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Chevy calls out Camry
Car buyers perusing their local Chevrolet showroom this fall may come upon a surprising find: a Toyota Camry.
General Motors Corp. is mounting an in-your-face challenge to rival Toyota Motor Corp., with plans to encourage consumers to compare the Camry -- America's best-selling car for most of the last decade -- to the remodeled Chevy Malibu.

GM is urging dealers to place Camrys in Chevy showrooms across the nation. The automaker also intends to go on the road with both sedans and encourage the public to take a ride in each.

The made-over Malibu goes on sale this fall, and GM is counting on the dramatic redesign to boost its share of the crucial midsize sedan segment.

"The fact is, when you look at the hard data, we have a product that is not only every bit as competitive, but also beats out the competition," GM sales Chief Mark LaNeve said Wednesday. "We want people to have the experience of both vehicles. And we think that can help us."

GM's strategy is similar to Ford Motor Co.'s effort last year to get on more sedan buyers' shopping lists with Fusion Challenge ads.

Inspired by the successful Pepsi Challenge ads of the 1970s, they featured actual consumers test-driving the Fusion as well as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry in a face-off supervised by Car & Driver magazine.

The U.S. automakers are struggling now to rebuild their presence in the cutthroat midsize car market, dominated in recent years by the Japanese. More at Detroit News

2008 Malibu
Preliminary specifications * :
Models: Malibu LS, LT, and LTZ
Wheelbase: 112.3 inches
Length: 191.8 inches
Width: 70.3 inches
Height: 57.1 inches
Engines: 2.4L 4-cylinder; 3.6L V-6
Transmission: 6-speed automatic Source: Chevrolet

2007 Camry
Models: Camry CE, LE, SE, XLE, Hybrid
Wheelbase: 109.3 inches
Length: 189.2 inches
Width: 71.7 inches
Height: 57.9 inches
Engines: 2.4L 4-cylinder, V-6, hybrid,
Transmission: 5-speed, 6-speed
* The 2008 model specification are not available but are expected to be similar to the 2007 model.
Source: Toyota

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