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Old 07-20-2008, 11:50 AM   #1
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Default Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

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Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

Quote:
Despite all of the negative rumors and predictions in the media, Saturn is upbeat about its future. While no all-new products are currently slated for the brand during the next two years, Saturn should still be well positioned for the future, as its lineup was just completely overhauled from top to bottom.

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Old 07-21-2008, 06:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

So, what part of this newly revamped lineup is NOT slated to be transitioned to Chevrolet's "new line up", and what about the Astra?

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Old 07-21-2008, 06:08 PM   #3
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Arrow Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

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Originally Posted by marx404 View Post
So, what part of this newly revamped lineup is NOT slated to be transitioned to Chevrolet's "new line up", and what about the Astra?
Who said anything about Saturn being merged with Chevrolet? I've been getting that question a lot in email, and it seems to come from some articles "speculating" on the future of Saturn. There are lots of rumors out there, but they are just that: rumors. Look for Saturn to continue to be modeled after and closely aligned with Opel's lineup in Europe...

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Old 07-21-2008, 07:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

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Look for Saturn to continue to be modeled after and closely aligned with Opel's lineup in Europe...

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I can only see that if they can improve sales dramatically. So far, rebadged Opels have not been a huge sales success here in the United States.

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Old 07-21-2008, 07:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

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Who said anything about Saturn being merged with Chevrolet? I've been getting that question a lot in email, and it seems to come from some articles "speculating" on the future of Saturn. There are lots of rumors out there, but they are just that: rumors. Look for Saturn to continue to be modeled after and closely aligned with Opel's lineup in Europe...

Charlie
Charlie, merged and cross-branding are two different things. I of course was speaking of GM cross-branding every Saturn model (sans-Astra) with Chevrolet.
Traverse = Outlook (there goes spring hill)
Malibu = Aura
Equinox = VUE (the '09 Equinox = '08 VUE)

There was even talk about a year and a half ago about creating a "mini-vette" using a chevy-revised SKY (thank goodness it was turned down). In even the Auribu magazine ads, they tout it's European design, yet no mention of Saturn and Opel's partnership is mentioned in ads.

I can see where all the confusion comes from and it's not only directed from that mis-informed WSJ article, it is genuine! There is very valid reason for concern over the future of Saturn, once built on being a "different kind of car" is sadly losing it's own identity. Saturn owners "should" be concerned, because we care about what GM is doing to Saturn.

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Old 07-22-2008, 08:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

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Originally Posted by VTHokie00SL2 View Post
I can only see that if they can improve sales dramatically. So far, rebadged Opels have not been a huge sales success here in the United States.
Define "success". Saturn retailers sell more AURAs, VUEs, SKYs, and OUTLOOKs than Chevy, Pontiac, GMC, and Buick dealers sell Malibus, G6s, Equinoxes, Torrents, Solstices, Acadias, and Enclaves. From a sales perspective, I'd rather be a Saturn retailer.

Last month's sales:

Chevy (~4,000 dealers)
Cobalt 20,888 = 5 per dealer
Malibu 13,650 = 3 per dealer
Equinox = 7,411 2 per dealer

BPG (~1,400 dealers)
G5 2,566 = 2 per dealer
G6 14,620 = 10 per dealer
Torrent = 2,230 2 per dealer
Enclave = 2,986 2 per dealer
Acadia = 4,197 3 per dealer

Saturn (~430 retailers)
ASTRA = 888 2 per retailer
AURA = 5,897 14 per retailer
VUE = 8,868 21 per retailer
OUTLOOK = 1,625 4 per retailer

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Old 07-22-2008, 08:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

Success is defined as having increased sales from one fiscal year over another with a PROFIT.

Sales are DOWN at Saturn even with an entirely new line up. Sales are down at GM and continuing to fall.

Parsing words is simply putting lipstick on a pig. You don't define success with spin.

