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View Poll Results: Does your next Saturn purchase have to be polymer?
Yes: No polymer = NO SALE! 81 81.00%
No: Don't need polymer! 13 13.00%
Don't Care: No Saturn no matter what! 6 6.00%
Voters: 100. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-23-2002, 09:19 AM   #1
rzklkng
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Question Poll: Polymer or not...

Does the precense of polymer (or absence) dictate whether or not your next car is a Saturn? Let's assume (uh-oh) that the car meets all of your needs (ie. it's perfect to you.) There is able competition, would polymer be the deciding factor?

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Old 08-23-2002, 09:29 AM   #2
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I voted Yes. My thoughts aren't as final as that choice dictates. If I felt the Saturn was the best vehicle for my money but it didn't have polymer panels, I would still purchase it. That said, I really hope that Saturn doesn't abandon this innovation. It's one of those features that I took for granted until I bought my '96 Sunfire....... door dings happen & it's not pretty. Saturn is more than just polymer panels but I still love them!

...
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Old 08-23-2002, 09:39 AM   #3
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I voted YES for Polymer. My next Saturn won't come for a long time since I just bought a new SC2. Hopefully polymer will still be available in 10 years when it's time to trade it in.

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Old 08-23-2002, 09:41 AM   #4
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Good poll, Ron. Thanks.

Those polymer panels keep my 1993 SW2 looking like new, and Saturn service keeps it running like new. Check out 1993 Cavaliers and Corollas on the road, to see what a difference the polymer panels make.

I think that GM would like to get rid of the polymer panels over spaceframe design because it is expensive to build, but this design is also where those great crash protection numbers come from!

The decision to make the L series cars outside of Spring Hill, and only part polymer was, in my opinion, what doomed the L series to such low sales. Some (definitely not ALL) Saturn fans have not embraced the L series as a "real" Saturn.

I don't have any problem with Saturn sharing components with the rest of GM, but those components MUST be of the highest quality - like the Ecotec 4-cyl engines.

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Old 08-23-2002, 09:47 AM   #5
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of course polymer! duh! after living with saturns for over 10 years, you take it for granted that the body don't dent or rust.

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Old 08-23-2002, 09:51 AM   #6
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Polymer panels are what made Saturn in the first place. I can't see the logic in abandoning this technology, but I guess we better get use to it. It seems as if future Saturns will have metal body panels(or at least some of them).

It seems as if GM plans to use Saturn as its technological test bed with the development of hybrid powertrains and the like... A great idea! I think. Why shouldn't GM do the same with space frame technology and polymer panels?

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Old 08-23-2002, 10:20 AM   #7
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The poly panels are one of the few things that still attracts me to Saturns. Lose the polymer, and the car will then be dinged much easier, lose the low insurance rates for being cheap to repair, and it will look like junk in 10 years (instead of holding up pretty well). The lowball interior is already a strike against Saturn, they would be unwise to make the exterior a liability as well.

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Old 08-23-2002, 10:23 AM   #8
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Well, obviously nobody else is offering it, so it wouldn't really put Saturn at a comparative disadvantage. But why would Saturn want to give up one of the only real advantages it still has over the competition?

I'd probably be less likely to buy a Saturn just based on principle, since the only way GM will get the message that consumers aren't going to accept whatever crap they sell is if it affects the company's bottom line.

Last edited by VTHokie00SL2; 08-23-2002 at 10:32 AM..

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Old 08-23-2002, 10:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by kjackson
It seems as if GM plans to use Saturn as its technological test bed with the development of hybrid powertrains and the like... A great idea!
Not if you think of Saturn as a stand-alone entity. It would only make sense if Saturn were to offer things like the hybrid powertrain as an option, with more standard offerings as well. If Saturn were to continue to act as a stand-alone company, it would need a full and balanced lineup, not just some niche vehicles.

Of course, now that Saturn is just another division of GM, I guess the thinking is that people who don't want to be guinea pigs can buy the Chevy version instead. It makes sense when you look at Saturn as just a small part of GM, but obviously Saturn will not ever reach its full potential if GM turns it into just a division for quirky or experimental versions of more mainstream vehicles from other GM divisions.

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Old 08-23-2002, 10:58 AM   #10
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No question about it! Polymer is what makes Saturn's a Saturn.......except in L-series which has 25% non-polymer side panels, I'm glad VUE is a full wrap with polymers once again, so do ION does.

I don't see I'd consider buying any Saturn vehicles with less than 75% side-polymer side panels. In fact if no polymers, what's the point of owning Saturn?

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Old 08-23-2002, 11:55 AM   #11
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I have to say that polymer is the deciding factor for me. If I had 2 cars that I really liked and 1 was metal and other polymer the poly would win.
I have seen 92 Saturns on the road and they look way better than any other car that is of that era.
I used to have a metal car and I would get dings from people in parking lots. I know of at least 2 times that polymer saved me from large damage in a parking lot.
An owner of a full size Caddy with heavy doors opened there door and hit me Saturn so hard the whole car shook, I got out expecting to see the worst, but I didn't have any damage.
Polymer saves the day.

