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Old 06-11-2007, 11:32 AM   #1
AgmLauncher
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Default Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

Because people who are in the market for Camrys don't like to drive cars. Fact

They're the most passive drivers in the world. They go at or BELOW the speed limit, they forget to turn their blinker off in shallow turns, and in general, just suck the fun out of driving when you're stuck behind them.

Everytime I get stuck behind a driver, they're driving a Camry. Never, EVER fails.

These kinds of drivers will probably be afraid of the Aura, and go with the least powerful 4cyl Camry they can get their hands on.....

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Old 06-11-2007, 12:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

I had a 2003 Camry for a day as a rental. I nearly fell asleep three times driving that car. Soft, boring, and slow. Did I mention it was boring?

Saturn is going for the people who think there are only two midsize car choices: Camry and Accord. Some people just don't know any better, and accept whatever Honda and Toyota give them.

I suspect that if you look entirely objectively at the decision, considering price, reliability, features, economy, etc., it's easy to beat the Camry and Accord. The Aura beats them on many objective measures, and Saturn is betting that the Aura will win on the subjective measures: ride, comfort, interior, etc.

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Old 06-11-2007, 01:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

Agm's Camry comments are ironic, considering the so-called buff books and other Saturn critics charge the company with catering to those who don't like cars and/or driving.

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Old 06-11-2007, 01:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

I don't think it will work because you must first get a person that is considering buying an Accord or Camry to step foot into a Saturn dealership. Most people that want a Camcord won't even consider Saturn. Sorry, but their minds are already made up.

The only plus out of this is for Honda and Toyota, they just sold (IIRC, only 3 Saturn retailers opted out) 453 Accords and 453 Camry, to GM.

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Old 06-11-2007, 01:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

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Originally Posted by bgates2b View Post
I don't think it will work because you must first get a person that is considering buying an Accord or Camry to step foot into a Saturn dealership. Most people that want a Camcord won't even consider Saturn. Sorry, but their minds are already made up.
You're probably right...it would be better to have the Aura inside the Honda and Toyota dealers, not the camcords in the Saturn dealer. I highly doubt there are too many folks who test drive an Aura and end up buying a camcord.

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Old 06-14-2007, 10:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

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Originally Posted by bgates2b View Post
I don't think it will work because you must first get a person that is considering buying an Accord or Camry to step foot into a Saturn dealership. Most people that want a Camcord won't even consider Saturn. Sorry, but their minds are already made up.

The only plus out of this is for Honda and Toyota, they just sold (IIRC, only 3 Saturn retailers opted out) 453 Accords and 453 Camry, to GM.
Well, at least Saturn dealers won't lose too much money on those cars, strong resale values :ugh.

Camry buyers in particular probably don't do much in the way of test driving. With my site I've noticed that Honda buyers and much more likely than Toyota buyers to engage in thorough research before buying a car. This suggests that Saturn would probably be more successful going after Accord shoppers.

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Old 06-14-2007, 12:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

There is a new Accord for 2008. I bet Saturn put a lot of thought into the timing of this promotion. It's to their advantage to compare the Aura to the Accord in its last year of the model run.

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Old 06-14-2007, 12:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

While I can't comment on whether this program will be successful or not (gutsy, I'll em' that much), I can agree with the comments about the average driver. I live in a predominantly Asian community (no offense to Asians at all) and everyday I nearly rear end a little Asian grandmother in a Camcord because they slam on the brakes (on the freeway no less) when they see a red light 2 miles ahead. I get so frustrated, but then I feel bad as I drive by because the poor driver a) can barely see over the steering wheel, and b) is completely clueless to the 9 car pile-up that just happened behind them.

Maybe I just a little PTSD from the last time a little Asian granny ran into my car (most of the Camcords I see putting around have either a dent on the front bumper or the rear). I ran over to make sure she was ok (she was a little confused and scared) even though she was at fault. I have mixed feelings of anger and sympathy when I'm driving around town....it's probably not healthy, lol.

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Old 06-14-2007, 07:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

LOL on the Camry driver stereotyping.
Beyond that I think the promotion will work and already has because it is bringing needed positive attention to Saturn. If I really was interested in primarily buying a Camry I wouldn't take the Camry test drive at Saturn but if the promotion at least makes non-Saturn owners consider Saturn, it is doing its job. The message is being spread that Saturn is indeed out there and is not afraid of going head-to-head with the competition. I have no idea how many immediate sales will result but in the longer term people will be hearing that Saturn is confident and willing to take on rivals. I've always felt in competition that if you want anyone else to believe in you, you better make it very obvious that you believe in yourself.

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Old 06-14-2007, 08:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

Hey , I bought my Aura XR after first considering the Accord and Camry sixes. Didn't like the dealer attitudes. Aura was $6,000 less and liked the options better. Bought one of the first 1/2 dozen in the Permian Basin. I hardly see any in Fort Worth. I am not a lazy driver. Tend to be a lead foot and do not sleep at the wheel.

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Old 06-15-2007, 12:21 AM   #11
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

I don't know.... I think Saturn is making a good move here. Time may tell of course. All's I know is that San Diego seems to be foreign-car heaven, you rarely see two American cars in a row on the highway here. Toyota and Nisson seem to be the favorites and there seem to be a ZILLION of those new Camry's on the road. It IS a boring, super-stable straight line car. But a lot of folks see a car as transportation only and Toyota has earned an excellant reliabiliity and craftmanship reputation. Saturn is earning theirs back. I think the comparison is recognition by Saturn that the Camry's the car to beat.

