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Old 03-13-2009, 04:40 PM   #1
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Default Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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Peter Valdes-Dapena from CNNMoney.com: Abandoned and facing death as General Motors cuts brands in its own fight for survival, Saturn, the "different kind of car company," could soon become a very, very different kind of car company just to survive. GM has said it will stop producing Saturn vehicles in about two years. Rather than accept that it's over, Saturn executives and the brand's leading dealers are looking at new ways - some that have never been tried before - to keep Saturn alive. "When times are tough, that's when the biggest breakthrough's come," said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn's General Manager.

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Old 03-13-2009, 05:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

GM is missing out on an opportunity to continue to supply Saturn with cars.

Hard to believe they would pass this up and allow Saturn to sell a competitors vehicle which could take a sale from a GM vehicle...

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Old 03-13-2009, 05:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

Man oh man this article scared me when I read these quotes:

"turning Saturn into a chain of boutique stores offering vehicles by various manufacturers"

"The new Saturn will be a retail channel only. It will not be a car company"

"Girsky said there are plenty of folks out there, "Maybe it's a [carmaker] that doesn't have the volume to support a network, like these electric car manufacturing startups."

God almighty it sounds like Saturn is going to become a hodgepodge of different products from different companies all looking for a storefront. I bet we'll even see the Lee Iacocca electric bicycle. (its a real entity with funding from Iacocca)

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Old 03-13-2009, 05:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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Originally Posted by railguy7 View Post
"The new Saturn will be a retail channel only. It will not be a car company"
Yep, that's a given. It won't have the money to hire engineers, build a new Spring Hill like plant, design new cars, etc. Saturn as a car company is dead. Meanwhile, Chevy got a nice modern plant in Spring Hill to build ugly SUV's where they should still be building real Saturns!

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Old 03-13-2009, 05:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

dosent sound good to me and im trying to be positive

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Old 03-13-2009, 06:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

What Saturn need to do to survive is sell cars that are better than the cars currently supplied by GM.

Another SUV with a Honda 3.5L V6 sounds like a winner! Unfortunately lightning never strikes twice...

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Old 03-13-2009, 08:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

Well, this could be a good thing, or a bad thing...

But I think it would be cool if they went all electric and really pulled it off. What would be really sweet to see here?

The EV-1 revived in an all new aspect, looking very similar to the first one. Granted even though Saturn wouldn't "MAKE" the car, they could get the outsourcing and building of a "New" EV-1 and have it built by Tesla. Since Tesla is looking to build a Sedan sometime in the next couple of years...who knows.

I think my idea would be pretty awesome if it came true. Think about it...the EV-1 was ahead of it's time, Tesla is still starting up. Having the EV-1 rebuilt and marketed as the "Saturn/Tesla EV-1"....that would be pretty cool.

This is a completely off the wall idea, and would definately fit in with the whole "Different Kind of Car"...

Besides the EV-1 would outsell the Volt anyday

The EV-1 would be more practical anyway.

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Old 03-13-2009, 08:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

They should continue what they started, import Opels and put the Saturn badge on it. What's so hard with this? They are willing to kill a brand with loyal customers instead of importing Opel to the US.

I own an Astra so I'm already driving an Opel, I dont see the problem. Cost? Raise the price or use a plant in Mexico. Mexico Opels would be way better than crappy cars from China or India.

I have a better idea, Saturn and Opel should split from GM and sell their own cars. And beat GM at it.

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Old 03-19-2009, 09:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyP View Post
What Saturn need to do to survive is sell cars that are better than the cars currently supplied by GM.

Another SUV with a Honda 3.5L V6 sounds like a winner! Unfortunately lightning never strikes twice...
Wasnt that what saturn set out to do in the first place? Great gas mileage on a car that wont rust and can last 300k miles usually for $13500 isnt bad. All their cars had the same parts throughout (minus the space frame, another awesome thing - read some deer vs saturn stories and you'd feel safe in one too) sure, they had some issues (put the alternator too close to the exhuast manifold (burns the regulator out) and some other minor issues that could have been fixed in a few models to have cars that would last 500k probably with minor to no labor (fix the bearings GRRR)

Basically, GM farked saturn without lube and then kicked it out. Redhead stepchild company is it.

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Old 03-14-2009, 09:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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The new Saturn will be a retail channel only. It will not be a car company. "We're not going to be in the manufacturing business," said Girsky, "We're going to leave that to the experts."
While it's OK to not be in the manufacturing business, Saturn still has to have a vision and a lineup of cars that makes sense. They can't just sell a hodgepodge of vehicles and expect it to work. They need to be telling the manufacturers what to build. Take Apple Computer as an example, they don't manufacture anything anymore. They just have the vision and the design.

That said, if most of it is made in China, I probably won't be buying.

I do think Saturn can find a way to partner with some of the companies striving to make electric vehicles. But they need to help lead, not just offer a retail channel. None of those companies have the production capacity and associated cost savings to fit Saturn's needs without help.

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Old 03-14-2009, 12:14 PM   #11
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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While it's OK to not be in the manufacturing business, Saturn still has to have a vision and a lineup of cars that makes sense.
I was a fan of the original Saturn precisely because of the manufacturing side, not the retail side. I have no interest in a retail outlet that sells other manufacturer's goods. Saturn was about proving that America could still design and build a competitive automobile. The new Saturn says, hey we failed, America can't compete, but we can still sell other people's crap!

