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Old 02-16-2009, 01:49 PM   #21
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Thumbs Down Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

Further proof that the clowns running GM really and simply don't get it. They had numerous chances to turn GM into a word-class car company and failed to do it. Even with their backs against the wall they had a chance to create a middle market with unique offerings to bridge the difference between Chevrolet and Cadillac and -- not surprising -- they failed to do it. Nothing but a sad history of blown opportunities and sorry decisions. Now they think they can "survive" with some sort of Pontiac/Buick/GMC consortium selling what will be nothing but rebadges and "niche" vehicles, whatever the hell those would be.

All I can say to GM is good luck, good-bye and good riddance.

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Old 02-16-2009, 02:09 PM   #22
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

well im still going to get my astra. if there is any positive from this there will be a firesale right when I'm shopping for a car. **** GM, after my Astra conks out its foreign for me.

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Old 02-16-2009, 02:23 PM   #23
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Default Re: The MBA mindset: "product", not cars

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Originally Posted by linuxdude View Post
A pet peeve of mine is that the executives of American companies tend to view what the company creates as "product".
I agree. Look at the Video Professor commercials on TV: "Buy my product", Try my product". It drives me nuts when I hear this commercial.

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Old 02-16-2009, 02:48 PM   #24
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Default Re: The MBA mindset: "product", not cars

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A pet peeve of mine is that the executives of American companies tend to view what the company creates as "product". They don't think in terms of cars, drill bits, notebook PCs, or wooden furniture. It's all just "product", as taught at business schools.

I think this matters because without passion for cars or whatever a company makes, it's hard to be great. I recall reading a study of companies in Southern California and the firms run by engineers who had risen through the ranks were much better off than firms run by finance-trained MBAs. I suspect that phenomenon is not unique to Southern Cal.

I hope that someday this country returns to the sort of business leadership that we see more often in German companies now. Hands-on scientists and engineers, not financial men who are most concerned about maximizing their payout from stock options. As the "product" withers on the vine underneath them.
I couldn't agree more! What is business administration when you think about? Its a bunch of hogwash, thats what it is. This country is run by a bunch of people who know to manage and delegate responsibilities, but really don't know how to do anything. Then we wonder why, everything is going to crap.

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Old 02-16-2009, 02:58 PM   #25
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

GM US should be just Chevrolet offering some type of luxury brand. I wouldn't even call it Cadillac. Make it the chevy CTS and STS.

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Old 02-16-2009, 03:02 PM   #26
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

Didn't I tell you guys this a long time ago? Everyone here has been in denial...but then it's the same as when people said, "Don't worry, Saturn would never get rid of the polymer panels" or "Don't worry, Spring Hill will always be building Saturns" etc. Never underestimate GM's ability to let you down.

GM had a huge sales success in the original, economical Saturns. Trying to turn Saturn into a luxury division while abandoning the original customers was beyond stupid.

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Old 02-16-2009, 03:48 PM   #27
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

*yawn*

You forget that Saturn's sales are lower in margin. The sales from a B-P-G dealership don't have to be as high as that of a Saturn dealership, as they have more margin in each car. Furthermore, they don't have as costly of a dealer network to hold up. Same goes for Cadillac, the margin on a typical Caddy is probably double or more what it is on a Saturn. So we can talk units all you want, but that won't ever change the fact that even with the biggest push GM's ever given to a division, Saturn failed to produce enough sales to pay for itself.

Now we can blame it on advertising if you want, but that's just simply lying to ourselves. Saturn was advertised as much as any other minor GM brand. Then when they realized that no amount of advertising (well, no reasonable amount) would undo the stigma of cheap plastic cars, they cut their losses and ran for the hills because as a division, it had no future.

The problem with Saturn is SATURN. We see it on the boards every day. "They never should have gotten rid of polymers" or "the s series was the best car ever and mine has 4000k miles with no problems" or "they never should have replaced the ion". Saturn buyers that liked Saturn are too cheap to buy a real car that is anything more than commuter-crap. Why do we see so many people switch from Saturn to Hyundai, Kia, or Toyota? Because they're all commuter econo-crap. Saturn people don't want to buy a nicer Saturn because it's "more than they need/can afford" and people outside Saturn don't want them because they're "cheap Saturn crap". Regardless of who designed them, etc. they still carry the "red badge of crap". Saturn's best chance is to die or become Opel completely.

