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Old 03-28-2005, 12:23 PM   #1
crazynate
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Default bring back the s-series

as many of you have read, saturn is struggling with sales, mostly i believe to a lack of variety in models of cars. If Saturn brought back the S-series i can almost garuntee a jump is sales. Anyone else agree?

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Old 03-28-2005, 12:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

Nope.

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Old 03-28-2005, 01:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

Nope .. How would bringing back an outdated model help Saturn? I think waiting too long for a replacement for the S - Series hurt Saturn. The replacement was nothing to rave about and they seem to be making improvements. I saw a Black ION coupe and it looked really sharp.

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Old 03-28-2005, 01:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

If they sell just one S-series, yes it would increase sales. Would it be worth building or retrofitting a factory to build it (Spring Hill is set up for the ION now), which would cost hundreds of millions of dollars (the S used some fairly unique manufacturing processes)? Absolutely not! The S is outdated, and its sales were slipping sharply by 2002.

The 1988 Honda Accord was a strong seller, and I don't see Honda building any more of them.

Funny how in 2002 people were begging for a new platform for the S, and now they are begging for the old one!

...
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Old 03-28-2005, 02:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

Nada. It would continue to hurt the brand. A good car in its' day held over to the detriment of the brand, triumphing its' sucess hurt the brand by the delaying release of a mid-sized car while the automotive world passed Saturn by.


Saturn, like GM, needs a pardigram shift. Styling, quality (including the use of high quality look and feel use of materials, and agressive marketing will be GM's salvation, a lack of it their demise. One only need to look at Hyundai as proof that a renessance is possible. It's also sad to see GM is still living in the past. These issues were on the table back in '82 when I got into the car business.

GM is consistant in one respect though they come up with a good idea, throw money at it and abandon it as opposed to constant nuturing. Think Saturn, or the 4-6-8 engine from Caddy.

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Old 03-28-2005, 02:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

I can't say that bringing back an outdated platform would be a good idea, but I think that if the ION were made to be more like the S Series, it would help. I will say this...I'm considering buying a lower mileage used SL2 to replace my current SL2, which has over 200,000 miles. I wouldn't even consider an ION. I'm sure there are others who feel the same way.

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Old 03-28-2005, 02:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

I honestly thought when Saturn redesigned the SC in 2001, that it was one of the unique and sportiest looking cars on the road. The interior still needed work, but overall a very sharp car. I have never thought that replacing it with the ion was a good move. But I'm afraid its a little too late to bring it back. Just my opinion.

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Old 03-28-2005, 02:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

I think the original SC's and the pre-RAD two door second generation coupes were the coolest looking Saturns. Just a sleek, sporty looking coupe...no third door to ruin the lines, no goofy styling elements like the ION, no smiley face front fascia....is it really that hard to design a decent looking car? If they could do it then, why not now?

Also, Saturn needs to make the product more competitive, not less so. Eliminating rear disc brakes on all trim levels, ditching the independent rear suspension in favor of a torsion beam setup, etc....all of that just screams cheap, and doesn't exactly make me want to rush out and buy a new Saturn to replace my '97 SL2, which has features you can't even get now! Even little things, like getting rid of the locking fuel filler door, get on my nerves.

Take a look at the Mazda 3. IMO, that's the best economy class car on the market today. Add dent resistant side panels, and you'd have a worthy successor to the S Series in that car! The car has a solid foundation, a nice suspension setup, and offers a lot of features for a car in its class. Granted, you don't really need things like a nav system, but it's a cool toy! Xenon lights are a nice feature - a colleague at work who drives an Audi A4 swears by them. Also, curtain and side airbags are available. GM really needs to add lower side airbags to the cars where it currently offers only the curtains. The one gripe I have with the Mazda 3 is that stability control is not available. And from what I've gathered, it is available in Europe and Japan, which makes me mad...there'd be virtually zero engineering cost associated with making that feature available here! But I digress...

