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Old 03-13-2009, 04:40 PM   #1
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Default Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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Peter Valdes-Dapena from CNNMoney.com: Abandoned and facing death as General Motors cuts brands in its own fight for survival, Saturn, the "different kind of car company," could soon become a very, very different kind of car company just to survive. GM has said it will stop producing Saturn vehicles in about two years. Rather than accept that it's over, Saturn executives and the brand's leading dealers are looking at new ways - some that have never been tried before - to keep Saturn alive. "When times are tough, that's when the biggest breakthrough's come," said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn's General Manager.

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Old 03-13-2009, 05:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

GM is missing out on an opportunity to continue to supply Saturn with cars.

Hard to believe they would pass this up and allow Saturn to sell a competitors vehicle which could take a sale from a GM vehicle...

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Old 03-13-2009, 05:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

Man oh man this article scared me when I read these quotes:

"turning Saturn into a chain of boutique stores offering vehicles by various manufacturers"

"The new Saturn will be a retail channel only. It will not be a car company"

"Girsky said there are plenty of folks out there, "Maybe it's a [carmaker] that doesn't have the volume to support a network, like these electric car manufacturing startups."

God almighty it sounds like Saturn is going to become a hodgepodge of different products from different companies all looking for a storefront. I bet we'll even see the Lee Iacocca electric bicycle. (its a real entity with funding from Iacocca)

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Old 03-13-2009, 05:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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Originally Posted by railguy7 View Post
"The new Saturn will be a retail channel only. It will not be a car company"
Yep, that's a given. It won't have the money to hire engineers, build a new Spring Hill like plant, design new cars, etc. Saturn as a car company is dead. Meanwhile, Chevy got a nice modern plant in Spring Hill to build ugly SUV's where they should still be building real Saturns!

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Old 03-13-2009, 05:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

dosent sound good to me and im trying to be positive

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Old 03-13-2009, 06:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

What Saturn need to do to survive is sell cars that are better than the cars currently supplied by GM.

Another SUV with a Honda 3.5L V6 sounds like a winner! Unfortunately lightning never strikes twice...

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Old 03-13-2009, 08:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

Well, this could be a good thing, or a bad thing...

But I think it would be cool if they went all electric and really pulled it off. What would be really sweet to see here?

The EV-1 revived in an all new aspect, looking very similar to the first one. Granted even though Saturn wouldn't "MAKE" the car, they could get the outsourcing and building of a "New" EV-1 and have it built by Tesla. Since Tesla is looking to build a Sedan sometime in the next couple of years...who knows.

I think my idea would be pretty awesome if it came true. Think about it...the EV-1 was ahead of it's time, Tesla is still starting up. Having the EV-1 rebuilt and marketed as the "Saturn/Tesla EV-1"....that would be pretty cool.

This is a completely off the wall idea, and would definately fit in with the whole "Different Kind of Car"...

Besides the EV-1 would outsell the Volt anyday

The EV-1 would be more practical anyway.

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Old 03-13-2009, 08:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

They should continue what they started, import Opels and put the Saturn badge on it. What's so hard with this? They are willing to kill a brand with loyal customers instead of importing Opel to the US.

I own an Astra so I'm already driving an Opel, I dont see the problem. Cost? Raise the price or use a plant in Mexico. Mexico Opels would be way better than crappy cars from China or India.

I have a better idea, Saturn and Opel should split from GM and sell their own cars. And beat GM at it.

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Old 03-13-2009, 09:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

Right
Saturn quit being a car company with the death of the Ion.
Everything they sell is from somebody else, even if it is in the GM family.
In the early days you could tear a Saturn apart and not find the letters G or M on anything.

If Jill and the gang can find quality vehicles to put the Saturn name plate on and I can still get it at my Saturn dealer, I will keep it on the top of my list.

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Old 03-13-2009, 09:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankski View Post
They should continue what they started, import Opels and put the Saturn badge on it. What's so hard with this? They are willing to kill a brand with loyal customers instead of importing Opel to the US.

I own an Astra so I'm already driving an Opel, I dont see the problem. Cost? Raise the price or use a plant in Mexico. Mexico Opels would be way better than crappy cars from China or India.

I have a better idea, Saturn and Opel should split from GM and sell their own cars. And beat GM at it.

Frankski
Opels don't sell well in the US. They never had, never will...

capisce?

They can't survive selling 400 cars a month..

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Old 03-13-2009, 10:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
Well, this could be a good thing, or a bad thing...

But I think it would be cool if they went all electric and really pulled it off. What would be really sweet to see here?