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Old 02-16-2009, 03:54 PM   #28
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

This news is not a shock. Saturn has been dead for years. Little by little Saturn has died off.

What happened to a different kind or car company and a different kind of car? What happened to:

1. Polymer
2. Spring Hill
3. Unique vehicles only Saturn had, not GM clones, with unique UAW agreement
4. Return or exchange policy in 30 days
5. Homecomings
6. Customer care/dealer support
7. Good, less expensive, fuel sipping import fighters




Mark my words, as GM's last move/end game for Saturn they will screw their dealers into the ground after most if not all of their dealers spent a lot of money updating their retail facilities.



GM: "Rethink bankruptcy"

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Old 02-16-2009, 04:05 PM   #29
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

Quote:
Originally Posted by FGCA_XRL View Post
*yawn*

You forget that Saturn's sales are lower in margin. The sales from a B-P-G dealership don't have to be as high as that of a Saturn dealership, as they have more margin in each car. Furthermore, they don't have as costly of a dealer network to hold up. Same goes for Cadillac, the margin on a typical Caddy is probably double or more what it is on a Saturn. So we can talk units all you want, but that won't ever change the fact that even with the biggest push GM's ever given to a division, Saturn failed to produce enough sales to pay for itself.
The margins built into Chevys and Pontiacs is room for dealing. Take that out (i.e. Saturn) and your margins are basically the same.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FGCA_XRL View Post
Now we can blame it on advertising if you want, but that's just simply lying to ourselves. Saturn was advertised as much as any other minor GM brand. Then when they realized that no amount of advertising (well, no reasonable amount) would undo the stigma of cheap plastic cars, they cut their losses and ran for the hills because as a division, it had no future.

The problem with Saturn is SATURN. We see it on the boards every day. "They never should have gotten rid of polymers" or "the s series was the best car ever and mine has 4000k miles with no problems" or "they never should have replaced the ion". Saturn buyers that liked Saturn are too cheap to buy a real car that is anything more than commuter-crap. Why do we see so many people switch from Saturn to Hyundai, Kia, or Toyota? Because they're all commuter econo-crap. Saturn people don't want to buy a nicer Saturn because it's "more than they need/can afford" and people outside Saturn don't want them because they're "cheap Saturn crap". Regardless of who designed them, etc. they still carry the "red badge of crap". Saturn's best chance is to die or become Opel completely.
All you need to do is look at Hyundai. A few well-placed entries in the market and a massive advertising campaign and they've carved out a space for themselves. It is absolutely all about the advertising.

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Old 02-16-2009, 04:31 PM   #30
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

Hyundai sells cars dirt cheap with no soul. They also have labor costs that are insignificant compared to GM. I'm sure if Gm cut all legacy costs, paid most of its workers pennies ont he dollar to what they make now, and pumped out soul-less crap commuter cars people would eventually be OK with GM once again. It has nothing to do with advertising, it has to due with undercutting EVERYONE by enough money to lure the cheapest of consumers over, then slowly carve out a spot with the magazines the cheap people believe for car buying advice. It's not bad business, but it's less advertising than you think. it's more of building cars with no frills for dirt cheap. Almost every review I've read of a Hyundai has been like this "It's not quite as good in any aspect as the other cars in its segment, but it sure is cheaper!". For real, that's how the Genesis beat out the Lexus GS300 despite losing in every other category in an Edmunds review.

Oh wait, that's what's likely going to happen so we'll get to see it in action.

I'd still NEVER buy ANY Hyundai. And it's not because I disagree with their business practices, it's because they produce nothing exciting to me. They produce a V8 powered RWD luxury sedan that is slower than its V6 powered rivals. They're producing a RWD coupe that's 100hp down from the muscle coupes, and 50 hp down and a lot of pounds heavier than the import V6 coupes. The Tiburon was a bloated underpowered piece of crap that nobody in their right mind bought for a sport compact. Frankly, if Hyundai built a car worth looking at, I might consider them. But they don't. And if GM treads down the same path (because of the econo/eco-hippies in the Democratic party), they'll be in the same position.

