A new ad from Chevrolet suggests that putting the Chevy logo on a car reduces its value by about $40,000.
That’s not the intent, of course, but it’s one way of interpreting the ad for the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu.
Before we go any further, I need to say that I think the 2016 Malibu is the best sedan Chevy has built in decades. It’s worthy of instilling pride back into American cars and is a noble competitor to the Accords and Camrys of the world.
The new Malibu is sleek and well designed, has a high-quality luxurious interior, and offers plenty of technology to keep the driver and any passengers informed and entertained.
Its latest ad, though, is a head-scratcher.
I understand the intent of this ad. Assemble a group of people interested in cars, show them an unbranded vehicle, and let them guess the car’s manufacturer. When they come to the consensus that it’s a Lexus or a BMW, roll out the car with the Chevy logo and surprise everyone.
Here’s the ad:
Obviously the people chosen for this ad haven’t shopped sedans from Kia, Hyundai, Honda, or Toyota in recent years. The Malibu is great, but it’s not great like an $80,000 luxury sedan or even a $50,000-$65,000 BMW or Audi. It’s great like a middle-class sedan.
The thing that gets me about this ad is that people assume the car is worth between $50,000 and $80,000 when it’s unbranded, but as soon as the Chevy logo appears, the car is worth $22,000-$36,000.
That’s not a good thing.
This isn’t the first time the marketing people at Chevrolet went with the “That’s a Chevy?” angle and, frankly, it’s getting tired.
I think it’s time that Chevrolet proudly says, “Yeah, that’s a Chevy, and it’s an affordable, quality car that can compete with any similarly priced sedan on looks, comfort, fuel economy, value, and performance.”
Comparing itself to cars that are out of its league isn’t doing Chevy any favors. The Malibu isn’t a BMW or an Audi, and that’s a good thing, because most people don’t want the extra hassles and repair costs associated with the luxury brands.
People who buy middle-class sedans want a practical, well-appointed, economical, good-looking car that will be reliable for many years.
That’s the Malibu, and that’s good enough.
Great job on the car, Chevy, but now let’s work on improving the marketing department.
Do you see yourself driving a 2016 Chevy Malibu? Or any other new Chevrolet vehicle?
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The new Malibu looks nice. No, they shouldn’t compare themselves to BMW however as they are powered from the wrong end of the vehicle. (FWD instead of RWD) I strongly considered the Chevrolet SS before my last purchase and although I ended up spending much more I just could not bring myself to spend $45K on what looked like a Malibu with larger wheels & tires.
I agree with the article. Sell your cars because they are great – look great, drive great, great interior, great value, etc. Don’t resort to comparing them to cars in a completely different class. I don’t think people are cross shopping a Chevrolet Malibu with a BMW.