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Old 01-12-2009, 09:43 AM   #1
mikec
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Default GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

Filed under: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GM, GMC, HUMMER, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn
Official: GM shrinking to four brands; Pontiac to four models

by Chris Tutor on Jan 12th 2009 at 7:58AM
In an interview Sunday with Automotive News (sub. req'd), Troy Clarke, GM's North American president, said that General Motors will be able to make good on its promise to Congress to drastically cut costs. Clarke said that GM will now focus its "product and marketing resources" on Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC. That would leave Pontiac, Saturn, Saab and HUMMER in automotive limbo. As part of that same plan presented to lawmakers, GM said it would sell or close Saturn. And since no one has yet stepped forward with cash, the future is not at all certain for the unique brand despite what GM's marketing VP Mark LaNeve says.

In a separate interview, Bob Lutz told AN that Pontiac will also have to get by with only four models: the G8, G5, Vibe and Solstice. Or five models if you count the Solstice coupe separately as Lutz does. Shrinking the brand would complete yet another promise GM made to Congress to make Pontiac a niche brand.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

Tags: automaker bailout, AutomakerBailout, bailout, bob lutz, BobLutz, general motors, GeneralMotors, hummer, mark laneve, MarkLaneve, pontiac, saab, saturn, saturn future, SaturnFuture

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Old 01-13-2009, 08:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikec View Post
Filed under: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GM, GMC, HUMMER, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn
Official: GM shrinking to four brands; Pontiac to four models

by Chris Tutor on Jan 12th 2009 at 7:58AM
In an interview Sunday with Automotive News (sub. req'd), Troy Clarke, GM's North American president, said that General Motors will be able to make good on its promise to Congress to drastically cut costs. Clarke said that GM will now focus its "product and marketing resources" on Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC. That would leave Pontiac, Saturn, Saab and HUMMER in automotive limbo. As part of that same plan presented to lawmakers, GM said it would sell or close Saturn. And since no one has yet stepped forward with cash, the future is not at all certain for the unique brand despite what GM's marketing VP Mark LaNeve says.

In a separate interview, Bob Lutz told AN that Pontiac will also have to get by with only four models: the G8, G5, Vibe and Solstice. Or five models if you count the Solstice coupe separately as Lutz does. Shrinking the brand would complete yet another promise GM made to Congress to make Pontiac a niche brand.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


Tags: automaker bailout, AutomakerBailout, bailout, bob lutz, BobLutz, general motors, GeneralMotors, hummer, mark laneve, MarkLaneve, pontiac, saab, saturn, saturn future, SaturnFuture
I thought the G3 (rebadged Aveo) was a done deal for Canada and the US. Solstice has 2 more years at best and I doubt we'll get another generation from the G8. That would leave Team Arrowhead with the Vibe, G3, G5 and G6, assuming they last beyond their present product cycles.


...
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:52 PM   #3
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Mad Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

Oh wow, like this is the 100th "Saturn is Dead" Thread this month. Congratulations. Ug.

I officially announce that the Search Feature on SaturnFans is Officially Dead.

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Old 01-14-2009, 01:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

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Oh wow, like this is the 100th "Saturn is Dead" Thread this month. Congratulations. Ug.

I officially announce that the Search Feature on SaturnFans is Officially Dead.
This is the second thread you have made this same comment on. So, is this the 100th or is the other one the 100th?

Just messin' with you...I'm getting tired of them too.

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Old 01-14-2009, 07:18 AM   #5
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Thumbs Down Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

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This is the second thread you have made this same comment on. So, is this the 100th or is the other one the 100th? Just messin' with you...I'm getting tired of them too.
Actually I think I hit three ;-) I was going to Search for them all but got tired and fell asleep before I could do so.

Yes, this garbage is getting very very old. If people would use the Search button they would see how many identical posts there are on SaturnFans *yawn*.............we need another "Saturn is dead" post like we need a house full of Trolls.

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Old 01-14-2009, 12:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

They might as well kill Saturn because it's just another plain Jane GM brand. It used to be something special however that is no longer the case. Just look at their current lineup and where they are built.

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Old 01-14-2009, 05:08 PM   #7
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Post Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

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They might as well kill Saturn because it's just another plain Jane GM brand. It used to be something special however that is no longer the case. Just look at their current lineup and where they are built.
I so completely disagree with the "plain jane gm brand" comment. There is a huge difference, and that is mostly in the dealerships and the buying experiences. I hope to never hear my sales associate, say "i have to go ask the boss about this offer you have made." The Saturn products are fine, they have a cohesive family look to them, which is very different from the Chevy "look".

Now, I know that deep down they are sister cars. I say Pontiac is nothing more than blobs with wheels. But that is their "Look". And some people want boring, reliable cars at a good price.