The EV-1 revived in an all new aspect, looking very similar to the first one. Granted even though Saturn wouldn't "MAKE" the car, they could get the outsourcing and building of a "New" EV-1 and have it built by Tesla. Since Tesla is looking to build a Sedan sometime in the next couple of years...who knows.

I think my idea would be pretty awesome if it came true. Think about it...the EV-1 was ahead of it's time, Tesla is still starting up. Having the EV-1 rebuilt and marketed as the "Saturn/Tesla EV-1"....that would be pretty cool.

This is a completely off the wall idea, and would definately fit in with the whole "Different Kind of Car"...

Besides the EV-1 would outsell the Volt anyday

The EV-1 would be more practical anyway.
I think something like this company would fill the bill better:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=99286134

Quote:
BYD which stands for Build Your Dreams has built the world's first mass-produced, plug-in hybrid car, beating both Chevrolet and Toyota to the punch.

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Old 03-13-2009, 10:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

Jill spoke to "how" I can help Saturn, but didn't answer the more important "why" I should help... .

I'm afraid, Jill, that you've gotten a pass way too many times from the Saturn faithful. Sure, many of us will still support the Saturn of old, but you really need to focus your energies on getting new suckers to buy your product (I'm guessing the old Saturn owners won't).

So Jill, let's cut the crap. Give me a reason to support your company and I will. Let's not play on my loyalty to your past products to support your future success. If that makes me a bad Saturn owner, so be it.

Jill, you've been called out. Give me a reason to believe in Saturn and I will.

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Old 03-13-2009, 11:31 PM   #13
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiSaturn View Post
Jill spoke to "how" I can help Saturn, but didn't answer the more important "why" I should help... .

I'm afraid, Jill, that you've gotten a pass way too many times from the Saturn faithful. Sure, many of us will still support the Saturn of old, but you really need to focus your energies on getting new suckers to buy your product (I'm guessing the old Saturn owners won't).

So Jill, let's cut the crap. Give me a reason to support your company and I will. Let's not play on my loyalty to your past products to support your future success. If that makes me a bad Saturn owner, so be it.

Jill, you've been called out. Give me a reason to believe in Saturn and I will.
Many of us have bad feelings about the "Fall of the Saturn Empire". It would be hard to fix blame on any one party, even Jill Lajdziak. GM is such a large company that there's too many people involved in their policy and decisions. Sometimes change can be next to impossible to make.

IMO nothing Jill Lajdziak could do would change where Saturn is today. Jill has done everything she could to keep the Saturn dream and experience alive.

Giving Saturn it's freedom to make decisions without the controlling influence of GM may be the best thing that ever happened to it. If they can sell a quality US made car again, they can do quite well in the car market.

We now need to wait and see what Saturn will do next.

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Old 03-14-2009, 12:12 AM   #14
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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Originally Posted by The Math God View Post
Right
Saturn quit being a car company with the death of the Ion.
Everything they sell is from somebody else, even if it is in the GM family.
In the early days you could tear a Saturn apart and not find the letters G or M on anything.

If Jill and the gang can find quality vehicles to put the Saturn name plate on and I can still get it at my Saturn dealer, I will keep it on the top of my list.
Beg to differ with you. Take a look at ANY S-Series MAP Sensor...the GM logo is clear as day on that piece for sure. I'm sure you could find other parts that may or may not have the GM logo on them as well; but the MAP Sensor is one part coming to mind that always had the GM logo stamped into it.

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Old 03-14-2009, 12:22 AM   #15
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger View Post
I think something like this company would fill the bill better:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=99286134
Interesting. As I mentioned in a Posted Thread a few weeks back...the Volt is going to be a PR Nightmare for Chevy/GM. And if anyone thinks that 10K cars are going to "SAVE" a company...do the math...$35K X 10,000= $350,000

How is $350,000 in sales of 1 CAR going to "SAVE" a company that is burning through $6 BILLION PER MONTH!!!!

While this Chinese Car looks like a great idea and beat Chevy and Toyota to the punch...the whole idea of "Hybrid" cars really does defeat the purpose of "Going Green". Becuase you are still polluting the atmosphere by using an onboard ICE to recharge the onboard batteries. The ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) is still putting Carbon Emissions into the atomosphere when it is operating on a Hybrid, whereas a FULL ELECTRIC vehicle with ONLY onboard Batteries has NO EMISSION.

Trust me...not that I am an expert; but I have been doing research for the past month and a half on electric car conversions.

