GM Restructures but Chevy Cars Are Not In Limited Supply
Contrary to what you may have heard, Chevy cars are still very much in production at Chevrolet in 2019 and planned throughout the 2020 year. SUVs and trucks are in high demand in the American market, and the immediate reaction among automotive manufacturers like Ford has been to completely discontinue all car and sedan production in order to focus on previously released sport utility vehicles and trucks as well as developing new models. The automotive market has seen a drastic influx particularly in SUVs with manufacturers even creating subgroups like compact and mid-size to meet consumer demand. Unlike the Ford Motor Company, though, GM is simply restructuring their current lineup of vehicles basically streamlining automobile production to only release the vehicles that have previously been and are most likely to continue to be successes.
Although car and sedan sales are dropping percentage wise across the board in American markets, Chevy cars are hardly being left for dead in all the commotion arising from the SUV/Truck mania that has swept the country. Frankly, the move to restructure rather than discontinue all car/sedan production is an economically sound decision that allows GM to meet the ever-changing demands of consumer interest; there is a reason cars have maintained their status in the automotive market for generations now. The low price tags, excellent gas mileage, and smooth comforting ride quality of cars and larger sedans will never go out of style. And should the public sway back in favor of the timeless smaller-in comparison to SUVs/trucks-sedans, GM can just as quickly shift its production to focus on Chevy cars once again.
Initial worries about rumors of GM discontinuing their car and sedan production were hardly unfounded though. The restructuring move has drawn plenty of criticism as their plan has already begun to set into motion this spring of 2019. With the eventual closure of five underutilized factories, the elimination of thousands of white collar jobs, as well as laying off 6,700 factory workers, it is no wonder the automotive community is abuzz about GM following suit with Ford to discontinue all car and sedan production. According to Reuters, the cost-cutting plan has even kept another four United States’ car plants at less than 50% of capacity for production while GM’s Orion Township, Michigan facility is now operating at just 34% of capacity. Now three of Chevrolet’s existing sedans will be discontinued by the 2020 year including the Cruse, Volt, and Impala. But this just means that by the completion of GM’s restructuring, the vehicles remaining in Chevrolet’s lineup will be the cream of the crop; this limited lineup will also allow GM to focus on flagship Chevy cars that have proven track records like the Spark, Malibu, and Corvette.
AND THEN THERE WERE THREE
The little Chevy that could. The Chevy Spark fills out the compact car spot in the lineup providing a fresh edge to a starter vehicle that is perfect for any college students or first city job millennial looking to save in style. With a starting MSRP of $13,220, the Spark is a steal financially speaking, and the compact Chevy car only continues to save at the pump with an industry best-estimated fuel economy of up to 30 MPG city and 38 MPG highway. The hatchback design gives the compact vehicle a certain edge and much needed size bump (even if it is on appearance alone) that is generally missing from other vehicles in its class; not only stylish, though, the hatchback is practical too, creating extra cargo room in a class of vehicle not known for stowing luggage. The engine may be small, 98 hp 1.4L Ecotec 4-cylinder engine, but that does not mean the safety standards are small as well. Loaded with ten airbags and decked out with latest in driver assist aids like lane-departure alert and forward-collision warning, the Spark clearly bucks the trend of thinking that suggests smaller equals dangerous. At just under 12 feet in length, the Spark is perfect for city driving and more importantly the ideal vehicle for parking in the tightest of spots. The value really starts to be noticed on the interior as the Spark is equipped with the latest tech (once again, not as expected for a vehicle this cheap); it comes standard with a 7.0-inch touchscreen that of course handles Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone integration. There is a built-in 4G LTE data connection, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, and a backup camera. And this all comes standard for just $13,220. That’s not a deal, it’s a steal.
The Chevy Malibu has been quietly gaining momentum building a reputation for being a solid entry in the mid-sized sedan market; now with GM streamlining their entire lineup including sedans combined with other vehicle manufacturers discontinuing competitive rivals, the Malibu is poised for success ready to take its well-deserved place in the spotlight. The recently released 2019 Malibu gets some new stylistic flourishes to the front sporting a more prominent grille as well as reshaping the rear end; aesthetically, the changes are minor, but they do provide the Malibu with a more significant, updated presence. This year Chevy also introduces the new RS model to the lineup finally providing some much-needed competition to rival in the sporty sedan segment. Another big change for 2019 is equipping the standard 1.5L turbo four-cylinder engine (160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque) with an all-new continuously variable automatic transmission to improve fuel economy. Estimates suggest that the new CVT will improve fuel economy by about 5 percent up to a rating of 29 MPG city and 38 MPG highway (a nice improvement from the previous year’s 27/36 MPG). The Malibu also offers an optional 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine capable of churning out 250 horsepower with 260 lb-ft of torque. As per usual for a Chevy car, the Malibu comes decked out in the latest tech, most of which comes standard even at the base trim. Recent 2019 additions include an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Chevrolet’s new Infotainment 3 software, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, three USB ports, a proximity key, a backup camera, and a 3.5-inch instrument panel display. Although not standard, the LS trim adds a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot in addition to the Teen Driver feature and heated rear seats, standard at the Premier trim level.
Need we say more. The often rumored mid-engine Corvette is real and is set for release next year. 2020 will see the release of what is being referred to as the C8 and although details are limited, it is pretty exciting just to know that Chevy is actually producing the fabled mid-engine Corvette during a time when car popularity is at an all-time low. The C8 is expected to have a starting MSRP around the $60,000 to $70,000 range and will be outfitted with a brand new version of the LT1 6.2L V8 engine. This new V8 engine is predicted to produce around 500 horsepower, about 40 hp more than the current LT1 V8.
GM Restructures to Produce Chevy Cars that Matter
Gm’s restructuring has hardly concluded, and we do not know yet where the chips will fall; we are particularly curious to discover not only what cars make it through as the sole vehicle being produced in their class but also the innovation that follows with GM focusing on an elite group of cars. For the immediate future, GM is still in the business of making Chevy cars and making them well from the compact Spark to the mid-size Malibu and all the way to sporty, fabled Corvettes.