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View Poll Results: A million to ask for advice? Worth it?
Obviously not- Saturn is dead 10 66.67%
Just shows you how bad/worthless GM and Saturn Managment was 5 33.33%
Worth a try, right? 1 6.67%
We paid the guy a million to tell us to shut it down! 1 6.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-24-2010, 11:31 PM   #1
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Default GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

We'll never know how much General Motors invested in Saturn over time, but we have a small idea how much the automaker spent to try to save the brand before it was shuttered.




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Old 08-25-2010, 01:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

I'm not going to vote in this poll, because this is a sore topic with some people. There was alot of crap that went on last year; but the sad truth and reality about Saturn and it's relationship with GM is that there were higher-ups at GM that wanted the line shut down from it's inception back in the mid 1980s. Just to give you an idea of some of the hatred that GM Brass had for the brand....

Just saying. The amount of comments of hatred towards Penske will be boiling over as well; but then again... the auto manufacturer that Penske contacted REJECTED his bid to build Saturn badged vehicles beyond the GM timeframe of 2011; (I think it was Nissan?) So if you want to be pissed off at anyone about the end of Saturn, be pissed off at GM's incompetence to run a carline (the first NEW GM Carline in 80 years at the time); and Nissan for rejecting Penske's bid to save Saturn. This Girsky guy is just a cog in the wheel. Never even heard of his name until now. How convienient.

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Old 08-25-2010, 11:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

Quote:
Originally Posted by youknowme View Post
We'll never know how much General Motors invested in Saturn over time, but we have a small idea how much the automaker spent to try to save the brand before it was shuttered.
Why does this matter?

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Old 08-25-2010, 07:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

You could say why does anything matter. People still come here, still read and discuss Saturns. Therefore, its relavent.

Personally, I'm with 2ndsout, parts of GM's entrenched brass wanted Saturn dead for a Long long long time...and when the government made one of the clauses for loans being GM get its brands pared down, they were only too happy to get rid of the funny little plastic(former) car brand.

Buick will fail...and people will wonder why GM bothered- instead of keeping Saturn or Pontiac instead. I just can't see so many years of dullness being erased because for the moment, there's a few rebadged and mildly restyled OPELS posing as Buicks. They just should have turned the whole operation over to the Chinese...one look at the Chinese penned Riviera and you can tell immediately that they get what Buick should be more than GM did/does.

I used to own a Coupe long ago, before buying the VUE a few months ago- I remember all of GM's misdeeds towards Saturn.

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Old 08-25-2010, 07:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

And have a sweatshop Riviera fail and/or fall apart on me on a daily basis or perhaps be unsafe? No thanks.

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Old 08-25-2010, 10:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

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And have a sweatshop Riviera fail and/or fall apart on me on a daily basis or perhaps be unsafe? No thanks.
Didn't say I would buy it. My point was that at the time when the chinrev was making the rounds, GM/US Buick were shoveling you more of the same nauseating cars they had since the early 80s. The Chinese recognized that for buick to be more than it was/is, they needed to step up there game. Just wait 5-10 years. China Buick or some other Chinese car company will come out of left field like Hyundai has in the last 2-3 years and make everyone else feel like they have been sitting still.

However, you all should get your heads wrapped firmly around the concept of the majority your mainstream cars being built in third world s-holes. American business has declared war on its own employees, and will eventually push everything offshore. Who they think will be left here to buy them is another matter. Go ahead and blame the unions or Obama or sunspots, but the simple fact is that other countries autobusinesses - like Germany and Japan- are wickedly profitable with unions and 'higher wages' than you have here.

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Old 08-26-2010, 11:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

Give me $1million and I'll figure out whats wrong and be honest about it.

What did this guy tell GM?
What kept Hyundai going... possibly their unheard of warranty that so many are slowly climbing towards.

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Old 08-27-2010, 05:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

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What kept Hyundai going... possibly their unheard of warranty that so many are slowly climbing towards.
Same strategy used for G.M., and look where that got them.

Oh well, at least G.M.'s warranty is 5yr, whereas hunday's is 10yr. Both are 100k miles.

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Old 08-27-2010, 08:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

Quote:
Originally Posted by metgol View Post
Give me $1million and I'll figure out whats wrong and be honest about it.

What did this guy tell GM?
What kept Hyundai going... possibly their unheard of warranty that so many are slowly climbing towards.
Hyundai is a huger multinational powerhouse that operates in many industries- they are not known for giving up. I think the warranty did 'save' them here in the states, however. They made so many mistakes early on, and a bad name to boot. What's happening now however is brilliant.

I really hate the idea of owning a Hyundai, but they are making some really nice cars these days. New Sonata beats the snot out of the dull camry or the stodgy accord.

Biggest problem with American business is American businessmen. I'm sure the consultant gave them the decision they wanted- shut it down!

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Old 08-27-2010, 11:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

Hyundai has been continually improving their products, every generation of their cars is significantly better than the last. Some would argue this is due to lower operating costs, but that's besides the point.

