Chevrolet is likely aiming to have the next-generation 2013 Malibu in dealer showrooms by early-to-mid-2012 as it has moved the production start date up to January 2012.

GM is putting production of the next-generation Chevrolet Malibu on the fast track and will begin producing the 2013 model several months ahead of its scheduled May 2012 start.

According to the Detroit News, the next-generation 2013 Chevrolet Malibu will now go to production in January 2012 and will go on sale sometime later that year.

The Malibu will be assembled at two GM plants in the United States - at the Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas and GM's Hamtramck facility in Detroit where the Chevy Volt is also made. A Chinese-market Malibu will also be made in China.

The Chevy Malibu is one of GM's most successful vehicles but still lags behind competitors, such as the Toyota Camry, in sales. GM hopes to change that, as the mid-sized sedan segment is a large and crucial one in the North American market, and it will try to trot out the Malibu ahead of updates by Japanese competitors. The new Nissan Altima is expected in mid-2012 and Toyota is currently developing the next Camry.

The next-generation Chevrolet Malibu will be unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show on April 19 and a couple of days later at the New York auto show on April 21.