For GM to react so quickly --in February-- suggests they see a vibrant market for mid-sized sedans this year and they wanted to give the Malibu its best shot right now at competing in a crowded field of good quality vehicles.

Or, as Nathan Bomey of the Detroit Free-Press says, they're cutting the price of the Chevrolet Malibu in an acknowledgment that it's falling below expectations in the ferociously competitive segment.

Either way you interpret GM's move, it could mean opportunity.

GM confirmed Friday that it had reduced Malibu's price by $345, $415 and $770 for the LS, LTZ and LT models, respectively.

The company cut the price for the Malibu Eco and 2LT models by $300.

The basic model is now $22,805, including destination charges.

Chevy spokesman Michael Albano said GM cut the price "to make it even more competitive and a viable choice for consumers in this price-sensitive segment."

"The midsize segment is the largest and most competitive in the industry," Albano said. "We believe a change like this will bring additional potential buyers into Chevrolet showrooms and increase consideration levels for the car."

Bomey reports that the last redesign was launched in 2011 and hit showrooms in 2012. Malibu sales rose 3.3% in 2012 to 210,951 units.

But, the vehicle has been fading in stiff competition against sedans such as the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Hyundai Sonata.

The vehicle is particularly important for GM because Chevrolet sells it in 100 countries.

Is the Malibu worth a look? (I certainly think so but don't take my word for it.) If you've been to a Chevy dealership recently, please tell us what you think!