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Old 10-23-2003, 09:42 PM   #1
johnsocal
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Default Saturn has 140 day supply of Ions- Are they in trouble?

Having a 140-day supply of a car thats only a year old cant be good.

http://www.freep.com/money/autonews/gm22_20031022.htm


"When you see like a 140-day supply of a vehicle that tells you it's suffering in the marketplace, which is really bad news considering they only launched the Ion in the last year," said Mike Wall, analyst for CSM Worldwide, an auto sales and production firm. "When you hit triple digits, you get concerned about the vehicle. I'm sure heavier incentives or downtime are coming."

Wall said the Ion is losing customers to other small-car offerings like the Dodge Neon, or lower-priced cars from Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia.

Sales of the Ion fell dramatically in September, with just 7,279 sold. That was a 35-percent drop from August, when 11,146 were sold, and a 50-percent drop from sales of 14,488 in July.

Neon sales, by comparison, rose 9 percent from August to September.

Not all is lost at the Saturn division.

The VUE continues to sell well. Sales of the VUE were up 12.9 percent in September compared to a year ago. For the year, VUE sales are up almost 50 percent.

Saturn sales overall for 2003 are up 2.5 percent.

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Old 10-23-2003, 11:42 PM   #2
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OOPS!!- sorry, i just realized this article was already posted on this thread- http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...threadid=26219

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Old 10-24-2003, 08:57 AM   #3
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yes Saturn is in deep trouble

for a new model to have such weak sales despite very heavy rebates screams something is very wrong at Saturn

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Old 10-24-2003, 11:55 AM   #4
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The sad thing is... Saturn will put on the blinders, refuse to hear the truth about the cars, and do nothing to change the car to make it more desirable to buyers.

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Old 10-24-2003, 12:46 PM   #5
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Not sure if that is a fair statement. As reported here by Charlie more than a month ago, Saturn significantly upgraded the materials in the ION interior for '04. Car companies usually wait several years before changing the interiors.

The publicity surrounding the ION redline should help draw attention to the car as well.

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Old 10-24-2003, 01:00 PM   #6
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the way things are going they may not have several years

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Old 10-24-2003, 02:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by lewis2
yes Saturn is in deep trouble

for a new model to have such weak sales despite very heavy rebates screams something is very wrong at Saturn
I disagree only with the part about heavy rebates. The ION has amoung the lowest rebates at GM. I see new NEONs and Ford Focus for less than $8000. The ION is overpriced.

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Old 10-24-2003, 05:02 PM   #8
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2006 ION-3 Sedan
2009 VUE 2.4L
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Quote:
Originally posted by haypops
I disagree only with the part about heavy rebates. The ION has amoung the lowest rebates at GM. I see new NEONs and Ford Focus for less than $8000. The ION is overpriced.
Agreed, because when the ION incentives were at their highest, the car sold much better. If the manufacturing people at Saturn decided to produce IONs at a current rate that leads to a 140 day supply on-hand they need to look at their marketing and price structure. Markets need to be built. Based on the experience of the L-series and now the ION I am not sure that Saturn Corp knows how to build them beyond selling to a core group of very loyal existing Saturn owners.

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Old 10-24-2003, 06:18 PM   #9
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Speaking of rebates, I recieved a card from the GM card saying that they were rounding UP my rebate to the nearest 1000 and allowing the whole amount ($2000 in my case) to be used on 2003 Saturn or any year of other GM car. Did anyone hear of this?

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Old 10-24-2003, 07:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by haypops
Speaking of rebates, I recieved a card from the GM card saying that they were rounding UP my rebate to the nearest 1000 and allowing the whole amount ($2000 in my case) to be used on 2003 Saturn or any year of other GM car. Did anyone hear of this?
Got the same thing in the mail. Good to 12/1. The L is about 39 moths old and the VUE 10 months. So I hope to keep the L for another 4 years. The L is paid off too. By that time no payments on the VUE(Well almsot)

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Old 10-24-2003, 08:27 PM   #11
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the ION doesn't live in a vacuum. Extra long supplies are why certain vehicles from both GM and Ford are being offered for 0% financing for 72 months. It's a great time to buy a Suburban or Tahoe! (if you can find one...)

...
..aka GMinTheDriveway
Former Saturn Sales Consultant
Give me choices in powertrain, great handling and decent MPG and I will buy a Saturn again.

