Chevy Killed Impala, Next is Malibu, Followed Closely by Camaro and Spark
It looks like Chevy is following the same path as Ford which killed off all of its car lines. Recent developments make the Malibu the next sedan to be killed off by 2023. This is sooner than was the original plan. The only difference between how Ford killed off its sedans and how Chevy is going about the task is that Ford announced its intentions. Chevy is doing it quietly. The plan now follows as Chevy killed Impala earlier this year. Next is Malibu, followed closely by the Camaro and Spark.
Chevy was originally going to facelift the Malibu in 2022. It would then have run the production out through 2025. But the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lack of GM development revenue have changed plans for the Malibu. Now it looks like Chevy has killed the Malibu and will let the current model run out to the end of 2022.
Of course, the point to all of this is to focus on better-selling and more profitable SUVs, crossovers, and trucks. GM can also divert development money planned for the facelift to invest in electrification, which it is vigorously pursuing.
The Sonic, Spark, Camaro, and Corvette are all that is left of Chevy’s car lines
Right now the Sonic, Spark, Camaro, and Corvette are all that is left of Chevy’s car lines. The Sonic is already on life support and is not expected to survive in 2020. It has been discontinued in Mexico, Canada, and Korea. The US is the only market it is still sold in.
No news about new versions of the Spark and Camaro means GM sees these as dead car lines as well. You can figure both will not return after 2021. That leaves only the Corvette and Volt as the last Chevy cars likely soldiering on.
The current Malibu received a refresh last year. In spite of that sales have continued to decline. Since an all-new 2016 Malibu is what the current model is based on, sales have dropped. According to GM Authority Chevy sold 131,917 units of the sedan last year. That is a 42% drop from 2016.
In Canada the picture is similar. Sales are down almost 50% since 2016. But sedan sales leaders like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry are seeing declines, though not like the Malibu. What has seen massive declines is the Volkswagen Passat. Sales are down over 65%.
We’ll be seeing more discontinued lines like Chevy’s Malibu and Impala
2020 will not be a good year for models dropping in popularity. We’ll be seeing more lines killed as manufacturers desperately balance development capital with significantly lower reserves. And the possibility of Corvette becoming a separate brand is always being rumored.
We are already seeing it happen to the Ford Mustang. The all-electric Mach-E will be out by the end of this year as the first Mustang crossover. The rumors say that there might be other Mustang offerings as Ford continues using it as a sub-brand. The Mustang Mach-E has sold out of its first year’s production though some enthusiasts insist a Mustang crossover is blasphemy.
In Chevy’s case, the Corvette brand remains untarnished. That could mean it is ripe to follow Ford’s lead. Is there a Corvette SUV in Chevy’s crystal ball? It is far more likely than another sedan anytime soon.