Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet Malibu
2011 sales 204,808

Thanks to a push from CEO Akerson, Malibus will start reaching dealers next month, several months ahead of schedule, which means they will avoid a head-to-head battle with Ford's Fusion for half a year. First to arrive will be the Eco, which is rated at 25 mpg city/38 highway with a battery assist. That's less than full hybrids offered by other makers, so its success will depend on pricing. The outgoing Malibu, redesigned in 2007, was considered one of the hits of the Bob Lutz era, but the competition was -- amazingly -- easier then.

By Alex Taylor III, senior editor-at-large @FortuneMagazine - Last updated January 25 2012: 6:21 AM ET
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10 Japanese comeback cars for 2012

2011 was a rough year for Japanese automakers. Here are 10 cars that will help them get back on the road.

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