Faced with sagging sales of one of its leading mid-sized sedans, General Motors (GM) is readying a major promotional effort to raise its profile with car buyers.
The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu has been re-engineered following poor reviews of the prior year’s model, which was criticized for lackluster fuel economy, tight rear seats and a dull design. For the new model, Chevy has boosted fuel economy with powertrain enhancements, re-styled the exterior and increased rear seat room, Automotive News notes.
Chevrolet will market the 2014 Malibu as if it were an “all-new launch,” according to one GM executive. The Malibu’s re-engineering comes two years ahead of GM’s usual schedule, spurred by model’s declining sales.
During the first nine months of this year, the Malibu saw its sales fall 14% compared to the same period in 2012.
By contrast, similar mid-sized sedans from Toyota (TM), Nissan (NSANY), Honda (HMC) and Ford (F) have seen their sales rise this year, though sales of Toyota’s Camry are up only 1% compared to last year.
Sales of Ford’s Fusion line have jumped by double digits compared to last year and the nation’s second largest automaker is hoping to sell more than 300,000 Fusions by the end of the year.
Shares of General Motors gained more than 1% in Thursday morning trading.