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Old 04-09-2007, 01:53 PM   #81
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Default Re: Sales Numbers: March '07

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Agreed. Many of the men and women who serve their country are paid very well, and rightfully so. SaabCentral.com's 9-3 forum had plenty of military owners on the board. Many were exposed to the car (and similar ones) while overseas. Maybe accountants shouldn't drive pickup trucks either. People without children shouldn't drive minivans.

Anyone should be entitled to drive whatever they want, regardless of their occupation. A luxury car isn't necessarily a sign of a high salary.
I wasn't trying to say that the military isn't paid enough...just that the Aura is a nice looking vehicle. If I hit a nerve, I apologize

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Old 04-09-2007, 09:14 PM   #82
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Default Re: Sales Numbers: March '07

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The lack of a offered NAV and Bluetooth takes them out of that equation. Its a nice midsize car that Saturn needed for it lineup. That it. Nothing more or less

The Aura is a nice car that makes you feel like you are missing something.
That being or was a 4banger, NAV, Bluetooth, something that most of us don't use but most people thinks its cool. Cool sells.
I agree. I was in looking at the Outlook today and was really pleased with the interior (and the amount of toys). It had enough of the things that make you feel like there is something special there. Since I was in a good mood and feeling good about Saturn, I decided to take a peak at the interior of the XR sitting on the floor. I hoped that I would feel the same about the Aura. I walked away feeling like GM left something out. There wasn't that "take me home, Big Boy" factor. As DeMan said, it is a nice midsize car - but not enough to make me switch. Based on sales, there are probably more potential converts out there with the same feeling than GM would like.

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Old 04-09-2007, 11:03 PM   #83
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Default Re: Sales Numbers: March '07

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I hoped that I would feel the same about the Aura. I walked away feeling like GM left something out. There wasn't that "take me home, Big Boy" factor. As DeMan said, it is a nice midsize car - but not enough to make me switch. Based on sales, there are probably more potential converts out there with the same feeling than GM would like.
What would you be switching from? I don't think anybody will switch if they like their mid size car. Too much brand loyalty in this segment. Better to catch people moving up (compact) or moving down (SUV)
I think the sales would be the same regardless of how good or bad the car is and that our only true measure will be the sales of the 2008 Malibu.
If sales of the 2008 Malibu are significantly higher than the previous years than the Aura IS a great car that no one buys because they don't know about it.
If sales of the new Malibu are no better than the old one than the Aura itself is to blame.
When I look at the Outlook I just notice how big it is.

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Old 04-11-2007, 02:02 AM   #84
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Default Re: Sales Numbers: March '07

The past 10 days I've noticed zero TV ads for the Aura. I wonder if GM cut the cord.

If GM doesn't fix the Aura's issues for 2008 and stops it's advertisement; it could be the end of what could have been the finest midsize car GM ever sold.

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Old 04-11-2007, 08:31 AM   #85
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Default Re: Sales Numbers: March '07

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I think the sales would be the same regardless of how good or bad the car is and that our only true measure will be the sales of the 2008 Malibu.
If sales of the 2008 Malibu are significantly higher than the previous years than the Aura IS a great car that no one buys because they don't know about it.
If sales of the new Malibu are no better than the old one than the Aura itself is to blame.
I agree; I think the Malibu will great seller, and I like the fact that Impala is an 09 instead of an 08. Lots of people will be waiting on the RWD 09 Impala.

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Old 04-11-2007, 09:32 AM   #86
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Default Re: Sales Numbers: March '07

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What would you be switching from? I don't think anybody will switch if they like their mid size car. Too much brand loyalty in this segment. Better to catch people moving up (compact) or moving down (SUV)
I think the sales would be the same regardless of how good or bad the car is and that our only true measure will be the sales of the 2008 Malibu.
If sales of the 2008 Malibu are significantly higher than the previous years than the Aura IS a great car that no one buys because they don't know about it.
If sales of the new Malibu are no better than the old one than the Aura itself is to blame.
When I look at the Outlook I just notice how big it is.
Perhaps I am one of the few but I buy whatever car is the best fit for my needs / wants at any given time. I am not particularly brand loyal because companies' products come and go. For 20 years I laughed at Cadillac because they were overpriced, underdeveloped pieces of CRAP. Now my #1 drool car (outside of the viper) is the '08 CTS. Nissan STUNK through the 90's. However, I have bought two since 2001 (280HP and 298HP - both with 6 speed manuals). To me, being brand loyal doesn't allow you to take advantage of car companies that really come out with some breakthrough products. Based on the rapid growth of Hyundai, Nissan, and Lexus (as well as the dramatic shrinking of GM and Ford) over the past 5 - 10 years, I would say a lot of people are not brand loyal.

