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Old 12-15-2008, 05:46 AM   #1
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Default Opinion: Make Saturn a Technology Leader

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Opinion: Make Saturn a Technology Leader

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David F. Vogl in a letter to Automotive News: Saturn should become GM's technology leader. Make "Saturn" synonymous with "innovation." Give the Astra a clean-burning turbodiesel engine and make that same turbodiesel standard on the Aura and the Vue, with the current Two Mode gas-electric hybrid powertrain as an option.

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Old 12-15-2008, 06:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Opinion: Make Saturn a Technology Leader

It can be a technology leader all it wants, but it is still going to have a very hard time escaping the (admittedly undeserved) reputation of the brand name.

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Old 12-15-2008, 06:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Opinion: Make Saturn a Technology Leader

Seeing as the Astra has been diesel for years overseas why ever bring this point up?

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Old 12-15-2008, 08:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Opinion: Make Saturn a Technology Leader

This sounds good except look at the track record of quality problems that have ranged from S burning oil & the transmission slam , early quality problems on the L & ION, that awful V6 used on the L and the early VUEs plus that infamous Vti transmission. I am not knocking Saturn I am just pointing out that every time GM's brain trusts decided to try something innovative such as the Vti transmission Saturn ended up with a lousy reputation. Then after GM pulled Saturn out of the fire by correcting quality problems poor decisions were made . One decision was discontinuing the ION instead of a refresh and producing it for another two years. Just as Saturn had gotten the ION to the point that the rough edges were off they cancel it
What GM should do is this. Design and sell exciting small cars that IGNITE the customers desire to sign the papers and drive one home. I would start with a redesign of the Astra bring on a small wagon, a coupe and a sedan. Offer some great exterior colors, use quality materials inside and make them well equipped. Also offer some sort of performance package and have a list price from $ 15,995 to 19,995 loaded Make sure it is well built and market it as the small car to own & drive. Keep the Sky and the VUE. Bring out a redesigned Aura based on that beautiful Buick Regal photos of which are posted on this site. Regarding the Outlook- I was talking to one of the techs at my Saturn dealer.I asked him about the quality of the Outlook and was told that the quality was fine EXCEPT that there have been some Outlooks in which the rear sunroof leaks. How come we can send men to the moon & have them return safely but GM cannot design a rear sunroof that doesn't leak? I saw a news report on the auto industry and it was shot at the Lansing plant where the Outlook is built. The plant looks great very modern & clean. The auto workers that the reporter was talking appeared to be people that take pride in what they build. GM needs to keep on the quality issue. Look Toyota & Honda are not innocents. Some of their models have quality problems but you never hear about them. BTW I still cannot make up my mind if Saturn should keep the Outlook or discontinue it at the next redesign.It is a very nice SUV but would it fit in where I think Saturn needs to go ?
If GM decides to keep Saturn quality should be job 1 !! Look at what that attitude did for Ford. Again build some great looking smaller cars that will capture peoples hearts & minds. Once again every time some genius at GM decides to up the game by doing some fancy engineering the bean counters go cheap. The result is that the reputation of Saturn suffers. Posted on this site were possible future Saturn models. These would be a great start to refresh Saturn and have it take the place of Pontiac and truly be a challenge to Toyota, Honda, Mazda, VW & Nissan

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Old 12-16-2008, 10:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: Opinion: Make Saturn a Technology Leader

I always thought that was the reason why the brand begun, but when the car came out it did a good job having a future look. Some how a few years later it started to lack, and not be up to the future, and newer technology. I wish it could happen, but SATURN is a weak company right now. They should have made it a independent company.

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Old 12-16-2008, 07:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Opinion: Make Saturn a Technology Leader

Seems logical to me. It is still incredible that GM sees Buick as a core brand when it sells fewer cars than Saturn. Yes, GM sells Holdens in China as Buicks and they are popular but in the US it is a troubled aged brand. Until the market crashed in the Summer, Saturn had progressive sales growth that Buick didn't have and had become the number four brand in terms of sales (Chevy, GMC, Ponitiac, Saturn, Cadillac, Buick, Hummer, Saab). But we should have no worries, since the geniuses that created this mess are the same ones solving it.

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