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Old 12-11-2008, 12:49 AM   #1
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Default Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

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Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

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Richard Truett from Automotive News: There's a very happy ending available for Saturn dealers that General Motors brass should be seriously discussing: Handing the keys to the Saturn brand to GM's German affiliate, Opel. GM doesn't have an extra billion or so dollars to buy out Saturn dealers and shutter the brand. And GM could be in legal trouble if it starves Saturn to death.

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Old 12-11-2008, 01:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Automtoive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

I would love to be a fly on the wall for that meeting. When will we ALL know the outcome of the meeting?

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Old 12-11-2008, 01:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

I'm sure that's exactly what Jill wants. Lose her job to the Germans.

GM should either go through C11 to re-structure and close Saturn for free, or sell it.

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Old 12-11-2008, 10:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

I think changing the Saturn brand and franchises to Opel is a great idea. Opel was around in N.America back in the 70's and it was considered a sporty if somewhat unreliable ride. I'm sure the reliability is now up there with the best, as it is highly rated in Europe. Opel is definitely new and innovative for N. America, and not a bunch of clones of other N. American GM products. Yes, that's it. Eliminate Saturn and introduce Opel. Comments?

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Old 12-11-2008, 10:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

That's exactly their plan. Except they want to shutter Saturn to save money on dealerships. Less buildings means you buy your Opel at a B-P-GMC dealers that has a full line of cars to choose from. Saves them money too, and we get a more pure Opel, which is better than Saturn's attempt to disguise an Opel.

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Old 12-11-2008, 10:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

Either way, the old Saturn is dead and buried. I just hope some automaker develops dent resistant body panels again someday...

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Old 12-11-2008, 10:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

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Originally Posted by FGCA_XRL View Post
That's exactly their plan. Except they want to shutter Saturn to save money on dealerships. Less buildings means you buy your Opel at a B-P-GMC dealers that has a full line of cars to choose from. .
I thought the whole idea was to preserve the Saturn stores and the franchisees. It would take $1 billion to just shutter the current stores. Leave them open, change the franchise to Opel, and GM just saved $1 billion.

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Old 12-11-2008, 10:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

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the decision to market Opels as Saturns, was the nail in Saturn's eventual coffin.Saturn currently has the slowest selling line of cars in this country(the numbers speak for themselves..opinions don't) and all but 1 model,Outlook,are based on Opels.can anyone honestly believe that Opels sold under their own name plate will sell any better? No doubt that they are well built cars,but it's all about the money.Saturns based on opels are expensive,Saturn went from being an affordable alternative to imports to being an over priced line of cars themselves.I'm a longtime Saturn owner,but the cost of the current lineup of models had priced me right out of the showroom.I can get equal or better imports whether japanese,korean,or german at better prices. breaks my heart to do so, but the wallet is a little lighter now than it was before the recession.Opels will be no less expensive,thats just another example of GM setting theirselves up for a fall,should they go that path.

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Old 12-11-2008, 11:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

Check out what Opel sells in the UK under the Vauxhall banner:
http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/vaux/pages/cars/carRange.jsp

Talk about timely and attractive vehicles. Does that Antara look familiar?
Maybe it's time for GM to be innovative, change their marketing, and push these modern Opel vehicles as replacements for the ho-hum Saturns they've been selling since the S series died, with the exception of the Antara (Vue) of course.

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Old 12-11-2008, 11:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

GM can close the stores penalty free under a C11 bankruptcy. Many of the plans tossed around in Washington have included such provisions for a penalty-lowered or free restructuring. That's what GM needs. The Saturn name has bad stigma because of the old dent resistant cars.

The Opels are not designed to be economy cars. They are designed to compete more with the VW lineup than the Toyota lineup. They may have priced you out of the showroom, but that was their intention. The car they offer in your price range would be a Chevy or a Suzuki.

Hence, since they're not selling economy cars anymore, having a name that is notorious for building cheap economy cars does not work. Especially not when the average American sheep has been pre-conditioned to think that American cars are inherently worse than Japanese/Korean ones, and that they're not selling their country out by buying an import.

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Old 12-11-2008, 11:31 AM   #11
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbird View Post
Check out what Opel sells in the UK under the Vauxhall banner:
http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/vaux/pages/cars/carRange.jsp

Talk about timely and attractive vehicles.
Personally, I think they're all kind of ugly, aside from the new Insignia.

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Old 12-11-2008, 11:39 AM   #12
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

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Originally Posted by FGCA_XRL View Post
GM can close the stores penalty free under a C11 bankruptcy. Many of the plans tossed around in Washington have included such provisions for a penalty-lowered or free restructuring. That's what GM needs. The Saturn name has bad stigma because of the old dent resistant cars.

The Opels are not designed to be economy cars. They are designed to compete more with the VW lineup than the Toyota lineup. They may have priced you out of the showroom, but that was their intention. The car they offer in your price range would be a Chevy or a Suzuki.

