing BOF buyers but auto sales are spiking. The Camry continues to set new records every month even in this down environment. The FuLans are doing well also.
 

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One issue may be the Camry was all new in 06 as an 07 Model. So those that took leases on Camry then are not quite done with their 2 year leases. Not to mention that is a little short for a finance period. Some of these have to mature for people to start trading them in.
 

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One issue may be the Camry was all new in 06 as an 07 Model. So those that took leases on Camry then are not quite done with their 2 year leases. Not to mention that is a little short for a finance period. Some of these have to mature for people to start trading them in.
How does that matter? So what are people trading the last generation of Camry in on? Obviously not the Malibu too often. Hopefully that will change soon. The Malibu is a great car and very nice looking. My local dealer finally has more than 1 on the lot. I've seen very few of them on the street as well.
 

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Any increase in conquest is a plus. It's going to take some serious time before people start to convert from the Camry and Accord. The good news is that the Epsilon II Malibu will be out very soon, so the Malibu is going to be fresh in the customer's eyes for several years, which should help with perception.
 

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i was trying to build one at chevy.com and noticed that you cannot get a four cylinder with a 6-speed yet. they still have the ole 4-speed in them... any news on when you can get a 6-speed.
 

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None of this will help unless GM improves their quality. My 2006 Cobalt has been dreadful, with steering and suspension issues. I am thinking why should I continue supporting GM when they obviously dont care a whit about their product or their customers?
 

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Is any of this a surprise?

Sit in an Accord or Camry in the backseat and then sit in a Malibore. Even Toyota and Honda owners aren't that stupid to trade a car with passenger room for the most cramped mid-sized vehicle made (back seat area ties with Aura and CTS).

As far as the sticker price - GM has not over produced the model so it doesn't have to firesale the Malibore. It has also raised the price. Any twit can figure out with those two factors (plus higher trim levels and sticker prices there over the older model) that transaction prices will increase.

Once again, I bring reality to this discussion. This isn't news. It is obvious.
 

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I'm thrilled with my new LTZ! Had to pull some strings to get a V-6 model, but it finally arrived. I don't think GM did a very good job of getting the car to the dealers. They did a great job advertising them and leaking info last summer, but NO cars! I still don't see them on the roads yet. I think my count of Malibus so far in So. CT is 4! One of those cars had a dealer plate and has been the ONLY LTZ I have seen here.

Seems like they're doing the SAME thing with the new Camaro- leaking info/pics/videos etc. Now, when they come out, let's see how long they take to get to the dealer after their introduction. You can't bait the public like that and then expect them to WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!

It would be nice to see a dealer that had all color combinations in stock across ALL model lines- LS, LT, and LTZ instead of just LS/LT.
Well said. The greatest marketing push for the Malibu seemed to happen around November-December. The advertising was great. The only problem was that there were no more than a handful of Malibus on dealers' lots at the time.

How many sales were lost when John Q. Public went down to the local Chevy dealership to see that great looking new Malibu only to be told that they didn't have one or that the 1-2 that they did have were already sold?

Yeah, I hope that they learned their lesson for the Camaro. Get adequate supplies to the dealers... and THEN advertise the hell out of it!
 

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A lady at work bought a Tahoe last year but decided she needed something more fuel efficient. However, instead of trading in the Tahoe, she kept it because she really liked the feel of the vehicle and its capability. She bought a new Malibu LTZ last week to complement it.
 

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Does anyone know what th Malibu sales numbers are per month in Canada? I have only seen one,an LT,in sothern Quebec. I have a feeling it is too expensive for Canadians. At this price level they will buy a Camry or Accord,but not a Malibu??
 

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i was trying to build one at chevy.com and noticed that you cannot get a four cylinder with a 6-speed yet. they still have the ole 4-speed in them... any news on when you can get a 6-speed.
The 2008 Malibu Spring Edition LTZ Package (PDZ) just became available to order. It will feature the all new 4 cylinder / 6 speed powertrain. :clap:
 

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Conquest sales take time and will not happen overnight. As the new Malibu becomes better known I expect those numbers to climb.

GM has a lot of years of not so good cars to overcome but with the new product coming out of GM, the car buying public will gradually see the difference in quality and style.
 

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saw a grey malibu with the eighteen inch wheels. o my did it look nice, i couldnt believe i was oooing over a malibu, the 18s make it look so nice.
 
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