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Old 07-22-2008, 11:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

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Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
Look for Saturn to continue to be modeled after and closely aligned with Opel's lineup in Europe...
Charlie
Tell them to hurry up and we want the Corsa, Meriva, Agila, Zafira and Astra wagon and TwinTop. Maybe the Insignia but I personally think it's horribly ugly.

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Old 07-22-2008, 11:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

If the Cruze is successful, we will likely see a Saturn version.

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Old 07-22-2008, 11:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

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If the Cruze is successful, we will likely see a Saturn version.
Why? I don't understand the point of selling essentially the same car through multiple divisions. Just the cost of making slightly different trim, dashboards, lights, etc. seems like a waste for a company that's trying to cut costs.

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Old 07-22-2008, 11:50 AM   #11
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

Maybe if Jill could convince the beancounters @ GM for some ad $$ for the Astra, we might see a few more sales...

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Old 07-22-2008, 11:56 AM   #12
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-1 View Post
Saturn (~430 retailers)
ASTRA = 888 2 per retailer
I have to think that selling 10,000 Astras per year is far below expectations. I don't know if they're actually making money on this Opel venture or not. Obviously Saturn inherited the car with almost zero engineering cost, so practically the only difference between the Saturn and the Opel is the plastic badge. But nonetheless, I suspect that GM is losing money on this thing.

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Old 07-22-2008, 12:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

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I have to think that selling 10,000 Astras per year is far below expectations. I don't know if they're actually making money on this Opel venture or not. Obviously Saturn inherited the car with almost zero engineering cost, so practically the only difference between the Saturn and the Opel is the plastic badge. But nonetheless, I suspect that GM is losing money on this thing.
The few Astras that sell here help keep the plant in Belgium at capacity. It helps GM in the long run but it doesn't help the Saturn dealers at all.

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Old 07-22-2008, 12:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

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Originally Posted by VTHokie00SL2 View Post
Why? I don't understand the point of selling essentially the same car through multiple divisions. Just the cost of making slightly different trim, dashboards, lights, etc. seems like a waste for a company that's trying to cut costs.
It's a lot less cost than developing an entirely new car that probably won't sell any more volume than the rebadged one. Plus it it entirely possible that the sales of 2 to 5 rebadged/codeveloped cars will be more than if only one brand sold same car. Enough to make up for the cost of the slightly different trim/badge

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Old 07-22-2008, 12:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

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It's a lot less cost than developing an entirely new car that probably won't sell any more volume than the rebadged one. Plus it it entirely possible that the sales of 2 to 5 rebadged/codeveloped cars will be more than if only one brand sold same car. Enough to make up for the cost of the slightly different trim/badge
It leads to the different brands becoming kind of a joke, though. I mean, when a brand's products are actually unique, I can understand someone being a fan. When they're just rebadged hand-me-downs, what is there to be a fan of? The plastic badge and logo? It reminds me of one of the die-hard Pontiac fans I used to work with. Maybe when he was driving Pontiacs in the 1960's, they were substantially different from Chevys or Buicks or Oldsmobiles. Now it's all the same stuff with slightly different packaging. It makes it seem kind of stupid that he'd buy a Pontiac minivan, but not the Chevy or Saturn version, you know? It's all marketing bs, with no real product differentiation below the surface.

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Old 07-22-2008, 01:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTHokie00SL2 View Post
Why? I don't understand the point of selling essentially the same car through multiple divisions. Just the cost of making slightly different trim, dashboards, lights, etc. seems like a waste for a company that's trying to cut costs.
Correct me if I'm wrong, I thought GM wanted more differentiation between each division? I guess that idea has gone out the window. Although it is cheaper to basically use the same product in each division (Acadia, Outlook, and Enclave) rather than develop an entirely new vehicle for each, cutting cost won't matter if at least one of the models does not sell because there are multiple vehicles to fill almost the same niche. The best example is the Acadia vs. the Outlook. This goes back to answering these questions, what type of consumer is each division aiming and should GM cut at least one of the divisions?

