November 15, 2002

GM wants to “re-establish its strength” in mid-size car market

chevrolet malibu
2004 Chevrolet Malibu, Click image to enlarge

Pontiac, Michigan – General Motors will revamp its entire mid-size car portfolio over the next three years, focusing on fewer, yet stronger nameplates, declared the automaker. New bodystyles, powertrains and performance packages created for each nameplate are being developed to increase volume and provide a greater range of options and pricing for the customer, said the company.

GM plans to debut at least 10 new or restyled mid-size vehicles by 2006. First will be the 2004 Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac Grand Prix. “The mid-size segment traditionally has been a GM stronghold,” said Bob Lutz, vice chairman, product development, and chairman, GM North America. “GM intends to re-establish its strength in the mid-size market with a lineup of high-quality, innovative and visually appealing mid-size cars that rank with the best in the industry.”

“GM is the undisputed leader in trucks, and now we want to achieve the same successes in the car side of the business,” said Paul Ballew, executive director, global market and industry analysis. “As we phase out the Oldsmobile Intrigue and Alero, we will refocus our efforts on our remaining divisional entries.”

The all-new 2004 Chevrolet Malibu builds on the GM Epsilon global vehicle architecture, which first debuted on the Opel Vectra and Saab 9-3 in Europe. Epsilon will also be the flexible foundation for the next generation Pontiac Grand Am and a future successor to the Saturn L-series.

Debuting in the fall of 2003, the new Malibu has a stiffer body structure that significantly improves handling and interior acoustics. Clean, crisp lines outline a car that’s slightly smaller and more aerodynamic outside yet more spacious inside. The Malibu will be the first passenger car in the Chevrolet lineup to bear the division’s new, next-generation family look. Also in the 2004 model year, the Malibu name will expand with the Maxx, a new bodystyle that takes shape as a five-door extended sedan.

The new Pontiac Grand Prix has a muscular appearance devoid of cladding or other add-ons, with clean, sculpted sides and a wedge-shaped profile. The next-generation WideTrack Handling System harmonizes suspension, steering and chassis components for outstanding vehicle control and a precise, on-center feel. Meanwhile, the all-new Competition Group, optional on the GTP model, provides a suspension package capable of delivering .83 lateral g’s – world class for a front-wheel-drive car.

The new Grand Prix will be built on GM’s architecture for larger mid-size cars, which also includes the Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo, and the Buick Century and Regal.

In addition, GM’s upcoming mid-size lineup will make extensive use of GM’s array of global powertrains that provide efficiency, power and proper balance of features.

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