GM to phase out the Chevy Malibu as next-gen Bolt EV launch looms

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Chevy Malibu production will end later this year as GM prepares to launch new EVs, including the highly anticipated new Bolt EV.

Production of the current Chevy Bolt EV, GM’s top-selling electric car, ended at the end of 2023 as the automaker prepares for its next wave of EVs.

GM CEO Mary Barra says the next-gen Chevy Bolt EV will have “an even better driving, charging, and ownership experience” with new tech and features. As the first Ultium EV in North America to feature LFP batteries, the new Bolt is expected to remain a low-price leader.

Barra confirmed at the Automotive Press Association in December (via Automotive News) that the Ultium-based Bolt will relaunch next year.

During an interview with Daily Drive, GM’s CFO Paul Jacobson said the company is aware of the growing demand for affordable EVs. Jacobson explained this is a big reason why GM is launching an Ultium-based Bolt rather than developing an entirely new platform.

Chevy-Malibu-Bolt-EV
Chevy Bolt EUV (Source: Chevrolet)

The move will save GM billions, according to its financial leader. “We’ve got a really good product that customers love,” Jacobson explained. “We can realize some of the efficiencies of the Ultium platform using LFP chemistry and technology and make it more profitable for us and significantly improve the business case for it.”

GM to retire Chevy Malibu with next-gen Bolt EV coming

As GM prepares for the new Chevy Bolt EV, it will retire the iconic Malibu nameplate. Over 10 million Chevy Malibu models have been sold since 1964. It’s also Chevy’s only car offered in the US outside the Corvette as the automaker shifts to SUVs and crossovers.

GM plans to end Chevy Malibu production in November as it prepares for its next wave of electric vehicles, including the new Bolt EV.

Chevy-Malibu-Bolt-EV
2023 Chevrolet Bolt EUV Redline Edition (Source: GM)

GM also announced it’s investing $390 million in its Kansas assembly plant to build the new Ultium Chevy Bolt EV. Separately, GM said Cadillac XT4 production will be paused after January 2025 at the facility until it begins to build the Bolt eV on the same assembly line in late 2025.

After losing market share in the US EV market in Q1, GM hopes new models like the Chevy Equinox, Silverado, and Blazer EVs can help it win it back in the second half of the year.

Chevy-Equinox-EV-prices
2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV 1LT (Source: Chevrolet)

GM accounted for 6.2% of the US EV market through the first three months of 2024, down from 6.9% in Q4 2022 and 8.4% a year ago.

Q1 2023 Q2 2023 Q3 2023 Q4 2023 Q1 2024
8.4% 5.4% 6.6% 6.9% 6.2%
GM US EV market share (GM estimates)

The falling market share is due to Bolt EV sales slipping 64% YOY to just 7,040 in the first quarter. Although Ultium EV sales were up 36%, total EV sales fell over 20%, with the current Bolt being phased out.

Source: Reuters

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