America Dissed: Korea, not US, Debuts All-New 2013 Chevrolet Malibu

By Joel Arellano | October 04, 2011
General Motors has been pushing its international cred hard these past few years, from Buick in China to Cadillac in Europe. However, the automaker raised more than a few eyebrows today, launching the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu not here in the states, but overseas in South Korea. “Korea is the first country to produce and sell the all-new Malibu,” Mike Arcamone, GM Korea President and CEO, said in a statement. “With expressive styling, a comfortable cabin, outstanding ride and handling, and top-notch safety, it will exceed the expectations of consumers.” The Chevrolet Malibu is one of brand's oldest models, making its debut in 1964. GM has sold more than eight million vehicles since then, mostly in the states, where Chevy is in the midst of celebrating its centennial. It is also quintessentially American, named after desirable beachfront property in California. That being the case, why would it debut the 2013 Chevy Malibu in South Korea?
Some speculate the debut is simply part of GM's global expansion. Asian auto markets are notoriously difficult for American automakers to penetrate and the Malibu's debut is GM taking advantage of the recent U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement. More cynical analysts hypothesize such debuts gives automakers a chance to work out any kinks in foreign markets before the vehicles reach the U.S. Whatever the case, the debut of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu in South Korea follows similar launches like the all-new Chevrolet Cruze, which launched in China in 2009 before arriving here in the States. Source: General Motors/Chevrolet