GM Global Units Play Key Role in Saturn Future

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The days of the all-American engineered Saturn are nearly over. In today's cut-throat marketplace General Motors has been forced to rethink how it designs and markets cars. As a result, Automotive News says that GM will assign "a particular vehicle program to a regional engineering center in one of GM's four regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America-Africa-Middle East."

Bloomberg recently reported that General Motors' German car unit, Adam Opel AG, will be charged to develop and design future Saturn cars for the U.S. market. However, according to Automobilwoche magazine, "the [Saturn] brand will keep its retailers and its sales staff." Even though the Saturn cars will be engineered in Europe, they will not be manufactured overseas. Sources tell SaturnFans.com that GM plans to keep production of all Saturn vehicles within North America. Saturn currently builds vehicles in Spring Hill, Tennessee and Doraville, Georgia.

Separately, SaturnFans.com has learned that the engineering for Saturn's upcoming future minivan, light-truck, and SUV offerings will not be headed up by Opel, but instead by other GM organizations based out of North American and around the world. For instance, according to Wikipedia, a "substantial part of work for upcoming [Saturn Vue and other GM] Theta-based models was done by GM Daewoo and GM's Shanghai, China engineering operation, Pan-Asia Technical Automotive Center." Jim Queen, vice president of engineering for GM North America, told Automotive News in January that "Daewoo is going to have a very, very significant role as we move forward in the total company and in my end of the business," Queen said. "A very significant role."

Source: Automotive News, Bloomberg, Automobilwoche

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Sky Plant to be Shutdown for Five Weeks Due to Slumping Demand

2009 Saturn Sky

The Detroit News reported on Friday that General Motors plans to temporarily close its Wilmington, Delaware manufacturing facility for five weeks beginning today due to slow sales of the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice roadsters. The plant also builds the Opel GT and Daewoo G2X, which are exported for sale overseas.