Will the 2014 Chevy Malibu Be Good Enough?

The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu isn't all-new -- that was last year's model -- but it is much improved, GM says. Will buyers agree? Photo credit: General Motors.

Most of the new products introduced by General Motors  (NYSE: GM  ) since its 2009 bankruptcy have been very strong. The Chevy Cruze, Cadillac ATS, Chevy Impala, and the company's new pickups have all impressed reviewers who have been hard on GM in the past. Sales have been brisk.

The one exception to GM's string of product successes was the new Chevy Malibu, released early last year. It wasn't bad, but when Ford  (NYSE: F  ) showed its striking new Fusion, the Malibu suddenly seemed like old news. Fusion sales have been setting records, but the Malibu's have been disappointing. 

In the old days, GM would have responded by cutting the Malibu's price and playing out the string. But GM's new leaders don't play by the old rules: They fast-tracked a big overhaul for the Malibu. The refreshed 2014 version is on its way to dealers now. But will it be enough of an improvement? In this video, Fool contributor John Rosevear looks at the changes made to the Malibu, and gives his take on what GM still needs to do to turn its troubled sedan into a contender in this tough segment.

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  • Report this Comment On October 12, 2013, at 7:38 PM, fangzamillion wrote:

    A quote that stands out, "...the company's new pickups have all impressed reviewers ". While it might have impressed 'reviewers' (basically, paid spokespersons), the 'new' Chevy pickup that most people can't tell from the previous model - replete with the styling of a brick - have NOT impressed buyers. Chevy's truck sales are down significantly over last year, while both Ford and Dodge have seen major increases.

    GM failed, and they did it because they had establish a solid track record for producing junk for at least a decade. The bailout, while destroying the owners of the old GM stock, did allow the company to start over - FINANCIALLY. It did not erase the reputation for junk they had built, and such debacles as the flaming Volt, the bland Malibu, a 'new' truck which is virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor, and so on are doing nothing to improve the situation.

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 9:27 AM, TMFMarlowe wrote:

    @fangzamillion: It is true that GM's truck sales were down last month while Ford's were up.

    But... GM's per-truck incentives on its new trucks in September: About $2200. Ford's on the current F-150: About $4700.

    One month -- a month where GM's new and old pickups were both in short supply, by the way -- does not a trend make.

    As for the rest, I get that you have a political axe to grind and I have no interest in it. Your analysis of GM *as it is today* is off-base.

    John Rosevear

  • Report this Comment On October 13, 2013, at 5:30 PM, AmericanFirst wrote:

    John,

    I find it amusing, when someone disagrees with you how you use (pull) the "political ax to grind" card out. GM "as it is today" is primarliy the result of $100B in bailout funding/tax benefits and the fleecing of bondholders for $30B from "yesterday."

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