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Old 10-18-2004, 07:40 AM   #1
bdcoats
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Default Saturn to move upscale

I know this link most likely will not work, but here it is anyway from Automotive News -

http://www.autonews.com/news.cms?newsId=10266


some of the article -

Saturn Corp. executives say the division will position itself upscale of Chevrolet and Pontiac, occupying the niche once held by Oldsmobile.

The division will unveil the look in January at the Detroit auto show, where it will introduce a rear-wheel-drive roadster and a concept version of a front-wheel-drive mid-sized sedan.

Both vehicles will enter production over the next 24 months. A mid-sized sport wagon will follow in the third quarter of 2006, says Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak.

With new products on the way, the division hopes to increase its sales volume from 271,157 units last year to more than 400,000 units annually by 2007. Saturn also plans to add 80 dealerships.

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Old 10-18-2004, 07:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn to move upscale

Quote:
Originally posted by bdcoats


occupying the niche once held by Oldsmobile.

Gee, that makes a lot of sense.
They just killed off Oldmobile. You get rid of a division because there is no "niche" for it anymore. And now you want to replace it? I don't get it.

Does this mean the death knell is ominent?

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Old 10-18-2004, 07:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: Re: Saturn to move upscale

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Originally posted by UNKLE BIK
I don't get it.
GM is positioning Saturn to compete with VW in (interior) materials and styling while offering reliability associated with the Japanese competition... how does that sound to you? Saturn still attracts 70% import intender customers (a strength Oldsmobile never had) so GM is leveraging that strength with products that appeal to these customers even more than they do now.... works for me!

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Old 10-18-2004, 08:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: Re: Re: Saturn to move upscale

Quote:
Originally posted by Galileo
GM is positioning Saturn to compete with VW in (interior) materials and styling while offering reliability associated with the Japanese competition... how does that sound to you?
I like that idea. I beleive that is where they should be.

However, the point I was trying to get across was the comment about positioning itself where Oldmobile used to be.
Didn't make sense for them to remove a brand because there wasn't a market for them. Then, go ahead 2 years later and replace the same market.

I though GM was being contrdictory with that statement.

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Old 10-18-2004, 08:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Re: Re: Saturn to move upscale

Quote:
Originally posted by Galileo
how does that sound to you?
Like a tall and long overdue order!

I think GM could have some success, as long as their accountants don't get too involved in the design process and start nickel and diming out some savings.

Saturn should have better success than Olds. Olds really didn't build anything to compete with Civics, CRVs, RAVs, Corollas, etc..Plus when I think of Oldsmobile, I think more along the lines of Delta 88s

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Old 10-18-2004, 08:34 AM   #6
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gm shoulda killed olds a long time ago and use the money for saturn, but not replace olds with saturn. what's the point of that? i don't get it. of course i probably should read that article

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Old 10-18-2004, 08:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Saturn to move upscale

Quote:
Originally posted by UNKLE BIK
Didn't make sense for them to remove a brand because there wasn't a market for them. Then, go ahead 2 years later and replace the same market.
The market that Oldsmobile was chasing is still there... they just couldn't catch it. Saturn already has an audience (that's the difference) in this import-minded niche... they're just trying to increase the size of their share in that market.

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Old 10-18-2004, 09:51 AM   #8
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The main problem with Oldsmobile was that they failed in changing the brand image. People still thought of them as old people cars. If Saturn can get past it's touchy-feely image, they can be sucessful in this market. Saturn doesn't have as far as Olds did to change their brand identity.

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Old 10-18-2004, 10:04 AM   #9
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Default Re: Re: Re: Saturn to move upscale

Quote:
Originally posted by Galileo
GM is positioning Saturn to compete with VW in (interior) materials and styling while offering reliability associated with the Japanese competition... how does that sound to you? Saturn still attracts 70% import intender customers (a strength Oldsmobile never had) so GM is leveraging that strength with products that appeal to these customers even more than they do now.... works for me!
They have to make these interiors and they have to be as reliable (Or to change peoples perception).

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Old 10-18-2004, 10:32 AM   #10
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I have no problem with this, along as they actually reach the goal that Galileo mentioned.
Also, I think while the "image" should move upscale, their pricing structure shouldn't. Saturns have always been a lot of car for the money, even if they were slightly more expensive than Chevys. Not to mention, I'd like to see something similar to the Holden Torana TT36 concept in Saturn showrooms. Build that and they would definitely keep a customer!

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Old 10-18-2004, 10:32 AM   #11
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Makes perfect sense to me.

Chevrolet's strategy is to become GM's global player, which means it's the Bow Tie's job to ward off erosion of market share to the Japanese and Korean brands.
Buick will transform into GM's Lexus & Infiniti fighter.
Pontiac aspires to be the American BMW.
Cadillac hopes to become the World Standard once again.

With Saturn, GM has a marque that excels in customer satisfaction, but offers average product. If Saturn's place in GM's orbit is as the American alternative to Volkswagen, as the article seems to suggest, it must not only deliver high quality product at a reasonable price level, but maintain high marks on the Power surveys. Given GM's tendency to do things bass-ackwards when it comes to Saturn (botched L-Series, two ION restyles in as many model years), that task will prove daunting, but not impossible. If the interior of the Relay is any indication of where quality is heading in future Saturn products, it's a step in the right direction.


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Old 10-18-2004, 05:42 PM   #12
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All you need to do is look at the Equinox and Cobalt and you will see where Saturn fits in GM s plans. Its going to take Chevrolets place as the low priced car of GM.Chevrolet will move up to Pontiacs class.Pontiac to Oldmobiles.

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Old 10-18-2004, 10:16 PM   #13
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It's quite a challenge... let's hope Saturn is up to it. The new Ions and Vues are good, but disappointing for the first significant upgrade after 10 years. I am hopeful, however, that Saturn has the resources to succeed.

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Old 10-19-2004, 08:25 AM   #14
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If Saturn is intended to ward off VW, then give it a great common rail diesel or a TDI. With gas over $2 a gallon and heading no where else but up its time to tout fuel efficiency.

Saturn could have been the leader in this market introducing new technologies had the General given it the chance.

Instead they backpedal and take away the polymer. What else goes away next?

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Old 10-19-2004, 08:30 AM   #15
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If Saturn has to be a "GM clone" line, clone the Opel/Saab lineup rather the Chevy. First get the bugs worked out of them before you send them here, though. Don't want another L-series fiasco.

Besides, Chevy's lineup looks like it is going the Daewoo route with econoboxes like the Aveo.

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Old 10-19-2004, 09:19 AM   #16
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If, and it's a big if, Saturn can pull off the move upscale, I might consider buying another one. Has to have good styling, has to have good materials and build quality and has to be reliable.

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Old 10-19-2004, 11:14 AM   #17
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If they give me a polymer body, a VW Passat's interior, and Japanese (made in Japan) build quality and tolerances - they will have a product that will sell. They'll still have to fix the price games though - nobody will pay sticker for a higer end car.

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Old 10-19-2004, 06:01 PM   #18
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Geeze, if I wanted an upscale car I would have bought one long ago. I guess my last Saturn sales consultant had the right idea. She moved on to selling Volvos and beat Saturn to the punch.

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Old 10-19-2004, 06:02 PM   #19
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So what are us broke college students supposed to buy now??

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Old 10-19-2004, 06:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by silverblueL200
So what are us broke college students supposed to buy now??
Used Saturns which many of us already drive!

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