General Motors Kills Affordable Malibu Sedan

General Motors plans to stop making the affordable gas-powered Malibu sedan in November and will instead retool its plant to make the redesigned Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle.

“The decision to end the Malibu after more than 10 million units in global sales doesn't come as a surprise because domestic automakers started paring them from their lineups starting in the mid-2010s to focus on more profitable SUVs,” according to The Detroit News. “Ford Motor Co.'s Fiesta, Focus and Taurus, Stellantis NV's Dodge Dart and Charger, as well as GM's Cruze and Impala, are among the cars killed by the Detroit Three — ceding the sedan market to foreign competitors that continue to show there's still a market for cars.”



Toyota, Honda and Hyundai still sell hundreds of thousands of sedans and compacts each year, “but far fewer than in previous decades when the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord ranked among the most popular vehicles on American roads,” according to The New York Times. “Last month, Subaru, a Japanese automaker, said it would stop making its Legacy sedan next year.”

When Malibu production ends, the only car in Chevrolet's lineup will be the Corvette. GM announced in 2023 it would stop production of the Chevrolet Camaro, the only other non-SUV built by Chevrolet. 

“As a result of the Malibu's demise, there will be layoffs at the plant until it starts building cars again in late 2025,” according to Motor 1. “The plant will build both the new Bolt and XT4 side-by-side. When the XT4 reenters production, it will be in its current form. Cadillac has no plans to electrify the model despite being produced alongside the next Bolt.”

Chevrolet introduced the midsize Malibu in 1964 after it was first offered as a trim-package version of the Chevy Chevelle. The sedan was discontinued from 1983 until 1997, according to Motor Trend.

The midsize car segment has been on the decline since 1996, when it was 18% of the market. In 2023, it totaled 5.79%. GM sold 130,342 Malibus in 2023, down from 210,951 sold in 2012 and 223,703 sold in 1998, according to Edmunds data dating back to 1996.

"The midsize sedan was it for so long,"  Jessica Caldwell, director of industry insights at Inc., tells The Detroit News. Then crossovers arrived, and "that sort of was the writing on the wall for a lot of midsize sedans, and cars in general, as well, just the popularity of the crossovers."

Next story loading loading..