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Old 07-22-2008, 03:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

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This goes back to answering these questions, what type of consumer is each division aiming and should GM cut at least one of the divisions?
Chevy seems to be everything, selling just about every kind of car, truck, or SUV on the market. It kind of makes all of the other divisions redundant, except maybe for Cadillac, the one true luxury division.

Pontiac is supposed to be the performance division I guess, nevermind that it's really no more performance oriented than Chevy, and heck, Chevy's the one with the Corvette! In reality, Pontiac can't seem to shed the ghetto look entirely, with the boy racer styling/accessories and cheaper looking interiors than the Chevy counterparts.

Buick I have no idea about. It's kind of where Oldsmobile was before that brand was killed. I guess it's supposed to be in some intermediate level between Chevy and Cadillac on the luxury scale?

Saturn's been all over the map. GM obviously decided it didn't want to spend the money maintaining the different, independent theme just for selling economy cars, and wanted to expand the lineup without investing much. So, Saturn's had all sorts of rebadged stuff since being assimilated by GM. Now it's becoming the Opel/Vauxhall arm in the United States, it seems. If Saturn's going to become the U.S. outlet for Euro GM imports, it seems they should merge it with Saab. I don't see the point in having both divisions.

Hummer, well, that goes without saying. A symbol of excess and waste that will likely be killed by peak oil.

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Old 07-22-2008, 03:30 PM   #18
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

I haven't posted in ages, but just read this and thought I'd throw it in. I know I just read that Ford is going to start switching several of their production lines from SUVs and trucks to Focus and other cars.
Quote:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=asXjYQuEUW4Q
GM, Ford `On the Verge of Bankruptcy,' Altman Says (Update1)

By Greg Miles and Caroline Salas

July 22 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., the two biggest U.S. automakers, have about a 46 percent chance of default within five years, according to Edward Altman, a finance professor at New York University's Stern School of Business.

``Both are in very serious shape and the markets reflect that,'' Altman, the creator of the Z-score mathematical formula that measures bankruptcy risk, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. The model shows that these companies are ``on the verge of bankruptcy,'' he said.

The Z-scores for GM and Ford give both a bond rating equivalent to a CCC ranking, though GM is in slightly worse condition than Ford, Altman said. GM reported a $38.7 billion loss in 2007, the biggest in its 100-year history, and hasn't posted a profit since 2004. The scores are based on the companies' finances at the end of the first quarter.
By the way, despite all the problems I have had with my LS, I am getting an average of 34 to 36 mpg in 80hwy20 city driving. That makes me feel a bit better. It freaks me out that most vehicles for sale now, including Saturns, don't get anywhere close to that mileage.

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Old 07-22-2008, 06:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTHokie00SL2 View Post
It leads to the different brands becoming kind of a joke, though. I mean, when a brand's products are actually unique, I can understand someone being a fan. When they're just rebadged hand-me-downs, what is there to be a fan of? The plastic badge and logo? It reminds me of one of the die-hard Pontiac fans I used to work with. Maybe when he was driving Pontiacs in the 1960's, they were substantially different from Chevys or Buicks or Oldsmobiles. Now it's all the same stuff with slightly different packaging. It makes it seem kind of stupid that he'd buy a Pontiac minivan, but not the Chevy or Saturn version, you know? It's all marketing bs, with no real product differentiation below the surface.
They weren't really that different back then. I think the difference between the Aura, Malibu and G6 is probably the best GM has ever done for cars on the same platform.

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Old 07-22-2008, 06:24 PM   #20
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Default Re: Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

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By the way, despite all the problems I have had with my LS, I am getting an average of 34 to 36 mpg in 80hwy20 city driving. That makes me feel a bit better. It freaks me out that most vehicles for sale now, including Saturns, don't get anywhere close to that mileage.
If you can get 34-36 with an LS than you should be able to get 45 with a Corolla or Civic

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