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Old 08-23-2002, 12:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by genetic freak
An owner of a full size Caddy with heavy doors opened there door and hit me Saturn so hard the whole car shook, I got out expecting to see the worst, but I didn't have any damage.
Polymer saves the day.
For courtesy and pay respect back to that Caddy owner, you should perform the same act toward his car too.

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Old 08-23-2002, 01:25 PM   #13
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I go where the Polymer goes. If the Polymer dies out at GM then I'm keeping my SC2 for a long, LONG time.

Polymer was the first thing that made me seriously look at a Saturn. I was at a high school field trip to learn about car safety, which happened to be a t a local Saturn delaership. But instead of paying any attention to the presentation I was looking at the cool plastic cars.

If it werent for the Polymer, I'd be driving a Civic right now.

To further what other's have said, my 1994 SC2 looks almost brand new. I see other peoples 1994 Cavys and Civics all rusty and faded and dinged and scratched and ugly.

And when people ask "Whats so cool about a Saturn?" the boast its a plastic car is always high on the list.

And its funny breaking the news to people that my car is 9 years old this october. They just dont belive it.

...
I love my Saab.

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Old 08-23-2002, 01:40 PM   #14
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I see lots of Saturns in Brooklyn with cracked panels, including a year-old one on my block. Polymer panels do resist parking lot dings and look better in the long run, but I wonder what the trade off is in terms of repair costs in a dense urban area like this, where the driving is aggressive and there are a lot of low-speed fender benders.

Personally, assuming a more average situation than I have now (low-theft area, private garage, mix of highway and city driving) and a $20,000 spending limit plus tax, I'd buy a Mazdaspeed Protegé or 1.8 GTI, rather than an L200 and live with the sheet metal.

As to a "stand-alone" Saturn: Saturn never was a separate company, unlike many small, foreign car manufacturers that have now been absorbed by giant corporations. One has to assume that GM always saw Saturn as a product laboratory, as well as an experiment in manufacturing, management, and labor relations--a test from which they intended to borrow what proved successful and profitable. Polymer hasn't swept the industry. This could be because it was associated only with small, light, inexpensive cars at a time when customer interest was moving toward trucks and larger sedans. Or, it may simply be that, in terms of looks, tight panel gaps (which are associated with luxury cars) have more sales impact in the showroom than the ability to avoid door dings down the road. Had polymer panels been offered on at least one model of a wide range of GM cars, from Cadillac to GMC, we'd have a better idea of their acceptability to the general public. For now, they have the stigma of being identified with what many unfortunately consider an eccentric and unexciting division.

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Old 08-23-2002, 01:42 PM   #15
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I love the polymer panels. One of my friends (who's tooling around town in a new Focus) called my car a "pastic toolbox." but what does she know.

My odometer hadn't hit 500 miles yet, and a SUV (or some vehicle with high doors) door was opened into the side of my car, right on the only part of the door that won't give--the ridge that is a few inches below the side windows running the length of the car. I ended-up with a little paint chip about the size of a pencil eraser as a result. As peeved as I was about the paint chip on a 500 mile-old car, I know that had my car door been metal, I'd have a nasty ding as well. The paint is an easy and cheap fix comparatively.

If polymer goes, I'll be keeping my SL2 for a LOOOOONG time as well.

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Old 08-23-2002, 01:56 PM   #16
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It is very difficult to avoid dings and scratches in our cars. Our old SL1 had a long deep scratch (I did not dare to question its origins) which mysteriously appeared on the passenger side. On a steel panel that would result in a big rust problem. On the Saturn we just said oh well, and ignored it. So when time came for a new car for my wife, another Saturn was the natural choice.

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Old 08-23-2002, 03:11 PM   #17
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Plastic panels are nice, and have their benefits, but I really dont care either way if they were to be discontinued.

.... or maybe ive been driving plastic cars so long i dont know the meaning of a ding.

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Old 08-23-2002, 03:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by qlara


For courtesy and pay respect back to that Caddy owner, you should perform the same act toward his car too.
That was hilarious.
One of my friends who had a SC1 had someone open their door really hard while he was inside. He was fuming as he had just got his SC1, he gets out and looks at his door and no damage. My friend cools down, but then the other person goes to shut their door and they couldn't as the edge was bent. My friend just walked away laughing to himself.

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Old 08-23-2002, 04:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by medium red

As to a "stand-alone" Saturn: Saturn never was a separate company
Saturn was different though in that it was originally a separate subsidiary of GM, not a division of GM. Just like Jaguar's relationship with Ford.

Ever notice the distinct lack of massive GM logos adorning a Saturn retailer?

Now if you look at say an oldsmobile dealer, for example, it always says "GM"(!!!!!!!!!!!!!) in huge manly letters and then with the subtitle "oldsmobile"

...
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Old 08-23-2002, 05:40 PM   #20
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Quote:
Ever notice the distinct lack of massive GM logos adorning a Saturn retailer?
Just, another example of reverse snobbery in the auto industry. I think Rolls Royce pioneered this way back before WWII. Think a Rolls is too snobbish, buy a Bentley. Think GM is too big , too unconcerned about the customer, buy a Saturn (we won't tout it as GM).

Jaguar was once a separate, profitable company. That was never the case with Saturn.

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