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Old 06-14-2009, 11:01 PM   #1
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Default Got Advice for Roger Penske?

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Mark Phelan from the Detroit Free Press: What should Roger Penske do with Saturn? When the business legend and motor sports icon bought the brand from General Motors, he promised to keep Saturn's 350 dealers supplied with vehicles after GM stops building Saturns in 2011. "Saturn has an outstanding dealer network and a passionate, loyal customer base," Penske said in a statement provided to the Free Press. "We look forward to serving these customers and dealers as we work to redevelop the Saturn brand." How will he do that? What kind of vehicles will Saturn sell? Where will they come from?

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Old 06-14-2009, 11:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

My '91 SL2 is the only car that I have ever bought BRAND NEW and I still have it. I liked what Saturn was, AMERICANmade, small import fighter, poly body (less to rust in the Rust Belt!), and AFFORDABLE. Since my job went to Mexicoand I went back to college, I won't be buying a new car before the end of the year. But, as soon as I get settled into a good new job, My first goal is to buy a NEWAMERICANMADEAMERICANCAR!
If I don't like my options, I will hold out until I have to, and then probably buy an Americanmade Import PLEASE MR. PENSKELet it be the FIRST OPTION

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Old 06-14-2009, 11:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

Heres my advise for Rodger. Build it in the US and have different models that appeal to all buyers, compacts, SUVs, and sedans. Don't import some crap from korea or china. Maybe even throw in a RWD V8 coupe that looks good if you want to maybe win back peole like me

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Old 06-15-2009, 01:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

Please, NO Indian or Chinese Cars! That would be the death of Saturn for sure. I would prefer new Saturns be built in the U.S. but I know the UAW would not allow that. Try to find a state that in not under the grip of the UAW so that it can be affordable to make and built by people who won't
run the company into the ground with their demands.
Saturn should go back to its roots, you can make several models from one main platform( keeping costs down) a coupe, sedan and small suv. With safety, reliability and efficiency the focus. With enough styling to make people want to own one.

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Old 06-15-2009, 01:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

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Originally Posted by s-seriesguy View Post
Maybe even throw in a RWD V8 coupe that looks good if you want to maybe win back peole like me
With mr. penske being an (ex?) race car man, I'm sure at least one of the designs will be this. hey, at least these still sell even when the times call for tree-huggin 4cyl or less cars

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Please, NO Indian or Chinese Cars! That would be the death of Saturn for sure.
Apparently these don't kill the other automakers, but yes I do agree: NO ****ING IMPORTS, ****ING PLEASE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tpinaz View Post
I would prefer new Saturns be built in the U.S. but I know the UAW would not allow that. Try to find a state that in not under the grip of the UAW so that it can be affordable to make and built by people who won't run the company into the ground with their demands.
Whaaaaaaaaaaaat? since when does one organization decide where a car should be built and close off potential building places for everyone else?

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Saturn should go back to its roots, you can make several models from one main platform( keeping costs down) a coupe, sedan and small suv. With safety, reliability and efficiency the focus. With enough styling to make people want to own one.
Yes, and do so while not ripping off someone else.

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Old 06-15-2009, 05:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

I'd advise him to buy large annuities for his kids and grandkids while he still has some liquidity in his assets. There is no quick way to turn a profit in this business right now. Mercedes couldn't salvage Chrysler and they were a lot more involved with manufacturing of cars than Penske is & that relationship costs umpteen billions.


Good luck.

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Old 06-15-2009, 10:39 AM   #7
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I'd advise him to buy large annuities for his kids and grandkids while he still has some liquidity in his assets. There is no quick way to turn a profit in this business right now. Mercedes couldn't salvage Chrysler and they were a lot more involved with manufacturing of cars than Penske is & that relationship costs umpteen billions.


Good luck.
Mercedes is not a good example. They didn't "salvage" Chrysler... they ruined it! Chrysler was profitable and had huge liquidities set aside when Mercedes bought it. Their cars, Intrepid/Concord, cloud cars, even the Neon, had good reviews and were considered competitive. It was on the verge of putting a new Hemi on the market. 10 years later, there has basically been no new V6 developped by Chrysler, their Minivans were still moved by the 3.3L pushrod released in the first years of the 1990s, the Neon was left to fester then there was no compact sedan anymore in the line-up, the acclaimed cloud cars have gone nearly unchanged, so that their competitive design is now a mediocre one. Mercedes screwed up Chrysler.

