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Old 10-27-2003, 02:08 AM   #1
johnsocal
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Default Im starting to think "Saturn" will be switched to "OPEL" by 2010!

While its only conjecture and I don't have hard facts to back my assuptions but I have a feeling that Lutz and co. have already started transition.

1. In 1999- Using the OPEL-based L-series to test the waters (L-series was a good car but the original OPEL's styling was better)

2. In 2005-2007 first all-Metal bodied Saturns (Relay, V, and next-gen Vue) made along side other GM vehicles.

3. In 2008-2010 Next-gen all-metal Saturns are virtual copies of their OPEL sibilings and the Saturn name is replaced with OPEL to signify the complete transition from a small-affordable car company to more upscale European-styled car company with great service. OPEL's name and brand gets leveraged as GM's global brand to be used in all car markets.

4. In 2011-2012- Saturn and Buick are merged together to form a single brand under the OPEL name. Some Saturn delaership will be closed to be merged with larger Buick dealerships while some older Buick dealerships will be bought-out and be moved to newer Saturn facilities.

Last edited by johnsocal; 10-27-2003 at 02:14 AM..

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Old 10-27-2003, 02:37 AM   #2
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Well, I don't know about Opel replacing Saturn & Buick, but there have been reports that Opel does want to return to the U.S. market.

I think I read somewhere that they want to start with the Vectra wagon. When Opels were sold in the U.S. in the '60s & '70s, Buick dealers had the franchise. I don't know if the Buick dealers would get Opel back if the brand returns, but I'd imagine that the Buick dealers would like to get it back if for no other reason than to expand their very limited product mix. Buick really hasn't had an "entry level" car since the Skylark was dropped a few years ago.

The problem, though, for GM is that the Opel brand doesn't mean much to most U.S. consumers. To even be aware of Opel, you'd have to:
(1) Read car magazines/web sites; or
(2) Travel in Europe; or
(3) Be pushing 50 years old and actually remember the Opels that were sold in the U.S.

Most US car buyers don't fit into any of those categories.

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Old 10-27-2003, 03:20 AM   #3
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My neighbor across the street is a diehard Opel fan. I'm actually doing a story on him for the local paper. He's pretty current on Opel news, and he hasn't mentioned anything about Saturn becoming Opel or Opel returning to the U.S.

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Old 10-27-2003, 08:12 AM   #4
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If you're over 50 like me and remember the Opels that were imported in the 60's the memories would not be positive. I've driven the 2003 Opels in Europe however and believe me if you made Saturns by building the current line with poly sides the dealers would be beating away the customers with sticks.

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Old 10-27-2003, 10:33 AM   #5
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If anything, they should bring Vauxhall over, so we can get the upcoming VX Lightning, plus they're getting the upcoming AWD version of the Holden Monaro and all the Opel lineup! Plus, theres no real negative connections to the past unless you remember the short time from the mid-50's to early 60's that they were here.

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Old 10-27-2003, 12:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by 94sc293sl1
He's pretty current on Opel news, and he hasn't mentioned anything about Saturn becoming Opel or Opel returning to the U.S.
Well, there are just rumors at this point.
http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content...._code=02924895

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Old 10-27-2003, 02:01 PM   #7
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having saturn become opel would be great since saturn is being smoothered by gm now. opel has some nice stuff like the speedster and astra that we don't get here.

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Old 10-27-2003, 07:45 PM   #8
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We're getting the Speedster's big brother, the Lotus Elise, with the Celica GT-S engine.

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Old 10-27-2003, 08:30 PM   #9
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I don't know if the Opel folks would want to go back through Buick if they reentered the US market. I remember the "I Love my Opel, but hate my Buick dealer" bumper stickers. Other than perhaps the Opel GT, Buick just didn't seem to know what to do with Opel. It got even worse when the USD dropped / DM went up. Before it was all said and done with in 1975, the Opel coupe sitting on the showroom floor cost more than the Regal sitting next to it.

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Old 10-27-2003, 10:09 PM   #10
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Heh, I just had a similar conversation with my dad earlier tonight. I figure with Saturn becoming just another GM manufacturer, they'll be killed at around 2010. Saturn is losing its uniqueness, its becoming a victim of GM badge engineering, it really sucks to see the company that brought you the Sx series that was totally different from other GM cars become nothing more then a GM.

And isn't Vauxhall the same thing as Opel except Vauxhall makes RHD cars while Opel makes the LHD models?

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Old 10-27-2003, 10:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by SteveP
I don't know if the Opel folks would want to go back through Buick if they reentered the US market. I remember the "I Love my Opel, but hate my Buick dealer" bumper stickers. Other than perhaps the Opel GT, Buick just didn't seem to know what to do with Opel. It got even worse when the USD dropped / DM went up. Before it was all said and done with in 1975, the Opel coupe sitting on the showroom floor cost more than the Regal sitting next to it.
True, it was hard, as you had dealers who were used to selling "luxury" cars selling a small, more practical vehicle beside it. But I think it was more of a case of bad timing. Opels first came to this country in the 60's when gas was still cheap and musclecars ruled the scene. In some respects the Opels were ahead of their time and were amongst some of the best selling imports in the country. I think when GM came out with the Vega, which was cheaper and arguably better looking, there was no need for the Opels and thus they were gone.
The only positive thing I can say about Opels being sold with Buicks, is that they introduced people who normally would drive a big car into the world of economy cars. My grandparents are/were staunch Buick buyers and they owned a couple Opel wagons as my grandpa had a long commute for a time and also the small wagon made it great for weekend getaways.

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Old 10-28-2003, 12:06 AM   #12
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My first car was a 1970 Opel Gt. It had a 1.9 liter Chain driven SOHC 4 cylinder engine that developed 100HP.....sound familiar? I drove that car into the ground (literally, the rocker panels rotted out) It's only flaw (other than the eventual rust) was the ignition system that ate a set of points about once every two months, and the junky Solex carb. which I replaced with a Weber. Even with 120K + miles on it, it had the original clutch, waterpump, alternator, etc.. It was an exceptionally dependable and well engineered car. I'd buy another if it were offered today as a "new" car. (Parts are to hard to find reasonably to consider restoring one)

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Old 10-28-2003, 02:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by MikeT
The problem, though, for GM is that the Opel brand doesn't mean much to most U.S. consumers. To even be aware of Opel, you'd have to:
(1) Read car magazines/web sites; or
(2) Travel in Europe; or
(3) Be pushing 50 years old and actually remember the Opels that were sold in the U.S.

Most US car buyers don't fit into any of those categories.
I am in the 18-25 age bracket and i know a little about what they have to offer, i have driven the Opel Speedster at Laguna Seca and i have to say it drives like a dream. If you have Gran Turismo 3 on PlayStation 2 like i did, you'd know what i'm talking about. Maybe they are going towards that demographic.

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