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Old 02-16-2009, 05:39 PM   #31
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

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Originally Posted by VTHokie00SL2 View Post
Didn't I tell you guys this a long time ago? Everyone here has been in denial...but then it's the same as when people said, "Don't worry, Saturn would never get rid of the polymer panels" or "Don't worry, Spring Hill will always be building Saturns" etc. Never underestimate GM's ability to let you down.

GM had a huge sales success in the original, economical Saturns. Trying to turn Saturn into a luxury division while abandoning the original customers was beyond stupid.
A number of people have been saying this here for years. The cheerleader types thought it was better to label us as troublemakers or trolls rather than just accept reality. And it's exactly this type of head-in-the-sand "let's think happy thoughts" approach that has gotten GM and Saturn to where they are today. There have been PLENTY of opportunities to fix things, but GM's keystone kops handling of Saturn has made it all but impossible for the outcome to be any other than shuttering the division. R.I.P.

So step 1 is almost done: axe the nonperforming divisions
Step 2: Go chapter 11 and deal with the debt and unions
Step 3: Find competent management and try to re-emerge as a stronger company.
Step 4: (god willing) Make a profit and REPAY the taxpayer loans.

Cheers,

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Old 02-16-2009, 06:43 PM   #32
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

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Originally Posted by FGCA_XRL View Post
Almost every review I've read of a Hyundai has been like this "It's not quite as good in any aspect as the other cars in its segment, but it sure is cheaper!". For real, that's how the Genesis beat out the Lexus GS300 despite losing in every other category in an Edmunds review.

Oh wait, that's what's likely going to happen so we'll get to see it in action.

I'd still NEVER buy ANY Hyundai. And it's not because I disagree with their business practices, it's because they produce nothing exciting to me. They produce a V8 powered RWD luxury sedan that is slower than its V6 powered rivals. They're producing a RWD coupe that's 100hp down from the muscle coupes, and 50 hp down and a lot of pounds heavier than the import V6 coupes. The Tiburon was a bloated underpowered piece of crap that nobody in their right mind bought for a sport compact. Frankly, if Hyundai built a car worth looking at, I might consider them. But they don't. And if GM treads down the same path (because of the econo/eco-hippies in the Democratic party), they'll be in the same position.
Hyundai has moved further in a much shorter time to being close to what the other car folk are doing. Thats a lot further than GM or Ford has with cars in any case.

All of its rivals are 15-20k more in price equally equipped. I driven both and the Hyundai is more than fast for anyones use here in the US. My daughter has the V8 w/tech package.
The coupe is the size of the new Camaro and lighter than the G37 due to its 7 speed auto tranny. Who knows whether the Z28 will even see the light of day.

Bottom line is that the Hyundai more than offers what GM presently has in a car and has other engine and tranny in development.

HP is nice and all but hyundai more than fits the bill for 99.9% of its use.
Its ashame how easy it is to get into a pissing match about hp that majority of the owners will never need or use. All auto sales are down with the exception of hyundais, even with those who seem to have all the power.

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Old 02-16-2009, 06:51 PM   #33
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

What happened to the company line "we are completely behind saturn"?


I guess they were behind saturn as they pushed it off a cliff.



Roger Smith must be rolling over in his grave.

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Old 02-16-2009, 07:11 PM   #34
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

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....and then they didn't advertise it.

I love Saturn and my Aura but it is unbelievably frustrating watching them whither away with a great lineup because nobody friggen knows about their cars. I admit it would have taken some time and effort to change Saturn's perception as cheap plastic econo-boxes but they never even gave them a chance.
Good point! Three model years in, aka more than half way through out the current generations lifespan, the model still goes unnoticed.

People still have no clue what my Aura is or where it came from. The same issue is happening with all of the other models as well.