You might be right about the Malibu but don't forget about the price points. I agree with your theory if the pricing is exactly the same. I am referencing true transaction prices and not retails. If the pricing is the same and the car sells, then no one knew about the Aura. If the pricing is lower and the Malibu sells, I would propose that possibly the Aura is over priced for what you get and Chevy fixed the issue.

Anyone know the actual month that the Malibu will hit the lots?

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Old 04-17-2007, 06:45 PM   #87
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Default Re: Sales Numbers: March '07

Sorry to bump an old-ish topic, just wanted to share my thoughts as an XR owner.

First of all, I'm getting a slight impression that people are expecting the Aura to compete neck and neck with the Camry in terms of sales right off the bat. This is as unrealistic as it gets to be perfectly honest. The Camry is a vehicle with 25 years of branding, marketing, refinement, and reputation behind it. The Aura is only in it's first model year, which is going to make people hesitate regardless of how good the car is.

Secondly, if GM is banking on a single car to save them, then they've got more problems than anyone had originally thought. I've heard time and time again that the Aura is merely a signal of changes to come to GM. I'm sure they not expecting massive success right off the bat, as it's not a realistic expectation. The Aura will be a slow burner for a while. Providing they stick with it and continually refine it rather than abandoning it and starting all over, the Aura will eventually start exceeding expectations.

Thirdly, the car cannot be faulted to the degree it is. It's a competitively priced, styled, and equipped car. While it doesn't have anything that truely stands out over Camry/Accord, the Camry/Accord don't blatently outshine the Aura either. Going either way is NOT an obvious choice to people who actually take the time to do their research and don't simply say "pfff, it's a Saturn".

There's no single reason why the Aura isn't as selling as well as most of its fans feel it deserves to. There are many, many reasons. Most of which have been pointed out already.

New model year
Most experienced buyers will hesitate buying a brand new model in its first year. Usually it's the smart thing to do because it lets the company work out the major bugs that had to be de-prioritized to meet deadlines.

Knowledge of existence
Related to the first point, the car is simply not matured into the industry yet. Assuming GM sticks with Aura for a while, let's see what it's like in 5 years. It will be a much more common place name. More people will know about the Aura at the end of 2008 than they did in 2006. More people will know about the Aura in 2009 than they did in 2008. That's just how things go.

Advertising
Naturally living in only one part of the country makes it hard to speak for everyone else, but I usually have the TV running in the background a lot and I RARELY see Aura commercials. RARELY. Like.....wtf is GM thinking rarely? Meanwhile I see the same Altima commercial 6 times in an hour long program.

The most recent commercial I've seen uses that completely stupid and immature music to show off the Car of the Year award.
http://www.saturn.com/saturn/videos/...sion/index.jsp (the first in that list). Yeah, INSPIRING. That music would sound so much more appropriate for the Versa, Fit, or a Mini Cooper. The original ads for the Aura (titled "Anthem" and "Aura" in that list) are 100x more inspiring than a stupid ditty that makes you embarassed just listening to it.

Good business is almost MORE about marketing than it is product. At the end of the day you can never truely have a definitive edge of your competition because they can just copy you. The key is marketing. If they copy you and market themselves better, guess what, you're going to lose out. GM needs to go all out on marketing.

Dealership Access
Again, as others have said, there are fewer Saturn dealerships than most other companies. If someone has to go out of their way to test drive a car they're only curious about, they're going to scratch it from their shopping list.

Reliability
Part of the benefit of having a brand name that's 25 years old is you can reference reliability. The Aura doesn't have that luxury. So far mine has been good me, but that's only 2,600 miles, hardly anything to make a judgement on. So the segment of consumers who are reliability concious will hesitate with the Aura simply because there's nothing good or bad about it either way. It's too new.

Company brand name
Saturn vs Toyota? Come on. Saturn has baggage that Toyota doesn't, and Toyota has market reach that Saturn doesn't. If Toyota was the one selling the Aura, and Saturn was selling the Camry, guess what, the Aura would sell significantly better under the Toyota label than the Saturn label. That's just common sense.

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Old 04-17-2007, 08:59 PM   #88
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Default Re: Sales Numbers: March '07

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I agree; I think the Malibu will great seller, and I like the fact that Impala is an 09 instead of an 08. Lots of people will be waiting on the RWD 09 Impala.
Don't hold your breath on the RWD 09 Impala:

http://www.autoblog.com/2007/04/10/l...icles-on-hold/

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Old 04-17-2007, 10:27 PM   #89
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Default Re: Sales Numbers: March '07

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Don't hold your breath on the RWD 09 Impala:

http://www.autoblog.com/2007/04/10/l...icles-on-hold/
This doesn't surprise me. I have told several people that if this car came to pass that it better be plenty of V6's. It would be DOA if the V6 wasn't the primary engine. Even the V6 would have problem hitting the mpg numbers because of the cas overall weight.