I have my opinions about what needs to do Saturn, but they are not boring.

...
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

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I hope to never hear my sales associate, say "i have to go ask the boss about this offer you have made."
I hope you're kidding. That's been going on for at least the last 2 years. When I helped my elderly mother buy her 2007 Ion3 in Jan/07 the salesman ENCOURAGED negotiation! Saturn's core values and business concept have been gradually slipping back to those held by parent GM. Like it or not the old Saturn ways are long gone.

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Old 01-15-2009, 11:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

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I so completely disagree with the "plain jane gm brand" comment. There is a huge difference, and that is mostly in the dealerships and the buying experiences. I hope to never hear my sales associate, say "i have to go ask the boss about this offer you have made." The Saturn products are fine, they have a cohesive family look to them, which is very different from the Chevy "look".

Now, I know that deep down they are sister cars. I say Pontiac is nothing more than blobs with wheels. But that is their "Look". And some people want boring, reliable cars at a good price.

I have my opinions about what needs to do Saturn, but they are not boring.
I'm really not that concerned with the dealerships and buying experience. What my concern is the car they are selling. And quite frankly there is no longer anything special with Saturn.

The Astra is nothing more than an Opel with a Saturn emblem. Add to that it is more expensive than the ION and SL series. The Vue is an Opel Antara made in Mexico. The Sky is a twin of the Pontiac Solstice. Add to that it's made in Wilmington. Given my previous experience with a 2000 LS2 I would be hesitant to buy one. Biggest mistake I ever made when it came to buying cars. While the Aura is a good looking car it's a bit to thirsty for my tastes. And of course the Outlook is nothing more than a twin of the Acadia and Traverse.

IMHO if it's not made in Spring Hill and have polymer body panels then its not a Saturn.

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Old 01-15-2009, 08:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

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I'm really not that concerned with the dealerships and buying experience. What my concern is the car they are selling. And quite frankly there is no longer anything special with Saturn.

The Astra is nothing more than an Opel with a Saturn emblem. Add to that it is more expensive than the ION and SL series. The Vue is an Opel Antara made in Mexico. The Sky is a twin of the Pontiac Solstice. Add to that it's made in Wilmington. Given my previous experience with a 2000 LS2 I would be hesitant to buy one. Biggest mistake I ever made when it came to buying cars. While the Aura is a good looking car it's a bit to thirsty for my tastes. And of course the Outlook is nothing more than a twin of the Acadia and Traverse.

IMHO if it's not made in Spring Hill and have polymer body panels then its not a Saturn.

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Okay, so most of the current line-up started life out in Germany as an Opel. But you phrased it as 'nothing more than an Opel', as if these German designed cars are somehow inferior to the Springhill Wondercars you're still facinated with.

No offense (I know you all love your cars), but the Springhill cars aren't even in the same galaxy when compared to the Opel engineered cars. And no matter if you are comparing suspension design, quality of materials used, fit and finish, or whatever... the Opels are lightyears ahead of the old Saturns. 'Nothing special', you say? The European lineage of today's Saturns IS what's special about the brand.

Don't like that Saturn discontinued Ion? Here's some of what Edmund's says about the 2003-2007 Ion (And they are not alone in their opinion):

"In road tests and comparison tests, our reviewers found the Saturn Ion to be among the lower performers in the entry-level sedan and coupe classes. Despite the strong engine, the Ion lacked liveliness, and overall performance was conservative at best. The steering was overly heavy. Even with the continuous interior improvements made throughout its lifespan, the seats were uncomfortable and offered little support. Overall, we suggest looking elsewhere for an economy car."

Obviously, Saturn needed to ditch the Ion, and Astra made sense. I bought a Saturn Astra mostly because it IS an Opel!

I know you miss the good ol' days, but trashing Opel is something akin to trashing CD's because you still like your cassette tapes.

...
Sold:
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Last edited by jon_e_quest; 01-15-2009 at 08:56 PM..

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Old 01-15-2009, 09:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

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No offense (I know you all love your cars), but the Springhill cars aren't even in the same galaxy when compared to the Opel engineered cars. And no matter if you are comparing suspension design, quality of materials used, fit and finish, or whatever... the Opels are lightyears ahead of the old Saturns. 'Nothing special', you say? The European lineage of today's Saturns IS what's special about the brand.
The old Saturns are superior when it comes to durability and dent resistance! Not to mention economy and maintenance costs.

Then there's the whole being proud of a truly American car thing...

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Old 01-15-2009, 09:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

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Then there's the whole being proud of a truly American car thing...
Bet your car was built at Oshawa Car Assembly in Ontario, Canada

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Old 01-15-2009, 09:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

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Bet your car was built at Oshawa Car Assembly in Ontario, Canada
My Subaru Legacy? No, it was built in Lafayette, Indiana.

