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Old 08-02-2007, 04:10 PM   #1
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Default Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative companies?

Looking at the future of Saturn as GM's domestic outlet for Opel vehicles, it's apparent that any remnants of the original Saturn concept are gone, a victim of globalization perhaps, and certainly a victim of GM's corporate culture. So, hopefully there will be another Saturn at some point. I don't just mean a car with dent resistant body panels (though that would be nice! ), but a small, innovative company (perhaps a subsidiary of a larger company, as Saturn was) that can produce unique vehicles that aren't just another flavor of what's already out there. Is there any hope of seeing something special like the old Saturn in the automotive industry again, excluding makers of ultra high priced exotics?
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Old 08-02-2007, 04:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

Without a totally unexpected major change in the marketplace as we now know it the answer is that there is virtually no chance that any small auto manufacturer can succeed at even a moderate scale of production. A small company could possibly make high priced custom niche cars but that is about it. The logistics of manufacturing, retailing and even marketing stack the deck against any lightly capitalized venture. If anything, the inability of the old, small, reletively independent Saturn to grow itself after its initial success proved that. If you believe the experts in the serious journals, the next new wave of auto production will come from China, not small US companies.
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Old 08-03-2007, 06:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

I'm interested to see what will happen now that Chrysler has become a "private" company ... will they become the next 'innovative' company, trying things that the other publicly traded companies aren't willing to try at risk of their stocks dropping? Guess we can only watch and see...

I worry that with the market place today, too many people are afraid of "different." That's a large reason why Saturn has changed, and why so many vehicles are so similar. Look at what vehicles have failed miserable - the ones that were "different" - Pontiac Aztek comes strongly to mind, it was a strong vehicle in available options and pricing and still has a strong cult following, but never took off because the "ugly" front-end was too different for today's consumers. People are afraid of change, so if you go out of the way to be too different, you'll just alienate most consumers.
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Old 08-03-2007, 06:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

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Old 08-04-2007, 08:52 AM   #5
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Happy Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

There's already an Innovative Car Company, it's called Honda! And the Car they make is the Honda "Fit!"
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Old 08-04-2007, 09:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

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There's already an Innovative Car Company, it's called Honda! And the Car they make is the Honda "Fit!"
Well piss on that! No, SCION is, and has been the "new Saturn." (Ever notice they came around at about the same time GM sucked Saturn into corporate umbrella hell?) Even though they're totally controlled by Toyota, their vehicles are completely and utterly unique. Albeit slow and ugly, and I'd never buy one, but they are.
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Old 08-04-2007, 11:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

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Well piss on that! No, SCION is, and has been the "new Saturn." (Ever notice they came around at about the same time GM sucked Saturn into corporate umbrella hell?) Even though they're totally controlled by Toyota, their vehicles are completely and utterly unique. Albeit slow and ugly, and I'd never buy one, but they are.
I would have to agree on the Scion parallels to the origianl Saturn. The xB and tC are ok looking, but that xA is hideous! And the new xD is just a larger version of the f-ugly xA.
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Old 08-04-2007, 12:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

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Well piss on that! No, SCION is, and has been the "new Saturn." (Ever notice they came around at about the same time GM sucked Saturn into corporate umbrella hell?) Even though they're totally controlled by Toyota, their vehicles are completely and utterly unique. Albeit slow and ugly, and I'd never buy one, but they are.

I boldfaced the biggest difference between Scion and Saturn. Toyota seems more than willing to nurture Scion instead of treating it like a red-headed stepchild as was the case during the leaner years of Saturn. Many games of what if could be played, but if the parent company believed more in continuous improvement rather than immediate short-term gain and focusing on the profitable GMT800 truck/SUV side of the ledger at the expense of aging passenger car lines, the late nineties and dawn of the new millenium might have been different for the once-different kind of company and car.

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Old 08-04-2007, 01:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

July July % Chg
2007 2006 per S/D
Buick 16,654 23,609 -26.5
Cadillac 17,412 19,124 -5.2
Chevrolet 183,103 244,080 -21.9
GMC 44,060 48,085 -4.6
HUMMER 4,895 6,991 -27.1
Other - Isuzu 1,173 1,336 -8.5
Pontiac 30,023 40,933 -23.6
Saab 3,247 3,658 -7.5
Saturn 20,368 22,516 -5.8

Sales of Vehicles Produced in US/Canada/Mexico
Car 110,684 151,133 -23.7
Light Truck 196,004 244,095 -16.4

Considering the GM's downturn of sales I suspect the bean counters will want more concessions. I'm certain GM will be looking very hard how well received the Astra will be. If all the other GM divisions were selling well, I would not be concerned over Saturn's future. Since Buick, Hummer, and Pontiac are around 25% down IMO there may be another re-alignment again with GM's divisions.
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Old 08-04-2007, 02:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

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I boldfaced the biggest difference between Scion and Saturn. Toyota seems more than willing to nurture Scion instead of treating it like a red-headed stepchild as was the case during the leaner years of Saturn. Many games of what if could be played, but if the parent company believed more in continuous improvement rather than immediate short-term gain and focusing on the profitable GMT800 truck/SUV side of the ledger at the expense of aging passenger car lines, the late nineties and dawn of the new millenium might have been different for the once-different kind of company and car.