Weight is also whats hurting the Aura mpg. It needs to go on a diet.

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Old 04-18-2007, 04:08 PM   #90
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Unsubstantiated opinion, but I think you could consider the 2007 Aura to be the test mule for the 08 Chevy Malibu. Saturn is a boutique brand, not a standard brand like Chevy, Toyota, or Ford. Working out the kinks in the 07 Aura may help them avoid the same kinks in the 08 Malibu, which is really the more important car for GM. Thier reputation and cred are going to be more affected by how the Malibu launch goes than how the Aura launch went.

Also, I think it has to be kept in mind that the Aura is primarily a 6-cylinder car. The bulk of the market in this class if for 4 cylinder cars for price and economy reasons. For that reason alone the Aura will always have small volumes in the standard sedan segment. I doubt the GL will change that either since so many of the good options are unavailable.

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Old 04-18-2007, 09:49 PM   #91
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Unsubstantiated opinion, but I think you could consider the 2007 Aura to be the test mule for the 08 Chevy Malibu. Saturn is a boutique brand, not a standard brand like Chevy, Toyota, or Ford. Working out the kinks in the 07 Aura may help them avoid the same kinks in the 08 Malibu, which is really the more important car for GM. Thier reputation and cred are going to be more affected by how the Malibu launch goes than how the Aura launch went.
1. SATURN IS NOT A BOUTIQUE BRAND, unless you are speaking of the SKY.

2. Chevy doesn't need Saturn as much as Saturn needs the Chevy brand

3. The Malibu will come with all of the little missing pieces except; 4 banger and NAV. Still no bluetooth as of yet anyway.

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Old 04-19-2007, 10:50 AM   #92
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Perhaps your definition of "boutique" is more rigid than mine. Euro-influenced designs from Opel, no more stripped and low priced economy cars, few dealers, the whole Saturn dealer experience=boutique to me.

In terms of my comments about Chevy - the Aura is being manufactured in the same plant as the Malibu using the same platform. Since the Aura will always sell in smaller numbers than the Malibu (new name, fewer dealers, less recognition, four cylinder available) the Aura makes a perfect test mule for the assembly plant. For example, I imagine the Malibu dash will attach the same way the Aura's does. Perhaps by the time the 2008 Malibu's start coming off the line, they workers will be attaching the dashes correctly so the trim lines up (unlike in many Auras). Perhaps they will add a trunk pull to the Malibu so first year Malibu owners don't complain that there is no trunk pull. If GM isn't using the feedback from the Aura's first year to get the Malibu right, they should be.

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Old 04-23-2007, 08:43 PM   #93
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Lots of people will be waiting on the RWD 09 Impala. ... ... I have told several people that if this car came to pass that it better be plenty of V6's. It would be DOA if the V6 wasn't the primary engine.
Then again, if RWD is your cup of tea, don't give up hope:

"He [Lutz] said the company is waiting for some definite ruling on the proposals until it can fully resume its plans for large rear-wheel drive car development in North America. He said the company hasn't yet canceled or officially delayed production of those vehicles, but it has "hit the pause button because we have to sort out where this thing is going."

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/stor...FB7CB3F5D76%7D

Say, would you like that RWD longer, lower ... wider? Maybe throw in some sharp looking tail-fins?? Heck, go for it: aren't running boards due for a comeback?

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Old 04-23-2007, 08:59 PM   #94
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Default Re: Sales Numbers: March '07

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Company brand name
Saturn vs Toyota? Come on. Saturn has baggage that Toyota doesn't, and Toyota has market reach that Saturn doesn't. If Toyota was the one selling the Aura, and Saturn was selling the Camry, guess what, the Aura would sell significantly better under the Toyota label than the Saturn label. That's just common sense.
Considering Toyota's recalls this year, the new Camry release was not as smooth as it should have been, and the tremedous sludge problems with their engines. The sad part of the story is any owners affected with these problems still feel Toyota is beyond reproach. I know a girl whose Corolla threw a rod at 90k, she went right out and bought a new Matrix. I would have looked elsewhere for a car.

