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Old 04-13-2009, 12:45 AM   #1
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Default New GM CEO Not Fazed by Future Competition from Saturn Brand, Peugeot Cited As Poten

A new story entry has been added:

New GM CEO Not Fazed by Future Competition from Saturn Brand, Peugeot Cited As Potential Partner

Quote:
Automotive News recently talked with GM's new CEO, Fritz Henderson, about the state of General Motors and how he plans to fulfill the restructuring demands made by the Obama administration. While most of the interview focused on the company's new so-called core brands, the UAW, and it bloated dealership body, Henderson did discuss Saturn's desire to be spun-off, becoming independent of GM.

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Old 04-13-2009, 06:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: New GM CEO Not Fazed by Future Competition from Saturn Brand, Peugeot Cited As P

I just wonder where they got the Peugeot story from?

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Old 04-13-2009, 07:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: New GM CEO Not Fazed by Future Competition from Saturn Brand, Peugeot Cited As P

Why keep the Saturn name alive under a foreign brand when the whole point was to have a competitive American car company?

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Old 04-13-2009, 09:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: New GM CEO Not Fazed by Future Competition from Saturn Brand, Peugeot Cited As P

Regardless of who the manufacturing source might be, do you think it is really necessary for Saturn to only sell US built vehicles? Isn't it more about the buying and ownership experience that sets Saturn apart from the other brands?

How do you feel about the Astra and the current VUE? Both are built out of the country, yet are great vehicles sold and serviced by great retailers.

For good or bad, the world has changed since 1990. It seems only fitting that Saturn evolve as well. I'd like to see what the future holds.

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Old 04-13-2009, 01:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: New GM CEO Not Fazed by Future Competition from Saturn Brand, Peugeot Cited As P

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaylorMutts View Post
Regardless of who the manufacturing source might be, do you think it is really necessary for Saturn to only sell US built vehicles? Isn't it more about the buying and ownership experience that sets Saturn apart from the other brands?

How do you feel about the Astra and the current VUE? Both are built out of the country, yet are great vehicles sold and serviced by great retailers.

For good or bad, the world has changed since 1990. It seems only fitting that Saturn evolve as well. I'd like to see what the future holds.
Mr Mutts: I have been wanting the Astra to be part of my family's 12 Saturns for years now. Well, finally it arrived in the US and I got one. My XE is my 4th personal Saturn and possibly the nicest car I have ever owned. Although Saturns have been the most reliable cars our family has had through the years the fit and finish was never quite right. That all changed with the Astra. I have had it for 5 months now with absolutely no fit or finish problems (or major mechanical problems either). If this is the direction of quality that the new Saturn is going in we are definitely headed in the right direction!

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Old 04-13-2009, 04:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: New GM CEO Not Fazed by Future Competition from Saturn Brand, Peugeot Cited As P

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaylorMutts View Post
Regardless of who the manufacturing source might be, do you think it is really necessary for Saturn to only sell US built vehicles? Isn't it more about the buying and ownership experience that sets Saturn apart from the other brands?
No, for me it was always more about the car than the retail side and marketing bs. And yes, I did buy a car from a foreign company, but I don't feel the same sense of pride with my Subaru that I did with the old Saturn. I'd have stuck with Saturn if they didn't let me down. And I wish there was a truly American car that I wanted to buy.

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Old 04-13-2009, 05:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: New GM CEO Not Fazed by Future Competition from Saturn Brand, Peugeot Cited As P

I went to the NY auto show today...there are some really nice looking cars from the US manufacturers. I like the Ford Fusion, but wish it wasn't built in Mexico. The Chevy Volt looks very cool, though it's expensive and the technology is obviously new. Buick even has some nice looking sedans now!

I like the VW CC, but man it's expensive with the V-6 and AWD. I was just as disappointed with the new Subaru Legacy in person as I was with the photos, unfortunately. I don't think I'll be buying another Subaru.

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Old 04-13-2009, 09:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: New GM CEO Not Fazed by Future Competition from Saturn Brand, Peugeot Cited As P

Quote:
Originally Posted by TaylorMutts View Post
Regardless of who the manufacturing source might be, do you think it is really necessary for Saturn to only sell US built vehicles? Isn't it more about the buying and ownership experience that sets Saturn apart from the other brands?

How do you feel about the Astra and the current VUE? Both are built out of the country, yet are great vehicles sold and serviced by great retailers.

For good or bad, the world has changed since 1990. It seems only fitting that Saturn evolve as well. I'd like to see what the future holds.
The future is crap jobs selling goods to people who either have a crap job, or work in the health care industry. Thanks to the policies of the last 8 years, the internet, IT, manufacturing, and now finance, are garbage sectors in america. No thanks. Those of you willing to gamble your future, go visit England, to see what life is like without industry. Its a two class society.

If a corporation stops providing value to the society, it has no value. Saturn is worthless unless it has more meaning than just the car.

There are plenty of asian branded vehicles that are equal or better to the VUE and Astra that are at least built here.

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Old 04-13-2009, 09:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: New GM CEO Not Fazed by Future Competition from Saturn Brand, Peugeot Cited As P

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTHokie00SL2 View Post
Why keep the Saturn name alive under a foreign brand when the whole point was to have a competitive American car company?
For the same reason you bought a car built by a foreign company and yet still come here to post.

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Old 04-13-2009, 10:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: New GM CEO Not Fazed by Future Competition from Saturn Brand, Peugeot Cited As P

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTHokie00SL2 View Post
Why keep the Saturn name alive under a foreign brand when the whole point was to have a competitive American car company?
Yeah that worked out well for them so far.....I would say plan B should be in order. Forget about being American, think about staying alive first!