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Old 03-14-2009, 12:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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Originally Posted by VTHokie00SL2 View Post
I was a fan of the original Saturn precisely because of the manufacturing side, not the retail side. I have no interest in a retail outlet that sells other manufacturer's goods. Saturn was about proving that America could still design and build a competitive automobile. The new Saturn says, hey we failed, America can't compete, but we can still sell other people's crap!
And what would you do if the new Saturn found a way to have its vehicles made in US plants like your Subaru ? What if the new designs are world class? Suppose they even brought back polymer? I don't know how you can speak with such certainty about failure before we find out what is actually proposed.

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Old 03-14-2009, 12:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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And what would you do if the new Saturn found a way to have its vehicles made in US plants like your Subaru ? What if the new designs are world class? Suppose they even brought back polymer? I don't know how you can speak with such certainty about failure before we find out what is actually proposed.
Depends on where the vehicle was designed and what the parent company was. If I had moral objections, due to it being a Chinese company for instance, then I would not consider the car. If it were a company I didn't have a problem with, then I guess I'd consider one if I liked the product. But I'd feel the same as I do about my Subaru. I'm glad my Legacy was assembled in Indiana, but it's not a truly American car like my SL2 was. So, no, I don't feel the same about my Legacy as I did the real Saturns.

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Old 03-14-2009, 12:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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Depends on where the vehicle was designed and what the parent company was. If I had moral objections, due to it being a Chinese company for instance, then I would not consider the car. If it were a company I didn't have a problem with, then I guess I'd consider one if I liked the product. But I'd feel the same as I do about my Subaru. I'm glad my Legacy was assembled in Indiana, but it's not a truly American car like my SL2 was. So, no, I don't feel the same about my Legacy as I did the real Saturns.
You are entitled to any opinion that you want based on your own moral standards. All I am asking is why you spoke so certainly about this effort being a bust for the USA before the details are even announced? As for the Chinese being involved in our economy, I read yesterday that they have financed the US national debt to a level of a trillion dollars. That is something that is a fact, not a hypothetical possibility. Given that, you must already be in a moral quandary of immense proportions because they are not going away anytime soon.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...R2009031300703.

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Old 03-14-2009, 09:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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Originally Posted by pmj View Post
While it's OK to not be in the manufacturing business, Saturn still has to have a vision and a lineup of cars that makes sense. They can't just sell a hodgepodge of vehicles and expect it to work. They need to be telling the manufacturers what to build. Take Apple Computer as an example, they don't manufacture anything anymore. They just have the vision and the design.

That said, if most of it is made in China, I probably won't be buying.

I do think Saturn can find a way to partner with some of the companies striving to make electric vehicles. But they need to help lead, not just offer a retail channel. None of those companies have the production capacity and associated cost savings to fit Saturn's needs without help.

Your comment on Apple is interesting. A lot of companies don’t manufacture their own products. It is common for flat panel HDTV manufacturers to buy their panels from a small group of suppliers. For example, Sony doesn’t manufacture flat panels screens. They buy their screens from Samsung. So is a Sony TV really a Samsung? Yes and no. Yes they share the same basic screen, but from there the features and video card are totally different. I would even argue that the Sony LCD TV’s have a better picture, but that my opinion.

Charlie thinks some posts on here are rude, but that is his opinion. You can’t take these posts personally. We are all here for the good of Saturn and you should be happy people are still talking about the brand when MANY have written them off. I think we need constructive criticism even if it is not what some want to hear. This site, in a way, is like a focus group. If we all agree and say how great Saturn will be, that gets us nowhere and is pointless. Now is the time to debate every little detail. There are no second chances this time around. I would hope some people from GM/Saturn read this blog to get a sense of what the “old school” original Saturn customers want, especially when the goal is to go back to a different kind of car and a different kind of car company. I would love to see polymer or some new material that won’t dent, ding or rust.

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Old 03-16-2009, 04:03 AM   #16
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

FYI... Sony just signed an agreement with Sharp for it's lcd panels... They had the Samsung deal since 2003...

Sony said they switched for economic reasons, Samsung said they did it because Samsung tv's have been out selling Sony...

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Old 03-16-2009, 06:28 AM   #17
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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FYI... Sony just signed an agreement with Sharp for it's lcd panels... They had the Samsung deal since 2003...

Sony said they switched for economic reasons, Samsung said they did it because Samsung tv's have been out selling Sony...

I bet they got a better deal. I'm waiting for 3-D TV, it might be a while.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:20 PM   #18
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

Math God beat me to it. Saturn already died when they stopped making the ION and the original style VUE. EVERYTHING 'Saturn' makes now is just another GM car with a Saturn name badge on it - so what is all this concern about? Saturn no longer makes a unique vehicle. Saturn is already gone.

The THREE big reasons I became a Saturn fan in the very beginning were:
1. A four cylinder motor with a timing chain (NOT a belt)
2. Plastic sides that won't rust or dent
3. No haggle pricing.
The only one that remains is item number 3.
I have been a GM fan my whole life and a Passionate Saturn fan since 1990 when they launched. I toured the plant in Springhill Tenn. and I could talk circles around most Saturn Salesmen back in the day. However, there is now nothing left to warrant my loyalty to Saturn in current or future production. The only way to save Saturn and keep its loyal fans is to return to the roots that made it unique, but I don't see that happening. I will keep my old SC2s running as long as I can. In my opinion Saturn was the last true American classic car, that is why I collect them.

PS - I am very seriously thinking of looking at FORD the next time I purchace a new car (which may be a while) because they are the only ones NOT taking bail out money from the governement - that speaks volumes to me.

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