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Old 06-15-2007, 09:00 AM   #12
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

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Originally Posted by wtxskater View Post
Hey , I bought my Aura XR after first considering the Accord and Camry sixes. Didn't like the dealer attitudes. Aura was $6,000 less and liked the options better. Bought one of the first 1/2 dozen in the Permian Basin. I hardly see any in Fort Worth. I am not a lazy driver. Tend to be a lead foot and do not sleep at the wheel.
Same here. I test drove the Camry, and looked into the Accord (and the Altima, and the TSX, and the I35). And while to this day I think the new Camry SE looks sportier than the Aura, the Aura's value was what brought me in. My fully equipped XR was thousands cheaper than a fully loaded Camry SE.

Nevertheless, I'm extremely happy w/my Aura (and even happier that the car isn't as common/popular as the Camry).

Also, regarding the showroom comparison, I think its a freakin' great idea. I had been interested in the Aura but had no interest in buying a Saturn, let alone walk into one of it's dealerships. However, while killing time before I test drove a Camry, I walked into a Saturn dealership- just to look, and began to when I saw the black Aura on the showroom floor. Long story short- my user name in this Saturn forum is blackaura.

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Old 06-15-2007, 09:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

I think we can be 99% certain that Saturn (and Chevy) dealers won't be buying the SE version of the Camry. Ford also went with the XLE rather than the SE in its handling comparison exercise.

Toyota hasn't done a great job marketing the SE. Most people don't know it exists. When they think Camry they generally think of the mid-level LE.

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Old 06-15-2007, 09:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

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Toyota hasn't done a great job marketing the SE. Most people don't know it exists. When they think Camry they generally think of the mid-level LE.
You could also replace "think" with "buy" in that statement and it would be pretty close as well.
The Camry didn't get to selling 400k a year on sport, it got their on being a form of good, trusted transportation.

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Old 06-15-2007, 10:04 PM   #15
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

Close to 400,000 per year?

You need to read Automotive News more often.

Last month they sold 50,000 of the puppies. This does include a few Solara coupes, but still Saturn will end up selling about this many AURAs over the course of the entire year. No doubt most were LEs and XLEs. Toyota should clear the half-million mark this year, about ten Camrys for every AURA, now that the Subaru plant in Indiana is also churning them out.

I wrote an editorial about this in my blog because that number SHOCKED ME. Supposedly the market is fragmenting and people are abandoning sedans. A few years ago GM's then head of design even suggested that the sedan might be on the way out.

Guess not.

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Old 06-15-2007, 10:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

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Close to 400,000 per year?

You need to read Automotive News more often.

Last month they sold 50,000 of the puppies. This does include a few Solara coupes, but still Saturn will end up selling about this many AURAs over the course of the entire year. No doubt most were LEs and XLEs. Toyota should clear the half-million mark this year, about ten Camrys for every AURA, now that the Subaru plant in Indiana is also churning them out.

I wrote an editorial about this in my blog because that number SHOCKED ME. Supposedly the market is fragmenting and people are abandoning sedans. A few years ago GM's then head of design even suggested that the sedan might be on the way out.

Guess not.
What do you mean? I said 400k (not close to) because I just used an approximate number, even though it sells several thousand more than that.

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Old 06-15-2007, 10:15 PM   #17
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

auras are fun to drive. i love that manual option. after i was done with that car the fan was running for half an hour straight hard.

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Old 06-15-2007, 10:25 PM   #18
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

Guess it's time to turn the question around.

We've heard that Toyota & Honda buyers won't consider an American car. That's probably mostly true, except for the people who have traded in Toyotas, Hondas & Nissans at the Saturn stores.

The point to the marketing campaign is to take "American Car Buyers" who may be considering a Toyota or Honda (Lemming's Law) and keep them in an American Car. (Yes, I know that Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans and Subarus are built in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and lots of other places, but they are still considered "foreign" cars by many.)

If I have a prospective buyer in my store, who says "I'm considering a ****" and I can say, "Lets look at the Aura and you can compare it to the ***** right here; you won't have to run across town", I stand a better chance of selling him an Aura than if he drives my car then goes to the other dealer. (Bird in the hand ...)

I think that if we look at it from the perspective of retaining a buyer rather than a sales conquest, we'll find the comparison tool effective. This also helps us keep the prospect in our store, rather than letting him hop on the "be-back bus".

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Old 06-15-2007, 10:29 PM   #19
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

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I think we can be 99% certain that Saturn (and Chevy) dealers won't be buying the SE version of the Camry. Ford also went with the XLE rather than the SE in its handling comparison exercise.

Toyota hasn't done a great job marketing the SE. Most people don't know it exists. When they think Camry they generally think of the mid-level LE.
Wrong, my dealer has the SE for the side by side by side,
Even in SE trim the Camry feels "floatly" I hate to think what the LE or XLE would be like.

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Old 06-15-2007, 10:31 PM   #20
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Default Re: Why the Aura vs Camry showroom comparison won't work

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Guess it's time to turn the question around.

We've heard that Toyota & Honda buyers won't consider an American car. That's probably mostly true, except for the people who have traded in Toyotas, Hondas & Nissans at the Saturn stores.

The point to the marketing campaign is to take "American Car Buyers" who may be considering a Toyota or Honda (Lemming's Law) and keep them in an American Car. (Yes, I know that Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans and Subarus are built in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and lots of other places, but they are still considered "foreign" cars by many.)

If I have a prospective buyer in my store, who says "I'm considering a ****" and I can say, "Lets look at the Aura and you can compare it to the ***** right here; you won't have to run across town", I stand a better chance of selling him an Aura than if he drives my car then goes to the other dealer. (Bird in the hand ...)

I think that if we look at it from the perspective of retaining a buyer rather than a sales conquest, we'll find the comparison tool effective. This also helps us keep the prospect in our store, rather than letting him hop on the "be-back bus".
This makes more sense.

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