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GM limits sale of Chevy Malibu Hybrid to fleets

Posted Friday, Jun 12, 2009, 11:10 am in Employee News

Citing poor sales, General Motors will limit Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid sales to fleets while it completes development of a two-mode hybrid system that offers better fuel economy, the Automotive News reported.

That two-mode hybrid powertrain is expected in about a year, the paper said. The system is expected to be similar to the one used by such vehicles as the Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry, the News said.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, estimates that GM sold about 3,800 from the time the vehicle went on sale in April 2008 through April of this year, the paper said. “We have a significant inventory of 2009 [Malibu] hybrids on dealer lots right now,” Chevrolet spokesman Steve Janisse said. “We have suspended retail production of the 2010. We are producing some fleet vehicles.”

The 2009 Malibu Hybrid is a light hybrid and falls short of the fuel economy offered, for example, by the 2010 Fusion, which went on sale in April, the paper said. The Malibu Hybrid is limited to such functions as shutting off the engine when the vehicle is stopped, using the motor/generator to bolster the gasoline engine at wide-open throttle and enabling early fuel shut-off during deceleration, the story said. (Automotive News)
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