Hence, since they're not selling economy cars anymore, having a name that is notorious for building cheap economy cars does not work. Especially not when the average American sheep has been pre-conditioned to think that American cars are inherently worse than Japanese/Korean ones, and that they're not selling their country out by buying an import.
i'd rethink the bad stigma idea,considering saturns best selling years were with those cars.they have never been able to recapture sales with any of the models offered since then.Their bad stigma is that theyare trying to be something they are not, viable competitors to vw or toyota.thats not the market share they we created to compete in and so far they have failed with overly priced models that simply don't spark anyones interest.if the astra hasn't sparked decent sales so far, it never is going to.ford had to add another assembly line to supply enough focuses for the demand.wheres the demand for astra?oh wait...17 or 18 k for a hatchback,not even a fancy one might have something to do with it. the aura is an amazing car, but the malibu took any chance away that it had of being a huge sucess.sky was designed and intended as a niche vehicle and therefore was intended to be sold in limited numbers,the vue does well,but has turned off many owners of the previous generation vue.outlook never has sold well,too big for the saturn line and the enclave,the traverse and the acadia are simply better vehicles with equally better sales.

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Old 12-11-2008, 11:42 AM   #13
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

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GM can close the stores penalty free under a C11 bankruptcy. Many of the plans tossed around in Washington have included such provisions for a penalty-lowered or free restructuring. That's what GM needs. The Saturn name has bad stigma because of the old dent resistant cars.
Ah the standard Republican congressional response -- well let them just declare bankruptcy and restructure and all will be well.... Right! When the masses refuse to buy vehicles from a bankrupt automaker and GM/Chry/Ford then slip into liquidation, I wonder what those cocky SOB Republican senators will be saying? Oh, I know: "Well just come buy a nice pretty Honda or a Hyundai made by the non-union workers at the foreign-owned plants in my home state(s)." Those pro-bankruptcy Republican Senators' motives so are painfully obvious! (This means you Shelby, Corker and McConnel!) Do they think we are as dumb as their hillbilly constituants? You betcha!

Regarding Opel, it would be an exciting and interesting idea to consider importing some models, or, perhaps dropping the Saturn name and BUILDING Opel models here in the US for NA sale. The costs to convert, however, would be extraordinary.

The really, really sad thing is what GM did with FIAT all those years ago. They practically owned FIAT and had they held on to them, GM would now have direct access to some beautiful, fun, and efficient small car models for NA, including the new FIAT 500 and their other models. (FIAT still supplies GM with some parts for the Sky/Solstice coupe). What a shame. Now FIAT is planning to bring the new 500 to NA in late 2009, on its own.

Wagoner should really "retire upstairs" and bring in some new blood. Please!

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Old 12-11-2008, 11:45 AM   #14
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

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Personally, I think they're all kind of ugly, aside from the new Insignia.
You drive a Chevy Celebrity wagon and you think that new European Opels are ugly?

Um, ok.

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Old 12-11-2008, 12:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

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You drive a Chevy Celebrity wagon and you think that new European Opels are ugly?

Um, ok.
LOL! Dude, the Celebrity is a sweet ride!

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Old 12-11-2008, 12:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

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Originally Posted by bigbird View Post
Check out what Opel sells in the UK under the Vauxhall banner:
http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/vaux/pages/cars/carRange.jsp

Talk about timely and attractive vehicles. Does that Antara look familiar?
Maybe it's time for GM to be innovative, change their marketing, and push these modern Opel vehicles as replacements for the ho-hum Saturns they've been selling since the S series died, with the exception of the Antara (Vue) of course.
I love how their small hatchback with the diesel gets over 60 MPG.

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Old 12-11-2008, 12:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

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LOL! Dude, the Celebrity is a sweet ride!
It's too bad it doesn't have any fine Corinthian leather.


We all know DC won't let the Big 3 be liquidated. And a properly run ad campaign about what is going on can cure any ill effects of C11 stigma. Let people know that the changes are being made so that they can deliver better vehicles, serve the customer better, and be around so they don't have anything to worry about. Finish it off with some Americana propaganda and the sheep will follow just like they're herded.

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Old 12-11-2008, 12:45 PM   #18
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

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When the masses refuse to buy vehicles from a bankrupt automaker and GM/Chry/Ford then slip into liquidation, I wonder what those cocky SOB Republican senators will be saying?
People fly on bankrupt airlines that are doing minimum maintenance all the time. People buy houses from bankrupt builders. Let's see, they make larger purchases than cars and put their lives on the line with bankrupt companies. The facts are diametrically opposed to your opinion.

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Old 12-11-2008, 12:52 PM   #19
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

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Saturn currently has the slowest selling line of cars in this country(the numbers speak for themselves..opinions don't).
I think you need to check your facts. Saturn outsells GMs divisions of Buick, Saab, Hummer, and Cadillac. Saturn outsells the following makes, Acura, Audi, Infiniti, Lincoln, Mercury, Mini, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Suzuki, and Volvo. Saturn is hardly the slowest selling line of cars.

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/12/02/b...are-a-dime-ed/

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Old 12-11-2008, 12:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: Automotive News: General Motors Can Spin Saturn into a Success, Via Opel

>We all know DC won't let the Big 3 be liquidated.
-This is yet to be proven. The controversy doesn't seem to be bring forth clarity.

>And a properly run ad campaign about what is going on can cure any ill effects of C11 stigma.
-Not according to pools done by the Center for Automotive Research.

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