Posted by Dale Buss on April 18, 2011 06:00 PM
In addition to the unveiling of the 2012 Beetle by Volkswagen, the new Chevy Malibu is also making headlines at the Shanghai Auto Show.
When the current version of the Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedan was introduced in 2008, after its redesign was personally overseen by then-General Motors Vice Chairman Robert Lutz, its debut was crucial for the company. The new Malibu was meant to show the world that GM really could field a strong entry again in the sedan sweepstakes that was drifting toward imports. That mission was accomplished.
This time around, with another version of Malibu heading to the showroom, GM has a different goal: to demonstrate that it is a force to be reckoned with in the Chinese auto market, and vice versa.
That’s why GM is choosing to unveil the new Malibu simultaneously at the Shanghai Auto Show on Tuesday, via streaming high-def video, at the same time that it is physically revealed in the United States — similar to VW's tri-city simultaneous launch of the new Beetle. To whet fans' appetite for the new Malibu, the 2013 edition has already been teased by GM by releasing the video and photo above.
“We are expanding the reach beyond mainstream product introductions typically seen at auto shows,” said Russ Clark, Chevrolet product director. “We are using the latest technologies available to us like no other automaker has done before to introduce this all-new, important car for Chevrolet on continents around the world. Broadcasting in HD will help us make sure the world gets a good look at the all-new Malibu.”
Of course, that show is far from the only thing going on at Shanghai, whose much bigger show is going on simultaneously with the New York International Auto Show this week.
GM and other global automakers will be revealing plenty of new products and concepts for the Chinese auto market which, among other things, will include hybrid and electric vehicles where Chinese makers are becoming trailblazers. There also will be plenty of talk about how the supply disruptions in Japan are affecting the market in China, the U.S. and around the world.