Also, for years I've been wanting to see rear head restraints in more cars. It seems that foreign cars are making it standard in more cases now, at least for the two outboard back seat occupants, but so many American cars still have a low, flat seatback. It's one of those things that I'm sure many people don't notice or care about, but to me it's one of those little things that separates cheap American cars from the better imports. (The '94 homecoming edition Saturns are the only ones I know of that did have rear head restraints, aside from the VUE.)

Last edited by VTHokie00SL2; 03-28-2005 at 03:06 PM..

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Old 03-28-2005, 03:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

Oh, and "sport shift"/manu-matic transmissions are becoming more popular. GM should add that feature to more cars. I notice it's lacking not only on cheap cars like the ION, but even upper level cars like the new Buick LaCrosse. And GM should also start looking at 5 speed automatics vs 4 speed. My parents' new Honda Accord has a 5 speed auto.

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Old 03-28-2005, 04:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

I don't think the real issue is that we need the S series again, it's that we need the ION to improve. I'm looking forward to the 06 ION. My only problem with the ION is the styling, particularly the interior. I test drove a QC and was very impressed with how it drove over my S.

...
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Old 03-28-2005, 04:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

The ION needs more than bandaid fixes, it needs a complete redesign imo. Even the name ION is corny...a remnant of Saturn's "cute" phase which was obviously geared predominately toward female buyers. Thankfully, Lutz seems to be taking Saturn in a different, less pansy direction.

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Old 03-28-2005, 04:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTHOKIE97SL2
Also, for years I've been wanting to see rear head restraints in more cars. It seems that foreign cars are making it standard in more cases now, at least for the two outboard back seat occupants, but so many American cars still have a low, flat seatback. It's one of those things that I'm sure many people don't notice or care about, but to me it's one of those little things that separates cheap American cars from the better imports. (The '94 homecoming edition Saturns are the only ones I know of that did have rear head restraints, aside from the VUE.)
Did you know that NHTSA considered a law recently to make rear headrests mandatory in cars, but then dropped it because not many people sit in back seats anyway.

We need more rear headrests....The Chevy Cobalt's are neat. They aren't in the seat, they are mounted in the parcel shelf, a la 94 SL2 Homecoming...I wonder if they could be retrofitted to ION's?

Many people complain that rear headrests block their view out the back...it seems to me, then, we should either 1) have open-center "donut" rear headrests, or 2) the headrests are normally folded down on the parcel shelf or down on the seat like in the rear seats of many minivans with folding seats, and when the seatbelt is buckled the headrest pops/motors up to your head.

Or just put them in. We definitely need more rear headrests in cars.

(Got a little carried away...)

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Old 03-28-2005, 04:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTHOKIE97SL2
The ION needs more than bandaid fixes, it needs a complete redesign imo.
They can completely redesign the styling without a new platform. We'll just have to wait and see how extensive these changes are. Hopefully they are more than the bandaids we've seen in the 04 and 05 IONs (and the bandaid fixes for the S-series in 2000 and 2001 for the coupe).

...
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Old 03-28-2005, 06:34 PM   #14
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

I don't think Saturn should bring back the S-series as it was in 2002. There would be nothing wrong however in Saturn introducing a new small vehicle using up-to-date technology that featured utility, good gas economy, overall value and reliability. It would not be the old S-series as we knew it, but they certainly could call it that. Many companies re-use accepted model names for new vehicles. Some such as the Mustang even try to use some of the old exterior design cues on the updated cars.

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Old 03-28-2005, 08:30 PM   #15
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterllo
...
GM is consistant in one respect though they come up with a good idea, throw money at it and abandon it as opposed to constant nuturing. Think Saturn, or the 4-6-8 engine from Caddy.
I must disagree with you on this. Saturn is being updated and nurtured like it NEVER was before. The only thing from Saturn I would compare to the V4-6-8 is the VTi transmission. Once it hits the market, line up a 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 ION next to one another and tell me Saturn isn't being true to the tenant of "Continuous Improvement". I only wish we could move everything back 3-4 years by eliminating 1996-1999. By now we'd be sitting pretty with SKY, Hybrid VUE, Aura, 7-passenger Lamda SUV and more!

