February sales of the Chevrolet Malibu fell 26% to 14,817. Year-to-date sales are down 12% to 30,640.
During the GM sales call, analysts and reporters questioned the declining sales not only of Malibu but also of two other leading Chevrolet cars. Cruze fell 12% to 17,947 units while Sonic fell 24% to 6,020 units.
"Chevrolet is struggling with its brand-new Malibu in the intensely competitive mid-size sedan segment, where virtually everything is new," said Edmunds.com. analyst Michelle Krebs, in a prepared statement. "Cruze, reaching the end of its current life, is also suffering as Chevy substantially discounts the Malibu into Cruze pricing territory."Don Johnson, vice president of Chevrolet sales and service, acknowledged: "Malibu has had a couple of bumps ... It's been a dogfight with a lot of good products" in the segment. But he said February retail sales rose 17% over January and inventory has declined from a 160-day supply in January to 120 days now. He said Malibu retail sales rose 17% over January's level and inventory has declined from a 160-day supply in January to a 120-day supply today. Additionally, he said, year-over-year comparisons are difficult for the Chevrolet automobiles.