Chevrolet’s passenger car line-up is coming under some serious scrutiny, it appears, as parent company General Motors is considering a group-wide streamline of their entire portfolio to focus on strong selling segments such as crossovers and SUVs but also future-facing models with hybrid or fully electric powertrains.
This turn of events has seen the midsize Malibu saloon finding itself squarely in a new set of crosshairs with Automotive News reporting that the model will most likely face the axe by 2024 with no replacement waiting. Prior to that, though, the car should be receiving its last facelift some time between next year in 2020 or 2022.
Going forward, there has been plenty of speculation that the rest of Chevrolet’s spread of passenger cars - the Impala, Sonic, Spark, and Cruze - will also be facing a similarly uncertain future. This move closely resembles one made some months ago by Chevrolet’s closest competitor, Ford, which besides the Mustang, no longer offers a passenger car range for the North American market.
The 9th-generation Malibu has been serving the bowtie marque since 2016 and is based on the evolved Epsilon (E2XX) platform that is shared with the Opel Insignia and Holden Commodore. Meanwhile, Opel’s new owners PSA have announced plans to discontinue the Insignia in order to introduce a replacement built on their own platform.
None of this seems to be good news for the ZB Commodore as it looks like the Australian variant will eventually find itself selling a car whose family tree has been either axed, discontinued, or replaced outright.
There was a glimmer of hope that the model line would be extended via negotiations with GM and PSA seeing as how Buick and Cadillac are also current selling vehicles with those shared underpinnings. However, with the Chevrolet Malibu seemingly on the outs, that could be the first domino to fall before time runs out for cars like the Regal and LaCrosse.
Reportedly, Chevrolet would have a spiritual successor waiting in the wings, though that would likely be a fully electric model and wouldn’t be launched until beyond the Malibu’s possible model discontinuation.