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Old 01-16-2009, 12:23 AM   #14
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Default Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

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Don't like that Saturn discontinued Ion? Here's some of what Edmund's says about the 2003-2007 Ion (And they are not alone in their opinion):
That's hilarious...the ION did stink. But you know what, it was a Delta, initially designed by OPEL.

Of course the original S series cars aren't as nice as a brand new German designed Astra. The s cars were conceived back in the late 80's...yeah, late 80's. Remember what computers were back then...

But here's the thing, the S series cars were a better fit for Saturn, and a better car for the time, and ironically, the simplicity and efficiency of them would be a better fit for today than the current line up.

Look, I like the cars...but why did GM build two cars that fight for the same market and give one a chevy badge, the other a Saturn? The reality isn't that Saturn isn't viable, its that the two cars are two similar and not differentiated enough to appeal to the differing demographics. Remember the outcry when Jill crushed everyone's hopes once again by saying no manual transmissions for the Aura? Where's the AWD version? Where's the polymer? And the promised XRS 'sport' model? The flared fenders and open intakes? Nope,nope nope nope. It was almost like another practice run for GM...the Vectra isn't that well recieved in Europe, and certainly not in england, where its Jeremy Clarksons favorite target. So...they bring it over here, fiddle with it some more, and see how it sells when targeted at the middle of the mid size market with no ad budget and a very small(comparitively) dealer network.

Unlike most of you Ive owned an actual OPEL. I loved it. Really, I did. It was actually one of the cars that inspired the stylist of the original Saturn SC, you can see it in the nose. That being said, the pride of having the cars simply be rebadged OPELs simply isn't there. Nothing against the Germans, my wife is half german, and I travel there on business from time to time and love the country.

GM can't do anything right. OPEL and Saturn would both be better off without GM.

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Old 01-16-2009, 12:33 AM   #15
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Default Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

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The Vue is an Opel Antara made in Mexico. The Sky is a twin of the Pontiac Solstice.
And the Antara is merely a reskinned Daewoo rework of, get this, the original VUE platform!!! Taking it one step further, the VUE descended from the floorpan of the LS...now your right back home!!

I love the SKY...just wish is skewed even MORE towards the car that gave it is slinky shape, the Vauxhaul VX Lightning! Do you remember Saturn/GM styling's first two attempts at the SKY? My they were awful... Imac SKY, and UglySky. Thank goodness the brits stepped in and saved the day

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Old 01-16-2009, 07:12 AM   #16
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GM can't do anything right. OPEL and Saturn would both be better off without GM.
Amen, brother. ;-)

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Old 01-16-2009, 07:20 AM   #17
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Default Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

youknowme, I think you have some of your timelines all mixed up. You got the brands right though, but some backwards. I gotta go to work, school ya later on that.

and yes, we will all miss the days of Spring Hill and polymer, but personally I have been waning for the Astra since 2004 and more Opel based products since the LS came out.

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Old 01-16-2009, 09:21 AM   #18
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Default Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

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Originally Posted by jon_e_quest View Post
Okay, so most of the current line-up started life out in Germany as an Opel. But you phrased it as 'nothing more than an Opel', as if these German designed cars are somehow inferior to the Springhill Wondercars you're still facinated with.

No offense (I know you all love your cars), but the Springhill cars aren't even in the same galaxy when compared to the Opel engineered cars. And no matter if you are comparing suspension design, quality of materials used, fit and finish, or whatever... the Opels are lightyears ahead of the old Saturns. 'Nothing special', you say? The European lineage of today's Saturns IS what's special about the brand.

Don't like that Saturn discontinued Ion? Here's some of what Edmund's says about the 2003-2007 Ion (And they are not alone in their opinion):

"In road tests and comparison tests, our reviewers found the Saturn Ion to be among the lower performers in the entry-level sedan and coupe classes. Despite the strong engine, the Ion lacked liveliness, and overall performance was conservative at best. The steering was overly heavy. Even with the continuous interior improvements made throughout its lifespan, the seats were uncomfortable and offered little support. Overall, we suggest looking elsewhere for an economy car."
The ION was not a bad car, its main problem was that they released it without testing it enough and therefore selling its 2003 and 2004 model years with some design flaws, some lighter (seats, steering wheel, noise insulation) others not so light (VTi and 5-speed transmissions). From 2005 to 2007, it was a much better car, but many carmags didn't bother to test it again, they had judged it badly and kept blasting it whatever happened.

