GM Shelves GMX002 Saturn Ion Replacement

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Sources say that General Motors has shelved the long-awaited Opel-based Saturn Ion replacement. The vehicle, rumored to be renamed 'Evoke' was believed to be scheduled for production at GM's Lordstown, Ohio manufacturing facility late next year.

GM announced last month that the current Saturn Ion sedan and quad coupe will be phased out of production at the company's Spring Hill, Tennessee plant by the end of next year. Insiders tell that Saturn does not plan to abandon the small car market. There may, however, be a short gap between when production of the current Ion ends and its replacement begins. This could mark the first time in Saturn's 15 year history that it didn't offer a small car in its lineup. Auto analysts and Saturn enthusiasts fear that GM will resort to a short-term solution, such as "cloning" the next generation Saturn small car as a near-identical twin to the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac Pursuit.

The so-called GMX002 was rumored to be heavily influenced by GM's Opel Astra small car. It would have been a unique, sporty, and efficient entry in the North American small car segment.

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