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New Chevrolet Malibu to debut on Facebook, iPads and iPhones

March 31, 2011 | 10:23 am

Chevrolet will debut its new Malibu sedan simultaneously on its Facebook page, Apple's iPads and iPhones and in-person at the Shanghai Auto Show on April 18.

After the new Malibu is revealed, Chevy will then take questions about the new 'Bu on Twitter -- as long as those questions contain the #MalibuReveal hashtag.

The social media-minded approach is a bit different for Chevrolet and its parent company, General Motors, said David Darovitz, a GM spokesman.

FacebookMalibu "This is the first time we've had a global strategy that is inclusive of social networking platforms around the world, as well as streaming video worldwide, and streaming video iPads and iPhones, all in addition to the in-person reveal in China and traditional media outreach we've always used," Darovitz said.

"I can't tell you just how we'll stream to iPads and iPhones, because we don't want our competitors to know yet, but it won't require its own app."

The motive for the social networking shift -- simply the popularity of sites and apps such as Facebook and Twitter, he said.

"Social networking gives us a way to reach a lot of people, so that's one element and this car is a global car too," Darovitz said. "This is all part of a long-term plan for us."

The new Malibu is set to hit dealers next year as a 2013 model and it will be sold in about 100 countries on six continents, he said.

Last year, Chevrolet sold 4.26 million vehicles globally and eight of its top 10–selling markets were emerging markets -- Brazil, China, Uzbekistan, Mexico, Russia, India, Argentina and Colombia.

2013-Malibu-LTZ-009 The company also offered up a photo on Facebook of the new Malibu's taillight, which takes cues from the Camaro.

"We'll be posting more photos of the new Malibu as we get closer to the reveal," Darovitz said. "Our Facebook page will be pretty active before and after Shanghai."

Chevy announced the Malibu's Facebook/iOS/Shanghai reveal on Thursday morning in a teaser video on YouTube that shows exterior designer Dan Gifford sketching the car on a tablet computer, and later spinning a Star Wars-esque hologram depicting the sedan's silhouette.

After Shanghai, the 2013 Malibu will be shown off stateside at the New York Auto Show, which runs from April 22 to May 1.

The unveiling of the new sedan will take place on April 18 at 5:30 p.m. PDT, 8:30 p.m. EDT and 8:30 a.m. on April 19 in China.


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Video: Dan Gifford announces Chevrolet will unveil the 2013 Malibu on Facebook. Credit: Chevrolet / YouTube

Image: Chevrolet's Facebook page. Credit: Chevrolet / Facebook

Photo: The taillight of the 2013 Malibu. Credit: General Motors