Amid Chevrolet’s cost-cutting efforts, reports have surfaced that the automaker is dropping the ax on the Malibu by 2022.
Citing an unnamed source, GM Authority published a report stating the midsize sedan will head to the chopping block after the 2023 model year. This gives it an expiration date sometime within 2022, which is earlier than expected. Prior to the report, the model was rumored to be getting a refresh in 2023.
The report aligns with the recent news that General Motors stopped plans on new vehicle development earlier this year, owing to the coronavirus pandemic. It was revealed that the company decided to push back plans for future vehicle refreshes and this likely affected the fate of the Malibu.
A spokesperson for Chevrolet told online publication Roadshow: “We are not engaging in the speculation on potential adjustments. Malibu remains in the Chevrolet product lineup.”
But, according to Sam Fiorani of global vehicle forecasting company AutoForecast Solutions, the sedan is an “obvious” choice to let go if GM were really trying to cut back on costs.
“Midsize sedan sales have been hit especially hard in the demand shift toward crossovers,” Fiorani said. “FCA, Ford, and Nissan have already made moves to reduce the production of sedans in order to shift their focus towards more profitable CUVs.”
If GM ends up axing the Malibu, this leaves the Cadillac XT4 crossover as the only vehicle built in its plant in Fairfax, Kansas.
Additionally, it cuts Chevrolet’s portfolio down to one sedan, which is the Sonic. Before the Malibu, the automaker previously discontinued two other sedans, the Cruze and Impala. Within the GM umbrella, other sedans that ended production include the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CT6, and Regal Sportback