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Old 04-23-2007, 11:19 PM   #95
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Default Re: Sales Numbers: March '07

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Considering Toyota's recalls this year, the new Camry release was not as smooth as it should have been, and the tremedous sludge problems with their engines. The sad part of the story is any owners affected with these problems still feel Toyota is beyond reproach. I know a girl whose Corolla threw a rod at 90k, she went right out and bought a new Matrix. I would have looked elsewhere for a car.
Most would, but Toyota Camry is the #1 selling car and the Corolla is #2. For every story we hear like yours there are ten of thousands that has good things to say bout Toyota. Now Saturn is a different story. The S-Series made Saturn and at the same time has been bad for Saturn. Oil leak for the most part went on for years w/o Saturn really solving the problems with there bread and butter car (S-Series) It would have been better for Saturn to stay with the S-Series and put the Ecotec engine there than going to the Ion. GM waits to long to make decisions before acting. GM has a nice engine lineup. Now they must put cars out to go with engines.

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Old 04-23-2007, 11:45 PM   #96
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Considering Toyota's recalls this year, the new Camry release was not as smooth as it should have been, and the tremedous sludge problems with their engines. The sad part of the story is any owners affected with these problems still feel Toyota is beyond reproach. I know a girl whose Corolla threw a rod at 90k, she went right out and bought a new Matrix. I would have looked elsewhere for a car.
Agreed that Toyota is having issues (and I must admit that it doesn't make me sad). However, Saturn has been below Toyota in nearly every measured category from nearly every ratings company in terms of quality for over a decade. Yet you are a fan. Why do you assume that after one or two problems that someone else will leave a brand if it has consistently outperformed everyone else for so long? You didn't leave GM after one or two recalls. Should I not buy an Outlook because they have had to fix so many problems after it was released? Should no one buy another VUE because of all of the suspension failures that happen? Don't let your own dislike (hatred?) of Toyota blind you from the fact that people like brands and it takes a lot to change their minds. If people switched because of one or two problems, no one would have ever bought another domestic car again after the 80's (or much of the 90's). Aren't you glad that people still do?

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Old 04-24-2007, 07:29 AM   #97
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It would have been better for Saturn to stay with the S-Series and put the Ecotec engine there than going to the Ion. GM waits to long to make decisions before acting.
Those are contradictory ideas. It seems your second statement would imply that GM should have retired the existing S-series earlier, not later. I don't think these quandries are unique to Saturn or GM. I would think it is always a hard call whether to make incremental improvements to a successful line or come out with an entirely new design every few years. Companies have had both success and disappointment with both approaches and I don't think there is an answer that fits all circumstances.

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Old 04-24-2007, 08:44 AM   #98
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Based on my eyeballing the lot at the local dealers, they seem to be piling up on dealer lots. Dealers don't like that.
I think part of the problem is the challenge in FINDING a Saturn dealer.

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Old 04-24-2007, 06:22 PM   #99
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If people switched because of one or two problems, no one would have ever bought another domestic car again after the 80's (or much of the 90's). Aren't you glad that people still do?
Very true... My 1980 Buick X-car ownership was not a pretty story, but I've bought several more GM cars afterwards. My 1985 Olds was one of the best cars I've owned. I wish more people would try domestics since they're much better cars than they were 20 years ago...

People feel I'm a Honda lover, but they couldn't be farther from the truth. I do call the shots as they fall. The Honda V6 is a damn good motor...

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Old 04-25-2007, 10:21 AM   #100
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Very true... My 1980 Buick X-car ownership was not a pretty story, but I've bought several more GM cars afterwards. My 1985 Olds was one of the best cars I've owned. I wish more people would try domestics since they're much better cars than they were 20 years ago...

People feel I'm a Honda lover, but they couldn't be farther from the truth. I do call the shots as they fall. The Honda V6 is a damn good motor...
I too have been a GM owner for a long time. I still have my 95 SC2 and 97 GP that has been modded. It has over 200k miles. Steering Rack in which GM had a recall on was my only major problem with 97 GP. Engine replacement in my (oil burning 95SC2) GM products or cars are normally easy to work on and the part are reasonable if you find the right dealer. Believe when I say "right dealer". There are some big differences in dealer part prices. The key is to find that friendly dealer and pass the word. I have found the prices to be as much as 35% cheaper than my local dealer; and thats including shipping to my door. GM has a big advantage there.

Its hard to get people to comeback unless you offer competitive prices. I know on avg that people pay $2k more for an import; but enough people haven't been burnt by imports to get people to change there mines like with the Audi back in the late 80's and early 90's. People still haven't recovered from that one. Volvo makes very safe cars, but they stay in the repair shop more than on the road. Volvo sales has suffered as a result from that.

Remember too that just this past Monday, it was announced that Toyota just became the #1 seller of car passes GM for the first time. We know the excuse for GM about the reduction of fleet vehicles, which this race should have never reached. This will make it even harder to convince folks that GM still makes good cars. Ford is in the pits and also Chrysler which Daimler Benz is trying to dump.

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