Edmunds is guilty of that, they said that the ION was judged in road tests to be amongst the lower performers... But the only tests they did was with a 2003 ION! So the car changed radically from its first model year, the seats were changed, so was the steering wheel, the buggy transmissions replaced, two stronger engines added, etc... But they judge every single ION from the first built to the last by the one they tested amongst the very first out of Spring Hill.

Other cases, Car And Driver was particularly scornful of the ION when it was released, but they did a long-term test of the car after Saturn "forgot" to ask for the tester back. The resulting long-term test was much more positive than the short-term one they did. In Québec, a reviewer blasted the ION when it was released but then had to live with it when his daughter chose one as her first car. When the lease was up, he made pretty much a "mea culpa", he said that it had been an good economy car that he wouldn't be afraid to sell to relatives and he took a swipe at his fellow reviewers for their continual blasting of it.

Reviews of the 2005 to 2007 IONs were pretty rare, here's one from CanadianDriver (and Canadians are less biased against American small cars than Americans themselves, go figure):
http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/rr/05ion3.htm

The roof, hood and trunk are made of the usual galvanized steel, but the fenders and doors are a tough composite that is all but impervious to damage in normal situations. Because of the use of this material which contacts and expands with temperature changes, panel gaps are inordinately wide. While this may make the Ion look as if it was hastily and poorly assembled, the opposite is in fact the case. This is a tight and solid vehicle in every sense of the word.
[...]
The seats are indeed comfortable and thanks to a tall roofline, they can be positioned in a manner that allows the driver to sit upright resulting in the dual advantages of better sightlines and improved posture! The height challenged will appreciate them even more because of the manual height adjustment that allows them to enjoy the view.

I know, the ION was not the best one available on the market, but it was far from bad, despite what carmags were saying.

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Old 01-16-2009, 11:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

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Originally Posted by jon_e_quest View Post
Okay, so most of the current line-up started life out in Germany as an Opel. But you phrased it as 'nothing more than an Opel', as if these German designed cars are somehow inferior to the Springhill Wondercars you're still facinated with.

No offense (I know you all love your cars), but the Springhill cars aren't even in the same galaxy when compared to the Opel engineered cars. And no matter if you are comparing suspension design, quality of materials used, fit and finish, or whatever... the Opels are lightyears ahead of the old Saturns. 'Nothing special', you say? The European lineage of today's Saturns IS what's special about the brand.

Don't like that Saturn discontinued Ion? Here's some of what Edmund's says about the 2003-2007 Ion (And they are not alone in their opinion):

"In road tests and comparison tests, our reviewers found the Saturn Ion to be among the lower performers in the entry-level sedan and coupe classes. Despite the strong engine, the Ion lacked liveliness, and overall performance was conservative at best. The steering was overly heavy. Even with the continuous interior improvements made throughout its lifespan, the seats were uncomfortable and offered little support. Overall, we suggest looking elsewhere for an economy car."

Obviously, Saturn needed to ditch the Ion, and Astra made sense. I bought a Saturn Astra mostly because it IS an Opel!

I know you miss the good ol' days, but trashing Opel is something akin to trashing CD's because you still like your cassette tapes.
Could you point out where I trashed Opel? If you had bothered to read my post more closely you would have figured out I did no such thing. What I did was point out the FACT that the Astra is nothing more than a regadged Opel. Therefore it is nothing special.

When your Astra is is seven years old and has 150K on it I'm going to bet that it will not look as good as when you bought it. In fact it will probably have its share of dings and dents. If you live in an area where they salt the roads maybe even a bit of rust. My 2002 SL2 on the other hand looks almost as good as the day I bought it. No dents or rust to be found on the body panels. Not only that but you will have spent more money on gas. So to summarize, Astra more expensive and with lower gas mileage.

What GM did with the Satrun line was to take the easy way out. They did it with the LS series and they did it with the rebaged Opels and sister cars. one of the reasons GM is in the mess they are in, taking the easy way out.

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Old 01-16-2009, 11:22 PM   #20
KrgION03
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Default Re: GM Will Shrink to 4 Brands- Autoblog

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Originally Posted by gm767 View Post
When your Astra is is seven years old and has 150K on it I'm going to bet that it will not look as good as when you bought it. In fact it will probably have its share of dings and dents. If you live in an area where they salt the roads maybe even a bit of rust. My 2002 SL2 on the other hand looks almost as good as the day I bought it. No dents or rust to be found on the body panels. Not only that but you will have spent more money on gas. So to summarize, Astra more expensive and with lower gas mileage.
So he may get a few dents and use a bit more gas, but he'll be driving a far superior car for those 7 years. I'll take good driving dynamics over dent resistance any day.

Having said that, I agree GM hasn't differentiated the brand enough, and it should be killed.

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