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Old 10-25-2003, 01:04 PM   #12
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Saturn isn't Saturn any more, and that is why it is indeed in big trouble. All the incentives in the world won't make people buy what they don't want, and fewer all the time are going to want a GM product with a Saturn sales experience. That's what the ION is, polymer notwithstanding (GM did have polymer/spaceframe vehicles before Saturn - see the "dustbuster" minivans). Saturn was a desirable product because they used to have a good product - one designed by a team separate from the rest of GM; now they just have GM's product and their "sales experience" and they're going to learn the painful lesson that it's product, not sales experience, that sells cars. Some of the most popular cars are often sold at dealerships that people don't like much, but they put up with it because they want the product. There are not that many folks that will be driven (no pun intended) to buy a product that is not as desirable by the comparitive buying experience alone, and they'll be even fewer once they've had problems with the product they "settled for" BEFORE they had problems with it. Not to suggest that is everyone's situation, but that's what GM is trying to leverage - the "buying experience." They have bought into the idea that the Saturn sales philosophy is somehow able to overcome product deficiencies, and it just isn't so. Product, not sales experience, is what will make the cars sell. With GM's resources, it's pathetic that they aren't putting their competition to shame, and for that fact, shame on GM.

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Old 10-25-2003, 02:53 PM   #13
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AMEN.

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Old 10-25-2003, 03:21 PM   #14
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Default Hate to say I told you so...

but I did!

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Old 10-25-2003, 03:24 PM   #15
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I think it was Babe Ruth who said:

"If people don't want to come to the ballpark, how are you going to stop them?"

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Old 10-25-2003, 04:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Saturnmeister
Saturn isn't Saturn any more, and that is why it is indeed in big trouble. All the incentives in the world won't make people buy what they don't want, and fewer all the time are going to want a GM product with a Saturn sales experience. That's what the ION is, polymer notwithstanding (GM did have polymer/spaceframe vehicles before Saturn - see the "dustbuster" minivans). Saturn was a desirable product because they used to have a good product - one designed by a team separate from the rest of GM; now they just have GM's product and their "sales experience" and they're going to learn the painful lesson that it's product, not sales experience, that sells cars. Some of the most popular cars are often sold at dealerships that people don't like much, but they put up with it because they want the product. There are not that many folks that will be driven (no pun intended) to buy a product that is not as desirable by the comparitive buying experience alone, and they'll be even fewer once they've had problems with the product they "settled for" BEFORE they had problems with it. Not to suggest that is everyone's situation, but that's what GM is trying to leverage - the "buying experience." They have bought into the idea that the Saturn sales philosophy is somehow able to overcome product deficiencies, and it just isn't so. Product, not sales experience, is what will make the cars sell. With GM's resources, it's pathetic that they aren't putting their competition to shame, and for that fact, shame on GM.

Whoa! The sky is apparently falling!

To speak to your last line (With GM's resources, it's pathetic that they aren't putting their competition to shame, and for that fact, shame on GM) - GM IS putting all domestic competition to shame. Have you looked at the health of Ford and Chrysler? Have you noticed that GM has a deathlock on Ford and is squeezing the life out of it, and Chrysler is not too far behind? GM is making money - Ford is hemmoraging cash like crazy and is loosing market share at a pace that should ALARM Ford purists. GM is giving cars away at 0% with HUGE rebates...and it's still making cash. Ford and Chrysler can't come close to doing that. Quality is way UP at GM....any coincidence?

Also - if you think the ION is NOT an improvement over the S-series you are either nuts or seriously blinded by your loyalty to those neat little S's. I LOVE my 96 SL2 (154,000+ miles) and I can even say that the new IONs are a huge step up in performance and fit and finish. Go sit in a 2004 Ion3 and just feel the dash and the cabin materials.....and 04 is ONLY A STOPGAP improvement on this issue. It's flat-out a better car, and this is coming from someone who likes the old-school S's.

Another thing - the ION was developed at Saturn by a Saturn design team using the Ecotec and the GM Delta architecture.

The sales numbers are down, yes...but the sky is NOT falling.

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Old 10-25-2003, 06:49 PM   #17
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Also, all of the incentives in the past few years have drained the demand for new cars.

Pretty much anyone who needed a new car, or just wanted one, has already bought one.

With incentives destroying trade values for late models, there are just fewer customers in the market right now.

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Old 10-25-2003, 07:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by BobL
Also, all of the incentives in the past few years have drained the demand for new cars.

Pretty much anyone who needed a new car, or just wanted one, has already bought one.

With incentives destroying trade values for late models, there are just fewer customers in the market right now.

BobL -

EXACTLY. I bought an Ion early this year and incentives were a factor for me. I'm not the type to buy new cars or have any desire for a new car every few years and feel I received a great deal on the Saturn Ion.

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Old 10-25-2003, 08:58 PM   #19
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I agree with Saturnmeister. Ditch the goofy center instruments, tiny unsupportive seats, and bumper car steering wheel and maket the car to adults.

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Old 10-25-2003, 09:05 PM   #20
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Tiny, unsupportive seats? - How much do you weigh?!?!

Goofy center instruments - Your opinion.

Bumper car steering wheel - It was fine, but the '04 changed this already.

Market it to adults? - I believe the average age of Ion buyers is 40+, so adults are already buying them.

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