It's not the warranty that saved them. It's no secret that in many cases they don't honor it. What has made them a success is perseverance and continual work.

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Old 08-27-2010, 11:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

IMO the current Hyundai and KIA models drive better than Toyota cars... I'd take a Sonata over a Camry/Corolla any day...

They have improved to the point they have raised their prices about 11% the past 2 years for their cars.

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Old 08-28-2010, 11:57 PM   #12
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

I know nothing about Mr. Girsky but no one should be surprised that GM spent that amount of money trying to get the best advice on what to do with Saturn. The GM Board and management had an obligation to its stockholders to first try to get the best return on its investment in Saturn and secondly if that was not possible, to minimize its loss in divesting the Saturn brand. I am virtually certain that Girsky did not just sit in an easy chair and ponder the options before blowing smoke up everyone's rear end but rather used the best available lawyers, accountants, technical specialists and industry analysts to extensively research the issue before he offered his final advice. Talent like that costs serious money and would have been necessary even if it was a pre-ordained conclusion to shut Saturn down. I appreciate and share the anger and frustration many Saturn owners and enthusiasts feel about the loss of our favorite auto brand but an expenditure of $1.4 million is a small percentage of the hundreds of millions of dollars that were on the line in regard to getting the best result in this sorry mess.

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Old 08-30-2010, 08:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

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Talent like that costs serious money and would have been necessary even if it was a pre-ordained conclusion to shut Saturn down.
I disagree. GM as a company was poorly served by its board, as well as its incompetent management. These guys all tend to run in the same polluted pool of poor and overpriced talent. Its proof positive that performance isn't relative to pay in US business anymore. The average CEO is making 400 times the salary of the average worker.

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Old 08-30-2010, 08:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

I'm not voting on this poll for the same reason as 2NDSOUT and the fact that I no longer own a Saturn and have since moved on. I have to. The sun still rises and I still get bills in my mailbox and there's a life for me to lead beyond this computer screen.

BFD that GM paid a businessman/bureaucrat I've never heard of over a million bucks to see if Saturn could be saved. As history told us, it wasn't enough. And so went Saturn. And Pontiac. And Hummer. And Mercury. Regardless of who bears the blame for Saturn's demise, at the end of the day the finger pointing accomplishes nothing. The fact is, Saturn is dead and we're still arguing about who's holding the murder weapon.

Sorry for the rant. Sometimes you just have to let things go.


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Old 08-31-2010, 02:34 PM   #15
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

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I disagree. GM as a company was poorly served by its board, as well as its incompetent management.
The failure of GM/Saturn is now an established fact and has little to do with Mr. Girsky. Perhaps what you assert about GM management is true, but if so that is all the more reason to have people outside the company analyze the options before choices involving millions of dollars are made. My friend's son is a senior executive for an internationally known business consulting firm that specializes in reorganizing distressed and less than high performing companies. He and his firm are often very successful at what they do. My original point was that based on my knowledge of my contact's compensation package, the amount paid by GM was not out of line for such services. I have no comment on Girsky's competence itself because I know little about him other than what I read here. I will add however that Roger Penske is a highly respected and successful individual in the business world. Giving Penske a shot at saving a restructured Saturn outside of GM seems to me to be a very reasonable choice. Unfortunately sometimes even superstars strike out.

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Old 08-31-2010, 05:03 PM   #16
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

Does the adage "beating a dead horse" mean anything to you?

Seriously, I think we've all moved on now from this kind of stuff.

Even me...who if you look back on my previous posts was full of piss and vinegar toward Penske and his failed attempt to acquire Saturn.

Now, using the wisdom which time typically brings, it's clear that the demise of Saturn lies at the feet of GM who simply either rebaged product from other lines (Saturn Aura = Pontiac G6 and Chevy Malibu) or came up with such woeful cars (I'm looking at you, Ion) that it simply no longer bore any resemblance to the polymer product we all came to love.

Might as well close the book on all these chapters now, since the horse is not only dead but has been buried six feet under already.

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Old 08-31-2010, 09:41 PM   #17
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

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Originally Posted by youknowme View Post
Buick will fail...and people will wonder why GM bothered- instead of keeping Saturn or Pontiac instead.
Quoted for safekeeping.

I've owned several older Saturns, but I'm not blind to reality. If you think the Saturn brand could have sold as many units of the new Lacrosse and Regal as Buick will, you're crazy. GM sure didn't do Saturn any favors at all through the years, but to act like they should have been the survivor at the end instead of Buick is insanity.

Saturn could never demand the respect that even Buick does when it comes to entry level luxury vehicles. I read the posts around here all the time lamenting the demise of the S-series, yet I still see so many convinced that Saturn had an upmarket future. Quite contradictory.

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Old 08-31-2010, 10:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

Quote:
Originally Posted by txsaturn View Post
Quoted for safekeeping.