I love my SL2. I could have bought an ION but it's not the car I believe it can be... YET.

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Old 03-28-2005, 08:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdp326
2) the headrests are normally folded down on the parcel shelf or down on the seat like in the rear seats of many minivans with folding seats, and when the seatbelt is buckled the headrest pops/motors up to your head.
I like the rear headrests in Volvos. I don't know if they still have them, but I've been in a few that have spring loaded rear headrests, and when the driver pushes a button, they flip down for visibility (though it would work well as a child disciplinary device ).

Back to the topic, I also think it would be a mistake to bring back the S-series. My biggest beef with the ION is fuel economy. It doesn't get awful gas mileage, but they just can't get what the S-series got. That's one of the major reasons I opted for my SC1 over an ION 1 last summer. If Saturn could offer an economy ION (NOT a hybrid), I would be all for it. I'm not saying that the S-series was a bad car, but it's time to let it go.

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Old 03-28-2005, 11:57 PM   #17
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Thumbs Up Re: bring back the s-series

The ION does needs more than a front fascia redesign if you want it to sell well. My suggestions:

1. Get rid of center pod. Cool maybe, but a big sales detractor.
2. Lose the clunky lines. Everyone wants to ride in a sleek race car, even in ecomony class. Look at Mazda and Toyota if you doubt that.
3. Improve the gas mileage. The days of cheap gas are long gone. My SL gets better mileage than the continuous improvement vue.
4. Put back the locking gas cap. Will it keep a thief out? No. But it will keep honest people honest.
5. Bring back the rear independent suspension and 4 wheel disk brakes. Why would disks be so much more expensive, especially if you can boost sales by x1000's of vehicles each year?

My dream commuter car - 1.4L DOHC, 105 HP @5500, 40/55 MPG (or better with hybrid), front wheel drive for snow, room for two reasonable adults, back seats optional, just as fun and as nimble as my sl. Crazy? Maybe. But definitely fun and cheap to drive.

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Old 03-29-2005, 12:56 AM   #18
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

Quote:
Originally Posted by spencerb
I don't think the real issue is that we need the S series again, it's that we need the ION to improve. I'm looking forward to the 06 ION.
Unfortunately, the ION has had a bad reputation since its introduction. The market has already assumed the ION is a poor quality car. It's very similar to the Cavalier problem. The Cavalier was crap and everyone knew it. In order to change that image, the car was replaced and given a new name--Cobalt. What I think is that the improved car should be introduced under a new name. The car has obviously been drastically improved and more still for 2006 and should be marketed as a new car.

Matt

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Old 03-29-2005, 01:18 AM   #19
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Thumbs Up Bringing Back The "S" Series As A "Limited Edition!"

I agree that the "S" Series would help Saturn out of it's Finanacial Trouble if it was still around! I don't think that the Ion is going to sell as well as the "S" Series! Saturn lost it's Vision when the "S" Series was laid to rest! I think that the "S" Series should be brought back as a "Special Limited Edition" for 2006 or 2007! Kind of like what Ford did with the new retro Thunderbird!

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Old 03-29-2005, 09:55 AM   #20
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Default Re: bring back the s-series

Quote:
Originally Posted by plane
Bring back the rear independent suspension and 4 wheel disk brakes. Why would disks be so much more expensive, especially if you can boost sales by x1000's of vehicles each year?
You honestly think 1000s of people even realize there are drums in the rear? IMO drum brakes in the rear have lost very, very, very few sales. Yes, there are people who decided not to buy the Saturn because of it, but the number is so small I don't consider it an issue. In a small car it's extremely difficult to tell the difference.

...
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