SOUTH KOREA: Chevrolet Malibu production starts
GM Korea's new Chevrolet Malibu
GM Korea has announced the start of build for the redesigned eighth generation Chevrolet Malibu. The car will go on sale locally on 1 November. Build in China and the US is due to commence within months.
While this is the first time that General Motors has sold a car with this nameplate in the Korean market, the company claims that over 8.5m Malibus have been produced in the United States since 1964. The new model will be sold in about 100 markets compared to only 20 for the current car.
In South Korea, the Malibu replaces the Chevrolet Epica as it will do in certain European markets. GM Korea will also build RHD Holden-badged cars for New Zealand and Australia.
In April 2010, GM revealed that Fairfax Assembly would be the main plant for the new Malibu in North America but that there would be additional build at Detroit-Hamtramck. US production is expected to start in early 2012 with sales to follow in February or March.
The standard engine in North America will be a new 2.5-litre Ecotec I4 which will produce a claimed 190hp, while in China, there will be 2.0- and 2.4-litre I4 units. In Europe, the smaller petrol engines are expected to be available, along with a 2.0-litre turbodiesel. There will also be a mild hybrid in North America, at least - the Malibu ECO, which will use GM's eAssist system.
The new Malibu is closely related to the Opel Insignia/Buick Regal with which it shares its 2,737mm wheelbase. The eighth generation model has a 4.5-inch (114mm) shorter wheelbase and 62-inch (1,574mm) front and rear tracks that are over 2 inches (51mm) wider than the US-designed Malibu it replaces in North America, according to GM.
Author: Glenn Brooks