I've owned several older Saturns, but I'm not blind to reality. If you think the Saturn brand could have sold as many units of the new Lacrosse and Regal as Buick will, you're crazy. GM sure didn't do Saturn any favors at all through the years, but to act like they should have been the survivor at the end instead of Buick is insanity.

Saturn could never demand the respect that even Buick does when it comes to entry level luxury vehicles. I read the posts around here all the time lamenting the demise of the S-series, yet I still see so many convinced that Saturn had an upmarket future. Quite contradictory.
I agree wholeheartedly.

The Saturn L-series was an example of Saturn trying to go upmarket with a product and failing miserably. Only around 406,000 units moved in 5 years is only marginal by any automaker's standards.

The Aura fared even worse with around 160,000 units sold across four model years, showing that people going upmarket certainly weren't looking to Saturn when doing so. One could argue, however, that unlike the L potential Aura buyers also had the Chevy Malibu and Pontiac G6 as similar alternatives.

Trying to go upmarket with a brand grounded and formed as making a formidable small car to compete with those delivered from the the Land of the Rising Sun was foolhardy.

However, I also see validity raised by the poster you're responding to.

I personally love the new Regal (Aura) and ditto for the LaCrosse but I'll NEVER drive anything with a Buick logo splashed across it, no matter how sporty or beautiful. Same goes for Cadillac, as I view both as "old man cars" despite their attempts to shed that image.

I doubt I'm the only one who feels this way and those brands have that stigma to them.

While the Buick brand should serve GM well enough for the next 10-15 years, what happens when the baby boomers fade from the landscape and Buick's market is no longer there?

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Old 09-01-2010, 03:13 PM   #19
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

Saturn should have gone downmarket instead of upmarket.

But at the time - all were seeking the BMW/Mercedes/Lexus market. Even Subaru - tried to go upmarket at the time - and has since dumped that concept.

GM has small cars all over the world that they could have made into Saturns with a little work. The Metro/Swift/Esteem comes to mind - made in Canada. A little retooling and voila - a Saturn. But GM just killed this neat little car.

Back to Buick. China has a long history with the Buick. The Buick with "the" car to have in China. More Buicks are sold in China than in US. And in olden days - Buick was the car to have just below the Packard and Cadillac.

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Old 09-01-2010, 11:01 PM   #20
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Default Re: GM paid Girsky $1.4 million in bid to save Saturn

Quote:
Originally Posted by txsaturn View Post
Quoted for safekeeping.

I've owned several older Saturns, but I'm not blind to reality. If you think the Saturn brand could have sold as many units of the new Lacrosse and Regal as Buick will, you're crazy. GM sure didn't do Saturn any favors at all through the years, but to act like they should have been the survivor at the end instead of Buick is insanity.

Let's examine your little boast here.

The Regal is merely the car that was supposed to have been the 2011 Aura- which in reality is an Opel. Sure, looks nice. Also, this car isn't even on sale yet.

The same can be said of the LaCrosse- its most certainly not a Buick...its another imported design. The sales of the lacrosse are up 185%...to drum roll here...4,246 units a month....annualized to 50K units a year...enjoy the fizzing sound as your soda goes flat. So, the old car was a complete disaster- much like the current Lucerne, and the new, I mean replacement car from Opel, is doing OK. And 50K units a year is....less than Aura sales when the car was fresh.

Quote:
Saturn could never demand the respect that even Buick does when it comes to entry level luxury vehicles.
First off, when did Saturn become entry level lux? Cross shop a TL with the pushrod powered Aura? Ha! NONE of the recent cars were even close to that mark. I don't think that was the intent- the higher price points were likely the same stategy that many brands were taking to avoid having to compete in the KID(soon to be china car) car class, where those guys have a serious advantage in costs.

SECONDLY, Its BUICK people. The blue hair mobile. Ok, so the new strategy is they will be the american lexus...not a real stretch since most lexus drive and ride like a reliable and even more bland looking buick. But here's the deal, now you are splitting your lux sales between Buick and Caddy- and lets say this strategy works- its the bread and butter luxo models for ALL upscale manufacturers that make the profit. Think of all the dull ES300's Lexus shleps to make one IS-F or LFA. Mercedes makes hay on the conservative E-Class taxi worldwide, and on the diesel versions of the C-Class, BMW would die overnight if it didn't have plebian 325's to hawk. WHere does this leave Caddy? That's another turnaround story that had its day in the sun, but now things are fading.

Quote:
I read the posts around here all the time lamenting the demise of the S-series, yet I still see so many convinced that Saturn had an upmarket future. Quite contradictory.
Since you quoted me in your reply, I assume you were pointing this at me...no such claim was ever made. I was one of the first gen S car owners and I loved it. My current Saturn is a plastic VUE, not the metal phat one that came after. I purchased it to replace my aged Jeep Grand Cherokee, which after 265K miles had served me well. Saturn was better when it was SATURN, not Saturn, the american distribution arm for Opel design. Not that the cars were better- they were flawed, as all true Saturns were. And I'm not anti Opel. Actually owned one, and have had several as rentals while in Europe, mostly Germany for work.

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