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Old 02-16-2009, 07:32 PM   #35
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

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Originally Posted by FGCA_XRL View Post
The problem with Saturn is SATURN. We see it on the boards every day. "They never should have gotten rid of polymers" or "the s series was the best car ever and mine has 4000k miles with no problems" or "they never should have replaced the ion". Saturn buyers that liked Saturn are too cheap to buy a real car that is anything more than commuter-crap. Why do we see so many people switch from Saturn to Hyundai, Kia, or Toyota? Because they're all commuter econo-crap. Saturn people don't want to buy a nicer Saturn because it's "more than they need/can afford" and people outside Saturn don't want them because they're "cheap Saturn crap". Regardless of who designed them, etc. they still carry the "red badge of crap". Saturn's best chance is to die or become Opel completely.
Toyota has no problem surviving while selling "commuter-crap" as you call it. What else can you say about the Yaris? The Corolla? The Camry? Is Toyota on the verge of dying? Don't think so. Also, calling the S-series "commuter-crap" is taking the car out of its context, when it was released in the early 90s, the S-series twin-cam was one of the fastest car of its segment. Check the archives to see Motorweek's test of one of the first Saturns: it was reasonably fast, handled well, braked well and was affordable. Even in the 2000s, the S-series DOHC was still one of the fastest affordable compact cars out there.

As to the "problem" being Saturn customers... I think you're completely wrong. The idea should have been (and probably was): sell a S-series to a young adult starting his career who needed an affordable, reliable car, when he comes back a few years later when he's starting a family and got a bit more money in his bank account, he'll be looking for a bigger car from the brand that gave him a good buying experience. Problem is, GM cut the funds off Saturn and when those people came back, there was nothing for him, so he went looking elsewhere and, since Saturn was built to avoid being tainted with GM's reputation, he goes looking at the Asian carmakers. Of course, when his kids look at buying their first car, the guy goes back to Saturn, but that's too little, too late. They didn't build on Saturn's initial success.

Saturn's no Lotus or BMW, but it didn't need to be.

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Old 02-16-2009, 07:33 PM   #36
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

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Originally Posted by AuraDrvr89 View Post
Good point! Three model years in, aka more than half way through out the current generations lifespan, the model still goes unnoticed.

People still have no clue what my Aura is or where it came from. The same issue is happening with all of the other models as well.
I wouldn't be surprised if internal tension between brand managings was the fault of that. Did Chevy want to avoid internal competition with its Malibu?

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Old 02-16-2009, 07:59 PM   #37
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

I knew I should have gone with the Malibu...... I buy my first Saturn, and 6 months later, they are dead.

So much for repair and re-sale value.

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Old 02-16-2009, 08:02 PM   #38
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn



Saturn shouldn't have gone upscale. People who bought a new S-Series 10 years ago come to the Saturn dealer now and see that the SMALLEST Saturn (the Astra) goes for close to $20k. 20k???? S cars were around 10-15k new. The Astra never fit with Saturn's profile. It is expensive to import making the MSRP outrageous. The Outlook is to big, plus the Sky is too pricey to build and to buy.

It is just a shame to what Saturn has become. I will miss Saturn terribly.

When I was 5 years old back in 1997, my neighbor had a white SL2. I just loved the look of it. It wasn't over the top but it looked really nice. I really loved it. From then on, 12 years later, I have been Saturn's #1 fan!!!

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Old 02-16-2009, 08:05 PM   #39
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

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I knew I should have gone with the Malibu...... I buy my first Saturn, and 6 months later, they are dead.

So much for repair and re-sale value.

Keep the car. It won't matter in the long run.

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Old 02-16-2009, 08:14 PM   #40
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Default Re: February 17th Preview? Lutz Tells Automotive News that Despite Good Cars, Saturn

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I knew I should have gone with the Malibu...... I buy my first Saturn, and 6 months later, they are dead.

So much for repair and re-sale value.
Perhaps you just haven't been paying attention. Saturn resale value (and GM's) has always been pretty bleak. My '06 VUE is coming up on its 3 year anniversary and is worth less than half of what I paid for it. Nice, eh?

I wouldn't be THAT concerned about repairs unless it's for the body (which is only used on the Aura). The running gear is used on a number of models around the globe so I doubt those parts are going to dry up any time soon. Would it have been "better" to get a Malibu? Probably. But the Aura will be a lot more unique on the street (if that's worth anything to you). 8-)

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