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Old 08-30-2000, 05:11 PM   #1
100KSW2
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Default Saturn Sinking? and New model information

There is an interesting article at

http://www.just-auto.com/features_detail.asp?art=263

The first part is nothing new, a rehash of all the miss-steps GM has made with Saturn, but the second half has some details that I have not seen before about the upcoming new Saturn models including the fact that the MINIVAN will be the model to get the Honda V6, and that the other previously unspecified (AFAIK) model will be a pickup truck.

Jim

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Old 08-30-2000, 05:26 PM   #2
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"Plastic body panels, friendly dealer service and no-haggle pricing are not enough. It needs innovative design, class-leading safety and savvy marketing if it's going to win new customers, and keep the current ones loyal."

No kidding! I would add excellent build quality and reliability to that list. They obviously don't think much of Saturn buyers if they assumed the dealers and dent resistant doors were enough!



"His plan was for a near self-sufficient division that would design, develop and manufacture its own products. Cars would be built, not in Detroit, but at a new, green field plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, by a work force - known as 'team members' - that would not only build cars but have a major input in running the company."

Well, it was good while it lasted!

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Old 08-30-2000, 05:58 PM   #3
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"As we grow the Saturn brand, it's necessary to further leverage many of GM's vast resources," says Trudell. "This has led to speculation that Saturn will lose its culture and brand identity - in other words the whale will swallow the guppy. But I believe change can go the other way - that Saturn can continue to aid in the transformation of GM."

How is abandoning the unique Saturn labor agreement and building a modified Opel in an old GM plant with workers under the standard UAW contract helping to "aid in the transformation of GM"?

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Old 08-30-2000, 10:04 PM   #4
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Yes, I agree. I work for a major GM supplier, who used to be owned by GM. The leadership of my company once thought that they would change GM, but in my opinion the GM influence on us was much stronger, and much more lasting than our influence was on GM.

A Chinese friend of mine once told me "The Mongols invaded China over the Great Wall, but by the time they reached the sea they were assimulated into being Chinese!". This is more than national pride speaking. Large bureaucratic organizations ingest new ideas without absorbing them. I worked as a Department of Defense contractor for many years before my current position. We thought we could reformulate and streamline the DoD too!
Ha! HA!

Jim

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Old 08-31-2000, 12:08 PM   #5
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I'm running out of "I say's".

Love my current Saturns, and was going to upgrade to the 2001 LW2. But now, we're going to wait for the SUV and see. We may buy an LW2 anyway... but there's no longer a guaranteed sale. I'm not really seeing better quality cars in Saturn. Also can't quite justify trading in a tried and true car for average mileage.

Polymer panels, cool sales consultants, and insurance are pretty much the only thing stopping me from trading in for a V6 Jetta.

I'm also fed up with hearing people call the L-series a flop/fiasco. Maybe it was financially, but that's mostly because some dumb execs believe that 1 model plus 1 model equals double the sales, ESPECIALLY in niche markets like Saturn. Off with Trudell's head.

-Wei

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Old 08-31-2000, 01:51 PM   #6
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What I'd like to see is for Saturn to reach out to the fleet buyers with solid products that are cheap to maintain.

Things such as base color bumpers, sealed beam lights, and the plastic panels could be used to convince fleet owners that saturn's for them.

Went by a Buick dealer yesterday to get a free gift and was told by the salesperson that the front headlight lens assy is $400. Contrast that with $6.00 for a sealed beam halogen bulb like we used to see.

Private and government fleets would be willing to stick with tried and true designs if the cars would just hold up and be really cheap to fix.

This could be one line in Saturn's assortment, and there could also be others for the style and feature buyer.

The LS would make a great city patrol car in areas where brute speed is not required.

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