Ion Replacement Due in 2009

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Automotive News reports that Saturn's next generation Ion is due in 2009. General Motors has said that the current Ion is scheduled to be phased out of production at the end of this year.

However, sources tell SaturnFans.com that Saturn may continue to build today's polymer-clad Ion for at least another year to help bridge gap between the current and future Opel-based model. "The successor to Saturn's Ion lower-medium car will be derived from the Opel Astra platform," company sources told the magazine. Collaboration between Saturn and Opel "makes sense," Opel Managing Director Hans Demant said in an interview with Automotive News in Detroit. "Saturn vehicles will increasingly resemble Europe's Opel models."

Source: Automotive News

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Hybrid Vue Delayed

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General Motors recently revised its production plans for its much-touted series of hybrid electric vehicles. As a result, the Saturn Vue - which was to be the first hybrid SUV - will play a much smaller role in the company's plans. GM will instead add a so-called "strong hybrid" powertrain to its next-generation full-size sport-utility vehicles and pick-up trucks.