Chevrolet has been creating classic automobiles since 1911. By 1923 the company had built more than one million cars and established its first export facility plant in Denmark. In 1929 the company introduced its first 6-cylinder engine. By 1930 Chevy had produced more than seven million vehicles and was the first to introduce articulated brake shoes. The Chevy Malibu came along about 30 years later.
The Chevy Malibu started as a top-line sub series of the midsized Chevrolet Chevelle from 1964 to 1972. The Malibu was released in a broad range of body styles, including four-door sedans, two-door coupes, hardtop convertibles and two-seat station wagons. The interiors of these Malibus were a little classier than the lesser Chevrolet Chevelle, offering patterned cloth, vinyl upholstery, deluxe steering and deep-twist carpeting among other features. The Malibu remained one of the top Chevelle models until 1974.
Downsizing in 1978
By 1978 the Chevrolet Chevelle had been replaced by its Chevrolet Malibu counterpart, which was extremely downsized. The new, more efficient platform was a foot shorter and 500 to 1,000 pounds lighter than its previous models. But the new model came with increased trunk space, leg room and head space. Only two trim series were offered--the Malibu and the Malibu Classic--and only three body styles were offered, including the coupe, sedan and station wagon. These models were assembled in Oshawa, Canada and Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.
Front Wheel Drive
From 1997 to 2003 the Malibu had yet another remodel. Front wheel drive was a part of the new model as the Malibu was introduced in 1997 on the General Motors N platform. (Other cars on this platform included the Buick Skylark, Oldsmobile Achieva, Oldsmobile Alero and Pontiac Grand Am). The N body Malibus were produced at three sites: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Lansing, Michigan; and Wilmington, Delaware.
The Epsilon platform Malibu was manufactured from 2004 to 2008. The new Malibu came in two different styles, a standard four-door sedan and a five-door Malibu Maxx station wagon. GM heavily promoted the Malibu Maxx, which was the first mid-sized Chevrolet hatchback since the 1980s. These models were assembled in Kansas City, Kansas.
Current Assembly Line
The Malibu's latest redesign came in 2008. Designed by Bryan Nesbit under the direction of GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz, the new models are meant to compete with Japanese mid-sized cars. The current design is built on a revised version of the Epsilon platform and is being assembled in Kansas City, Kansas and Lake Orion, Michigan.
- Photo Credit hundreds of new cars waiting for their owners image by Stephen Gibson from Fotolia.com
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