General Motors has always been a global company, with vast holdings around the world. After all, it has been the world’s largest automaker for decades. After briefly losing the title, it appears GM will regain that spot for 2011. While being international in scope, GM never fully took advantage of that to create product synergies.
Every unit acted as if they were a standalone entity. That has begun to change over the past few years; the Cruze was one of the first truly global products at GM. The Malibu is a followup, as the first global mid-size sedan developed at GM. It will be sold in nearly 100 countries spanning six continents.
The result is that before the Malibu goes on sale here in the U.S, over 1 million test miles have been logged on 170 hand-built prototypes. And – you guessed it – they were tested on six continents, subjecting them to a variety of climates and conditions. The testing began the first quarter of 2010, which means 45,450 miles a month on average were logged on the roads of the United States, Canada, Australia, South Korea, China, England, Dubai and Germany. Mark Moussa commented saying:
“You learn a lot about a car when you spend so much time in it – and that’s exactly the point….in the last year and a half, during every minute of the day, a 2013 Malibu has been driving somewhere around the world – all to make it the best car it can be.”
That is an exhaustive development program, and it will benefit the company’s bottom line in numerous ways. The widespread availability will mean the car gets a lot more total sales in its run, paying off costs faster. Economies of scale also go up, decreasing per unit costs. Ford is working to create a similar process with its “One Ford” project. The 2013 Malibu went on sale in South Korea in October. The Eco model will be arriving in the U.S early next year.