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Old 04-13-2009, 10:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: New GM CEO Not Fazed by Future Competition from Saturn Brand, Peugeot Cited As P

Unfortunately, this article does not detail what the "partnership" means. It can mean a lot of different things.

And Henderson is right about where GM's problem lie :

Quote:
While most of the interview focused on the company's new so-called core brands, the UAW, and it bloated dealership body,
GM has too many "brands". The Lambda chassis, for example, is sold by 4 different brands (Buick, Chev, GMC & Saturn). That's 4X the marketing, cosmetic engineering (read packaging), secondary manufacturing (eg. brand specific assembly), sales, parts logistics etc., and all the overhead (read management) to run these operations just to sell 1 platform. Reducing the number of brands to fewer "core" brands to sell 1 model per platform will dramatically cut costs associated with selling a platform.

Speaking of costs, the UAW is a massive cost for GM that foreign transplants do not have. The money doesn't just go to current workers. The pensions, healthcare benefits, 401K etc. all add up.

Finally, the dealership network is just massive. I live in a big city that has several "auto malls" (areas with a congregation of many car dealerships). Some of these auto malls has Pontiac/Buick/GMC dealership on one end, Chev on the other end and Saturn/Saab sandwiched in the middle. That's 3X the people to serve one set of GM customers.

So, getting rid of Saturn will help GM in the long run. In the mean time, Saturn needs to salvage what it has going for it to recover some of the investments people made in building the dealerships.

Partnering with Peugeot may or may not help both sides of the party depending on the degree of partnership. Here's one possible scenerio : Peugeot needs North American presence and Saturn need products to market. But what does Peugeot know about the North American market? Probably not as much as Saturn. As such, if Saturn designs the cars, shares cosmetic engineering with Peugeot and sells/services Peugeot cars, while leaving the manufacturing to Peugeot (let them deal with union issues - one of the key issue that's dogging GM), then Saturn effectively avoids all the problem GM is having now (too many brands, manufacturing unions and bloated dealer network).

The question is, will Peugeot (or anyone other manufacturer) bite?

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Old 04-13-2009, 11:16 PM   #12
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Default Re: New GM CEO Not Fazed by Future Competition from Saturn Brand, Peugeot Cited As P

Quote:
Speaking of costs, the UAW is a massive cost for GM that foreign transplants do not have. The money doesn't just go to current workers. The pensions, healthcare benefits, 401K etc. all add up.
The main problem is the pension and health care to retirees, take that away and the difference between the transplants and the unionized factories is small. My preferred option would be to force all plants making cars in the US to have the same pension fund so as to level the playing field (making Toyota and Honda pay for the workers from the American companies that they replaced with their own). But that's not in the cards, unfortunately, so the system that is in place actually is one that directly punishes companies for treating their employees well, I fail to see how that is good.

In terms of man-hours to make one car, unionized factories in the US are about as efficient as the Japanese factories.

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Old 04-14-2009, 11:09 AM   #13
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Default Re: New GM CEO Not Fazed by Future Competition from Saturn Brand, Peugeot Cited As P

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Originally Posted by eelfliw View Post
GM has too many "brands". The Lambda chassis, for example, is sold by 4 different brands (Buick, Chev, GMC & Saturn). That's 4X the marketing, cosmetic engineering (read packaging), secondary manufacturing (eg. brand specific assembly), sales, parts logistics etc., and all the overhead (read management) to run these operations just to sell 1 platform. Reducing the number of brands to fewer "core" brands to sell 1 model per platform will dramatically cut costs associated with selling a platform.
I agree. I've mentioned this before....what we having been seeing with GM for the past couple of years is Multiple cars across multiple nameplates.

Where is the originality in that? It's almost like it is the early 1980s all over again....Chevy Chevette....meet Pontiac 1000... Pontiac 1000...meet Pontiac Acadian

Chevy Lumina....meet Buick Regal...Buick Regal...meet Pontiac Grand Prix

See the pattern here? Multiple cars across multiple brands...BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Same T-Shirt, Different Decade.

You would think that with all of the Imaging that GM has for being a company that has been around for 100 years, that they would strive to make all of their cars different from one another. Or at least manufactured them so that if you had a part for a Buick, it was only compatible with a Buick, or a part for a Chevy would only work on a Chevy. Similar to how the S-Series works: Only S-Series parts work with an S-Series Car.

GM had it right with Saturn. The problem lies in the fact that GM didn't know a good thing when they made Saturn, so they continued to make mediocre cars for the masses (Chevy Uplander...meet Chevy Venture...meet Pontiac Montana). NO ORIGINALITY.

This is why I like my Saturn S-Series Cars. They ARE Different, and they are unique, and they aren't a cookie cutter piece of crap that GM continued to churn out over the years from stagnated Engineers who worked off of the fat of their forefathers..

Sorry for getting on a rant. GM needs an overhaul. I'm glad that Wagoneer (what a joke) and Lutz are gone. Henderson isn't any better. He's been there and done that. GM will continue to flounder until the gills have dried up and Government Motors will be crowned the new name of the company. Completely revamped and run by the government.

And yes I fear this will happen...unfortunately.

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Old 04-19-2009, 08:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: New GM CEO Not Fazed by Future Competition from Saturn Brand, Peugeot Cited As P

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Why keep the Saturn name alive under a foreign brand when the whole point was to have a competitive American car company?
It'll give an American brand the opportunity to sell foreign cars under a domestic nameplate in order to compete with all the foreign nameplate cars that are made and sold here. This is just the reverse of Saturn's original reason but times have changed.

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