GM Considers Selling Opel Cars in U.S. as Saturns

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Reuters reports that General Motors is considering bringing Opel cars to the United States, and selling them under the Saturn brand. The story confirmed rumors that indicated GM was looking to its European arm as a way to give Saturn fresh product that was different from other GM models sold in North America. GM wants to craft a sophisticated European image for Saturn.

The company admits that it has still not decided how exactly it plans to get the job done, but one way would be to leverage products already under development for Opel. Interim GM Europe chief Bob Lutz told Germany's WirtschaftsWoche, "Right now we're looking into, among other things, whether Opel conforms to American specifications and where changes might be necessary." The Opel Works Council reportedly has pressured GM to consider the move. It thinks that Opel's absence from the U.S. market puts it at a disadvantage compared to its European rival Volkswagen. However, GM has not determined whether or not it will be able to simply transfer designs to the U.S., or if it will need to reengineer the cars for the American market. Sources say that either way, GM would build the cars in America, and not import them from Europe.

Source: Reuters

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Next Generation GTO May Be a Quad Coupe

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AutoWeek magazine reports that Pontiac will take a page from Saturn with its next generation GTO, and offer the sports car with four doors. The rear doors will reportedly work exactly as they do on today's Ion quad coupe: they will be hinged in the rear with no "visible handles." The new GTO is expected to go into production in 2008.