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Old 06-15-2009, 11:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

Go back to the start.
Build polymer-bodied, affordable, reliable transportation here in the .

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Old 06-15-2009, 12:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

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Go back to the start.
Build polymer-bodied, affordable, reliable transportation here in the .
Exactly! None of these rebadged Korean Nissans! And make a small wagon or crossover with AWD!

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Old 06-15-2009, 12:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

Electric,electric electric,!!!
Strike up a partnership with Tesla Motors for an "affordable sedan and coupe"
It will be built here,all American with cutting edge technology that nobody could hold a candle to.Kick GM's Volts butt with a car thats twice as cool and half the price!
We don't need more rebadging.Carve out your own cool niche market.

Saturn needs to stand for something unique, or else why bother?

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Old 06-15-2009, 02:09 PM   #11
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

As for practical and realist advice for Penske: it's been mentionned before, but go to GM and ask them to provide the Vibe to Saturn after the death of Pontiac. It could serve as a good temporary compact for Saturn while you find another one elsewhere. I also don't think GM would have any reason to refuse, they've got no vehicle to compete with it and it would annoy the hell out of Toyota.

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Old 06-15-2009, 04:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

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Originally Posted by Sival View Post
As for practical and realist advice for Penske: it's been mentionned before, but go to GM and ask them to provide the Vibe to Saturn after the death of Pontiac. It could serve as a good temporary compact for Saturn while you find another one elsewhere. I also don't think GM would have any reason to refuse, they've got no vehicle to compete with it and it would annoy the hell out of Toyota.
Agree. The Vibe is a good choice.

I see all sorts of obstacles though. NUMI is part Toyota. They may or may not want a deal with a 3rd party.

All of this will turn out to be interesting.

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Old 06-15-2009, 04:57 PM   #13
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

GM
probably needs the "Vibe" to become a Buick for CAFE numbers. Rebadge of another 'US built' import might meet the made in USA criteria...

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Old 06-15-2009, 04:58 PM   #14
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Thumbs Up Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

Offer a lineup of stylish, good-handling, fun-to-drive and easy to own vehicles that appeal to a broad array of buyers. Offer engines that combine max efficiency with power and performance. Keep the lineup simple yet unique; there's no need to be like some manufacturers that are constantly coming out with cars to cram into every market niche out there. There's no reason for a 4-door coupe and sedan (like the VW Passat and Passat CC) built on the same platform. They're the same freakin' car ferchrissakes! Only an idiot falls for that marketing crap. American (but not necessarily union) made scores points with the home crowd. While you're at grab Hummer and do what GM should have done with it -- build a real off-road competitor to the Jeep®.

If you need any advice on Saturn's future product line you can reach me here at Saturnfans.com. I'm thatjerryguy.

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Old 06-15-2009, 08:19 PM   #15
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

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Mercedes is not a good example. They didn't "salvage" Chrysler... they ruined it! Chrysler was profitable and had huge liquidities set aside when Mercedes bought it. Their cars, Intrepid/Concord, cloud cars, even the Neon, had good reviews and were considered competitive. It was on the verge of putting a new Hemi on the market. 10 years later, there has basically been no new V6 developped by Chrysler, their Minivans were still moved by the 3.3L pushrod released in the first years of the 1990s, the Neon was left to fester then there was no compact sedan anymore in the line-up, the acclaimed cloud cars have gone nearly unchanged, so that their competitive design is now a mediocre one. Mercedes screwed up Chrysler.
I agree. The only thing good that came out of that shotgun marriage was the 300, and DCX even managed to screw that up by offering the 2.7L V6 and a four-speed automagic as the base powertrain. Could you imagine the outcry if Ford shoehorned a Vulcan V6 under a Crown Victoria's hood?

Back on topic, Saturn could survive with a minimum of six vehicles, a small car (how about the Vibe if not the SM3), a midsized sedan, a minivan, a five/seven passenger crossover and a flagship sedan (SWB Holden Commodore V6).

Penske's challenge is to find us a class competitive small car and a Mazda5-sized people mover. Both should be attractive, affordable and fuel-efficient above all else.


