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Auto blogMon, 11 Feb 2013
To say that things aren't going well for the newly redesigned 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is a pretty sizable understatement. Reports have been swirling about the Malibu getting an emergency design refresh, less than a year after its introduction, as well as having its production at the Fairfax Assembly Plant halted twice already this year for excessive inventory. Now, Motor Trend is reporting that the midsize sedan will be receiving price drops across the board ranging from $300 on a number of models up to $770 on the 1LT trim; offsetting some of MSRP drop, though, the destination charge has increased from $760 to $810.
Without destination, the entry-level Malibu LS now starts at $21,995, which is still about $300 more than a Honda Accord and about $300 less than the segment's top-selling Toyota Camry. This new pricing also drops the price of the Eco, 2LT and 3LT trims by $300. The LTZ trim has dropped by $415, meaning that the Malibu's top dog now starts at just under $30,000, excluding destination.
Here are the new starting prices for all eight of the Malibu trim levels compared to the previous prices for the 2013 model year (including destination):
Automotive News reports that General Motors may slash production or ramp up discounts in order to deal with an oversupply of pickup trucks. GM currently has more than double the standard supply of pickups, and the vehicles are threatening to dampen the automaker's profits for 2013. Typically, automakers try to sustain a 60- to 75-day supply of vehicles, but GM is currently loaded with a 139-day supply, as of last month. At the end of November, the automaker was sitting on 245,853 units.
The manufacturer says that it will adjust production accordingly before laying any incentives on the profitable pickups. Even so, there's some concern that the inventory swell could hurt the roll-out of the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. GM actually began slowly stepping back production in August, but it's clear the company will take further action as it heads toward the end of the year and into the next. Analysts predict the automaker could reduce pickup manufacturing by nearly half in the first quarter of 2013.
That still may not be enough to keep GM from laying extra cash on the Silverado and GMC Sierra. While the company's incentive spending was down in November compared to the same month in 2011, both the Ram 1500 and Ford F-150 saw double-digit percentage increases in sales last month while the Silverado and Sierra numbers slid compared to a year prior. Incentive spending could help move more trucks and add some balance to the GM inventory surge.
The days of changing your engine oil every 3,000 miles are long gone thanks to most cars having automatic oil monitoring systems, but about 800,000 General Motors vehicles apparently have incorrect monitoring software that is leading to premature engine component wear. According to Autoweek, certain 2010-2012 Buick LaCrosse, Regal, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain models equipped with 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines could be going too long in between oil changes resulting in a higher-than-normal number of warranty claims for the engine's balance chain. The balance chain links the balance shaft to the crankshaft, and a worn one can produce higher noise levels.
As a fix, GM dealers will be reprogramming the software for the monitors in an effort to reduce the interval between oil changes, which varies based on driving habits and conditions. Through February 2015, the software update will be done at no cost to vehicle owners, but since this is not a recall, after that point, it will be up to the discretion of dealers as to whether or not they will charge for the service. What isn't immediately clear is whether GM plans on giving assistance to out-of-warranty customers who are experiencing engine issues from the worn chain.