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Old 03-14-2009, 04:38 AM   #16
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Happy Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiSaturn View Post
Jill spoke to "how" I can help Saturn, but didn't answer the more important "why" I should help... .

I'm afraid, Jill, that you've gotten a pass way too many times from the Saturn faithful. Sure, many of us will still support the Saturn of old, but you really need to focus your energies on getting new suckers to buy your product (I'm guessing the old Saturn owners won't).

So Jill, let's cut the crap. Give me a reason to support your company and I will. Let's not play on my loyalty to your past products to support your future success. If that makes me a bad Saturn owner, so be it.

Jill, you've been called out. Give me a reason to believe in Saturn and I will.
That was rude. Called out? What else do you want her to say at this point? Until the spin-off is complete, there's not much more information she can share. Jill has done a good job keeping as much of "Saturn" intact as possible under a GM that didn't want Saturn to be separate or fundamentally different from their other divisions. I trust that she and her team are doing their best to return Saturn to its former glory. Unlike most corporate executives, she is truly passionate about the brand, and fought a hard fight. We're at the beginning of a very long process. While we might have an idea of what direction Saturn is going in mid-April, I doubt we'll know what specific products will be filling showrooms in 2013. Saturn is attempting to undergo a huge metamorphosis here by doing something that's never been done before in the auto industry. Its going to require a lot of work, and won't be something that happens overnight. Be patient, and give them a chance to be successful.

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Old 03-14-2009, 08:14 AM   #17
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

Everyone seems to be ignoring a couple of market realities. When Saturn started, the Japanese brands did not have the broad acceptance in the US as they enjoy now. They were a fast growing share of the pie but certainly not the powerhouse they are today. The market in those days was also what?..20 million? Today we have GM estimating N.A. vehicle market at 9-10 million combined with Japanese acceptance and market penetration at 100%. Trying to be profitable in this new reality is a challenge for any small niche brand like Saturn....the potential volume just isn't there. All Toyota, Honda, Ford & GM need to do in future years is squeeze their margins a bit and poof....bye bye tiny Saturn. No different than Walmart & Best Buy vs the little camera store on the corner. Saturn's only hope is to get the backing of a brand with very, very, very deep pockets.

As far as the "Volt" is concerned......its a "Halo" car for GM, nothing more. I'm so tired of hearing about the Volt as if its going to rule the market. GM keeps pushing it because they got no other news to highlight.

Last edited by railguy7; 03-14-2009 at 08:23 AM..

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Old 03-14-2009, 09:43 AM   #18
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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Originally Posted by MiSaturn View Post
So Jill, let's cut the crap. Give me a reason to support your company and I will. Let's not play on my loyalty to your past products to support your future success. If that makes me a bad Saturn owner, so be it.

Jill, you've been called out. Give me a reason to believe in Saturn and I will.
That is a given whether you say it nastily or nicely. Saturn under GM had already been shifting its place in the market to a more upscale line of models with higher prices. For this to succeed they would have had to draw many new customers. As anyone can see from the posts on this website over the past few years, the new approach was something that many of the old Saturn owners were not always happy about. The future of Saturn under GM was already more about the new vehicles than keeping the memories of Spring Hill alive. Whatever the future holds without GM will be even more so. Jill's business expertise is sales and marketing so I'm going to give her another pass and say that I suspect she is well aware of everything I just said and well knows they need to come up with attractive products at a good value regardless of who manufactures them in the future.

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Old 03-14-2009, 09:55 AM   #19
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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The new Saturn will be a retail channel only. It will not be a car company. "We're not going to be in the manufacturing business," said Girsky, "We're going to leave that to the experts."
While it's OK to not be in the manufacturing business, Saturn still has to have a vision and a lineup of cars that makes sense. They can't just sell a hodgepodge of vehicles and expect it to work. They need to be telling the manufacturers what to build. Take Apple Computer as an example, they don't manufacture anything anymore. They just have the vision and the design.

That said, if most of it is made in China, I probably won't be buying.

I do think Saturn can find a way to partner with some of the companies striving to make electric vehicles. But they need to help lead, not just offer a retail channel. None of those companies have the production capacity and associated cost savings to fit Saturn's needs without help.

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Old 03-14-2009, 10:06 AM   #20
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Default Re: Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
Interesting. As I mentioned in a Posted Thread a few weeks back...the Volt is going to be a PR Nightmare for Chevy/GM. And if anyone thinks that 10K cars are going to "SAVE" a company...do the math...$35K X 10,000= $350,000

Might want to re-check your math there, bubba.

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