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Old 01-26-2009, 12:08 AM   #1
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Default LaNeve: "If We Just Wanted to Shut it Down, We Could Have Announced That"

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LaNeve: "If We Just Wanted to Shut it Down, We Could Have Announced That"

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Robert Snell from the Detroit News: General Motors said today the Saturn brand could survive a broad restructuring plan being developed that involves selling, shrinking or killing half of its eight brands.

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Old 01-26-2009, 01:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: LaNeve: "If We Just Wanted to Shut it Down, We Could Have Announced That"

I'm coming to the conclusion that the management team at GM is using voodoo economics, either that or the crystal ball they use has too much algae in it to see clearly. I understand Cadillac and Chevrolet being core brands. Sort of see GMC although every model it sells has a badge duplicate at Chevy. But I'm completely baffled by Buick. Yes, the Chinese market thinks Holdens badged as Buick are great, but in North America they just don't fly. So geniuses at GM HQ think that someone who looks at a BMW or Lexus will check out Buicks? What are you smoking dudes? OK, maybe a BMW/Lexus buyer might consider a Cadillac, but lets put down the corporate kool-aid a minute and think outside the box.

I've been to BMW, Lexus, and Buick dealers with relatives and of course I've had personal experience with Saturn. Based on my experiences and observations, only one division of GM has the level of sales and service experience that equals that of BMW and Lexus, that is Saturn. Yes, I understand that GM management claims they haven't made any money on Saturn, but explain how they've made money on Buick over the past 5 years? If Saturn has greater volume and is losing money, then Buick must be hemorrhaging red ink with its lower volume and higher advertising budget. Ironic too that there are far more Buick dealers than Saturn dealers.

GM has done a half assed job with revitalizing Saturn, did their homework came out with a strong line up of cars. But what good are a strong line up of cars when you give the division little advertising budget. If they would have promoted the products even a 1/4 of what they do with Chevys, imagine the results. I think the only reason they haven't announced a shutdown of Saturn is that little factoid that Saturn buyers generally wouldn't have bought a GM car if it weren't for Saturn. Yep, the only division that has had any success luring buyers away from Japanese makes is Saturn, and GM can ill afford to lose those customers, especially now. Because, at the end of that proverbial day, the fact is Buick won't be able to make up the difference of losing Saturn and scaling down Pontiac to a few niche cars.

So we'll find out in 30 days what they intend to do. I'm trying to be hopeful, but God only knows what the mediocracy running GM will do.

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Old 01-26-2009, 06:36 AM   #3
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Default Re: LaNeve: "If We Just Wanted to Shut it Down, We Could Have Announced That"

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Originally Posted by bkskatersd View Post
I'm coming to the conclusion that the management team at GM is using voodoo economics, either that or the crystal ball they use has too much algae in it to see clearly. I understand Cadillac and Chevrolet being core brands. Sort of see GMC although every model it sells has a badge duplicate at Chevy. But I'm completely baffled by Buick. Yes, the Chinese market thinks Holdens badged as Buick are great, but in North America they just don't fly. So geniuses at GM HQ think that someone who looks at a BMW or Lexus will check out Buicks? What are you smoking dudes? OK, maybe a BMW/Lexus buyer might consider a Cadillac, but lets put down the corporate kool-aid a minute and think outside the box.
GM in years previous had the strategy that as their customers matured and became more affluent, they would "graduate" from a Chevrolet to either a Pontiac or Oldsmobile, then on to a Buick, finally into a Cadillac. This concept seems way out of touch today. However, If I am a young, first-time owner of a new Chevy, what are my options within GM to move "upscale" in 10 years? Would they go directly from a Cobalt to a Cadillac? I'm not saying Buick is the best answer, but if GM were reduced to only two car brands (assuming no Saturn, Pontiac, Buick, or import GM), there would a big gap in the product offering.

The problem is the the name "Buick" probably carries too much baggage for some critics to compare it on the same level as other mid-level brands. On the other hand, assuming they have a good product in this niche, is GM going to risk creating a new brand name, e.g. like a "Lexus" or an "Infiniti" and hope it catches on?

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Old 01-26-2009, 07:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: LaNeve: "If We Just Wanted to Shut it Down, We Could Have Announced That"

GM is doing what any troubled business does in bad circumstances. They are analyzing their assets and opportunities and trying to maximize them. This is as true for Chevrolet as it is Saturn. As Kooler King points out there is a huge product gap between a Cobalt and a Cadillac. I highly doubt GM will totally abandon that market segment. If it makes any sense to fill it with Saturn they will, and if not, they will call their middle-market cars something else. Other than to provide for some hot discussion in cold weather, all the ongoing speculation is basically only that. I too will wait for the announcements before I come to any conclusions.

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Old 01-26-2009, 07:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: LaNeve: "If We Just Wanted to Shut it Down, We Could Have Announced That"

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Other than to provide for some hot discussion in cold weather, all the ongoing speculation is basically only that. I too will wait for the announcements before I come to any conclusions.
as will I, with only the best of intentions whatever may come, friends.

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Old 01-26-2009, 05:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: LaNeve: "If We Just Wanted to Shut it Down, We Could Have Announced That"

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as will I, with only the best of intentions whatever may come, friends.
+1. Come on folks, what does speculation do? Remember $140/barrel crude Oil?

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Old 02-01-2009, 03:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: LaNeve: "If We Just Wanted to Shut it Down, We Could Have Announced That"

I love how everyone says Buick has a bad reputation and Saturn is known for this and that. Everyone acts like people reputations can't be changed. Asian car companies did it, sure it took years and years to do it but that is what GM is realizing. GM won't bounce back over night and they know it, but they have had great quality cars out for the past few years. Malibu, CTS, Vue, Impala and yes even Lacrosse have won Awards for quality and that shows that GM is changing.

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