Chevy Malibu Canceled After November – Kelley Blue Book

May 11, 2024 | by

Chevrolet will cease production of its Malibu sedan after November, the company has announced. General Motors will also pause, but not end, production of the Cadillac XT4 luxury SUV, which is built on the same platform in the same Kansas City factory.

Did SUVs or EVs Push It Out? Both.

The media can’t agree on what the move means. Car and Driver says the move is coming “as the company continues to transition to a more EV-focused lineup.” But The New York Times notes that Americans “have moved away from cars to roomier SUVs and pickup trucks,” and automakers “have helped that trend by offering more of those larger vehicles, which yield bigger profits than sedans and compacts.”

Both motivations can be true.

General Motors will retool the plant that produces the Malibu to build the next version of the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle (EV) instead. Chevy ceased building the Bolt last year despite its sales success, planning to relaunch the vehicle on a new platform shared with other GM EVs.

GM sees a mostly electric future for itself sometime in the 2030s as EV infrastructure improves and prices come down.

But, for now, SUVs and pickups drive GM’s profits. That leaves little room for the traditional Detroit sedan.

Nine Generations of Malibu

The Malibu proved one of history’s more successful nameplates. Chevrolet built Malibu models from 1964 to 1983 and again from 1997 to 2024. It lasted through nine generations and, at least for now, holds the title of “the last Chevrolet sedan.”

It’s nearly Detroit’s last sedan.

The Detroit Sedan Is (Temporarily) Endangered

Ford got out of the sedan business altogether in 2020. Chrysler recently ended production of its 300 sedan, leaving it with nothing but a minivan to its name. Dodge built its final Charger sedan last year. The company brought out a 2-door replacement, though it plans a 4-door version soon.

With Chevrolet out of the sedan business, Cadillac’s CT4 and CT5 are the last gas-powered 4-door cars built by the Detroit Three. The sedan, however, may not die when the internal combustion engine does.

Automakers build EVs on “skateboard platforms” – nearly flat combinations of batteries, electric motors, suspension, and steering components that can easily be repurposed into different kinds of vehicles at a fairly low cost. Now that Chevrolet has a series of electric SUVs built on its Ultium skateboard platform, bringing out an electric sedan would not be particularly costly for the company.

GM has already introduced one EV sedan — the high-dollar Cadillac Celestiq. An electric Malibu revival would make a logical future step to do battle with EVs like the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq 6.

Still On Dealer Lots, Maybe More Affordable

The Malibu will remain on dealer lots until the last models sell, likely in early 2025. They may be great buying opportunities.

Kelley Blue Book expert test driver Russ Heaps says the Malibu “still delivers reliable transportation in a handsome package. Passenger comfort ranks high on its reasons-to-buy list, as does its trunk space.”

Dealers are often willing to take lower offers for a car once its demise has been confirmed to create space on the sales lot for something still advertised.


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