Insignia Moves GM Forward, Will be the Basis for the Next Saturn Aura

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Julian Rendell from AutoWeek drove the new Opel Insignia and drew direct comparisons between his experience with the Insignia and what he expects from the next-generation Aura, which is due to arrive in a couple of years. While GM has said that the new Aura will have unique styling that will differentiate it from the Insignia, the two cars will be based on the same architecture and are expected to share chassis components.

The link between Saturn and Opel moves into new territory with the launch in Europe of the Insignia, the replacement for the Vectra and the first model on General Motors' second-gen Epsilon platform. It will be the basis for at least a dozen new models, including the Aura and several Buicks. No doubt the Insignia's styling is a hit. From several angles, the chiseled sheetmetal of the Insignia has overtones of the best bits of the BMW 5-series. When GM reskins the underpinnings, a plan Bob Lutz outlined previously to AutoWeek, it's going to have to do a great job to improve on the Insignia. Inside is where GM has really wrought revolution, outdoing the Mondeo decisively in style and quality. The Insignia has a soft-molded fascia that flows across the cabin, its four-dial instrument cluster focused head-on toward the driver.

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General Motors Employee Pricing Sale Extended to September 30th; 2009 Aura, Outlook, and Sky Added to the Program

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General Motors announced today that the company will extend it's popular 100th anniversary employee pricing sale until the end of September. The sale "helped drive additional showroom traffic and our dealers are giving us some very enthusiastic feedback," said Mark LaNeve, vice president of GM North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing. "We had our best sales month so far in 2008." As a result, he said GM "added 19 additional 2009 models to the eligible list of vehicles because our 2008 stock on dealer lots is rapidly disappearing." Among the 2009 models added today were the Saturn Aura sedan, Outlook crossover, and Sky roadster.