DETROIT (TheStreet) -- Maybe it's a little bit too early to count Malibu out.
The biggest U.S. automaker does not, at the moment, have a viable entry in the biggest sector of the U.S. light-vehicle market. But as it moves toward the introduction of the 2014 Malibu, GM (GM) said the midsize car will come with relatively high fuel efficiency, besting category sales leader Toyota (TM) Camry, and will start at a competitive $22,965, excluding fees.
Malibu, which will start to show up at dealers this fall, will have an EPA-estimated 25 city and 36 highway mpg, representing a 14% improvement in city fuel economy, GM said Wednesday.
Malibu will also be the first midsize sedan sold in the U.S. to offer stop/start technology standard on its 2.5L base model. Stop/start technology automatically shuts off the engine when the car comes to a stop -- at stoplights, for example. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake."In this competitive midsize segment, there is no standing still," said Chris Perry, Chevrolet marketing vice president, in a prepared statement. "In addition to fuel economy improvements, the 2014 Malibu is roomier and more refined than its predecessor." Edmunds.com analyst Jessica Caldwell said the improvement in mileage is significant. "GM needs a hook," she said. "Malibu is obviously late to the party in terms of being a competitive sedan. GM needs something to attract buyers and to conquest from other brands, because every car in the field is good." Malibu has just 7% off the midsize car market, according to figures compiled by Kelley Blue Book. Market leader Camry has a 16% market share. Honda (HMC) Accord, Nissan (NSANY) Altima and Ford (F) Fusion all outsell the Malibu.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV