The Chevrolet Malibu has been on the market for half a year now so General Motors has released a six month report card on its volume mid-sizer, and the grades look pretty good. Not only did the Malibu grab the 2008 North American Car of the Year award, but it has also seen strong sales throughout the country.
Through the first three months of 2008, the Malibu has seen its market share increase by 1.3 points over the same time period the year before. That growth was largely due to increased retail sales, which were up 110 percent during the first quarter of 2008.
Perhaps the biggest news about the Malibu's success is that it is doing very well in states typically dominated by foreign auto sales. Florida, New York and California also saw tremendous sales gains over the previous model -- 91, 135, and 186 percent, respectively -- with some dealers reporting sales increases of 1,000 percent.
According to GM, more than 40 percent of trade-ins on the Malibu are non-GM vehicles, citing the Toyota Camry as the most traded-in vehicle. However, according to J.D. Power, only 1.4 percent of Malibu buyers traded-in a Camry, so that statistic has to be taken with a grain of salt. But whatever the case, it's certainly good news for GM that the Malibu is doing well on the coasts.