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Old 06-15-2009, 09:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

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Mercedes is not a good example. They didn't "salvage" Chrysler... they ruined it! Chrysler was profitable and had huge liquidities set aside when Mercedes bought it. Their cars, Intrepid/Concord, cloud cars, even the Neon, had good reviews and were considered competitive.
Ruined it? The current rear drive cars were Mercedes influenced in a huge way. The Pacifica was exceptional when it came out and changed the market for crossovers. Had one for two years, drove like a tank and would hold legal plus whatever on the highway all day long with no wind noise or anything. The interior was unlike any other Chrysler at the time, a nice, comfortable interior with every amenity. Mercedes got Chrysler to have interiors on par or above their competition, something that was never their strong suit.



Compare that to the Rondepuke, er Rendezvous and Aztec that GM developed without input from Mercedes...

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Old 06-15-2009, 09:57 PM   #17
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Ruined it? The current rear drive cars were Mercedes influenced in a huge way. The Pacifica was exceptional when it came out and changed the market for crossovers. Had one for two years, drove like a tank and would hold legal plus whatever on the highway all day long with no wind noise or anything. The interior was unlike any other Chrysler at the time, a nice, comfortable interior with every amenity. Mercedes got Chrysler to have interiors on par or above their competition, something that was never their strong suit.



Compare that to the Rondepuke, er Rendezvous and Aztec that GM developed without input from Mercedes...
Chrysler's interior may be subpar right now, but it's because they've stood still when everybody else became better. Before Mercedes, Chrysler's interiors were average, the materials may have been cheap (as most were everywhere else at the time), but it was textured and designed well, so it didn't look cheap.

The 300/Charger was basically the only good thing that came out of the alliance with Mercedes, their only success. The Pacifica I'm not familiar with, but with it being phased out quietly, it doesn't seem to have made a lot of waves. Otherwise, you can mention the Crossfire that was heavily Mercedes influenced, and that was universally panned. But the principal sin is what isn't there. Where is the competitive compact sedan? I like the Caliber, but it's more like a compact crossover and it's an hatchback, something I like but Americans avoid. Where is the competitive ever-evolving midsize? The Sebring was only a slight amelioration over the first generation of cloud cars and used the same 4-cylinder engine, with no difference in output whatsoever, in 2006 as when its predecessors were introduced in 1995. Even GM updated their midsize cars faster and more significantly than that. The minivan was the bread and butter of Chrysler all those years, was the model bettered significantly over the years? The Caravan still has as its base engine the same engine it had in 1991, 18 years ago, slightly modified but still, is that the way you treat your money-maker?

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Old 06-15-2009, 11:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

I would like to see something like the SC series (with a hatchback) reintroduced. My 97 SC1 5 speed 1.9 sohc would get 40 mpg. Unfortunately my baby was totaled. I'm sure the new Saturn people can tweak the mpg.
How about taking a page from the old Chrysler playbook and manufacture a TURBINE CAR.

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Old 06-16-2009, 01:50 AM   #19
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

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GM
probably needs the "Vibe" to become a Buick for CAFE numbers. Rebadge of another 'US built' import might meet the made in USA criteria...
Seems to work for Toyota with their cars, which if I have read correctly, 90% of Toyota Cars sold in America have been made in america. Those numbers may be off a bit, but I know for sure a lot of them are between their plants in Indiana, Texas, Kentucky, and California.

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Old 06-16-2009, 04:53 AM   #20
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Default Re: Got Advice for Roger Penske?

Yeah, I most certainly have... from my side of the Atlantic! Return to the art, the essence and fun of making automobiles.

Mr. Penske, now that you've acquired the Saturn brand, try to venture boldly where no competitor has gone before. These are pivotal times for the industry. Make sure you're onto developments, not merely a follower like GM was doing. The industry is not just about making and selling as many cars at a profit. It's about catering to a changing landscape of personal transportation, for instance by truly helping your customers how to save money, save space and save the environment at the same time, while effectively staying more mobile than they were ever before...

The U.S. dollar is at an all time low (against the Euro). That makes "Proudly Engineered & Manufactured in the United States" more interesting than ever before. Have the sheer ambition to beat foreign competitors in their home markets. It's the best guarantee you will maximize performance and operations on the American market as well.

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