Yeah, And I'm sure more people than just you and I wish that the general would've paid more attention to Saturn, instead of ramming his head up his own colon for 12+ years, and refusing to even acknowledge our beloved company. Then, being the *alternate name for rooster*sucker he is, out of nowhere, when Saturn really could've used a hand YEARS before, decides, oh, now you're just another division like buick. Play nice, but whatever you do, don't piss off chevy. Poor chevy, always getting macked on by it's lesser siblings. Seriously. Pontiac tore up chevy until the T/A was discontinued with the Camaro. Olds did it decades ago. Buick even had some nice rides that far outclassed the chevy clones. Cadillac, well, always outclassed chevy. Even Saturn has nicer cars than chevy now, and chevy's cloning Saturn's cars. What a bunch of whiney crybabies. If it weren't for the Corvette and Camaro, Chevy wouldn't amount to crap. GMC's trucks are nicer than Chevy trucks (even though they're "the same"). Poor, poor chevy. GM needs to get it's head on straight. Chevy is not the answer anymore, it, too, is just another brand.
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Old 08-04-2007, 03:48 PM   #11
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

It's too difficult in the US to have unique cars. It's much easier to find them in the UK.
How "unique" is Scion anyway?
The companies making the new style taxicabs are unique
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Old 08-04-2007, 03:53 PM   #12
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

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Toyota seems more than willing to nurture Scion instead of treating it like a red-headed stepchild as was the case during the leaner years of Saturn.
It won't last. Sales go down, Scion disappears, just like the Supra and Celica, MR2
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Many games of what if could be played, but if the parent company believed more in continuous improvement rather than immediate short-term gain and focusing on the profitable GMT800 truck/SUV side of the ledger at the expense of aging passenger car lines, the late nineties and dawn of the new millenium might have been different for the once-different kind of company and car.
The trucks are worth more to GM than all the car divisions combined. Saturn is expendable.
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Old 08-04-2007, 04:07 PM   #13
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

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Chevy is not the answer anymore, it, too, is just another brand.
Car sales July 2007, just cars, no trucks, not even the HHR
Buick 12446
Cadillac 10512
Chevy 56212
Pontiac 26778
Saturn 11229

Chevrolet is useless! Useless I say!
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:59 AM   #14
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

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I would have to agree on the Scion parallels to the origianl Saturn. The xB and tC are ok looking, but that xA is hideous! And the new xD is just a larger version of the f-ugly xA.
And they gave them similar stupid names.
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Old 08-05-2007, 02:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

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And they gave them similar stupid names.
The tC was going to be the xC, however, Volvo threatened law suit, because they have that name trademarked for their Cross Coutntry line.
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Old 08-05-2007, 05:07 PM   #16
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

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Car sales July 2007, just cars, no trucks, not even the HHR
Buick 12446
Cadillac 10512
Chevy 56212
Pontiac 26778
Saturn 11229

Chevrolet is useless! Useless I say!
I assume that your reply is satirical?

As you mentioned the Chevy figures do not include the HHR's 13,000 sales, but also leaves out non- North American production which is over 6000 cars.
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Old 08-05-2007, 07:37 PM   #17
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

Here's some interesting food for thought.

Opel only has 8.6% of the European market. These cars don't sell well in Europe. Why does GM feel these cars are going to suceed in America?

Buick and Pontiac sales continue to drop. I can see another realignment and creation of one GM specialty division with Buick, Pontiac, GMC, and Saturn under one roof. Then it will be just three divisions Chevrolet, BPS-GMC, Cadillac.

Saturn has sold as of July 2007 145,989 cars.

Saturn may sell 230,000 vehicles in 2007. We'll see as time flies...

In 2006 Saturn sold 226,375 vehicles. 42.2% were VUE's !

In 2002 the VUE sold almost 75,000.
In 2003 the VUE sold almost 82,000.
In 2004 the VUE sold almost 89,000.
In 2005 the VUE sold almost 108,000.
In 2006 the VUE sold almost 96,000.
In 2007 the VUE sold so far 73,000.

Lets see if the 2008 VUE can maintain this pace.
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:21 PM   #18
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

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I assume that your reply is satirical?

As you mentioned the Chevy figures do not include the HHR's 13,000 sales, but also leaves out non- North American production which is over 6000 cars.
It does include the imports. (Aveo)
I consider the HHR a car but GM does not.
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:34 PM   #19
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

[QUOTE=BobbyP;1104544]Here's some interesting food for thought.

Quote:
Opel only has 8.6% of the European market. These cars don't sell well in Europe. Why does GM feel these cars are going to suceed in America?
8.6% is a lot. I think Opel is in the top 5 sales in Europe

Quote:
Buick and Pontiac sales continue to drop.
Buick may be down due to model reduction.
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:42 PM   #20
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Default Re: Where will the next Saturn come from? Is there room for small, innovative compan

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It does include the imports. (Aveo)
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True enough. My mistake.
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