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View Poll Results: Should GM Import the Opel Astra from Europe as Saturn's Next Small Car?
Yes! 81 63.78%
No Way! 32 25.20%
I Don't Care... 14 11.02%
Voters: 127. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-16-2006, 11:32 AM   #21
Citation84
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Default Re: Should GM Import the Opel Astra from Europe as Saturn's Next Small Car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturn_69
I say bring it on....in 3dr and 5dr only to further differentiate it from other more mainstream GM models. I think the Astra is absolutely beautiful, and it already has the "Euro-flavor" baked right in. Just don't detune it or soften the suspension, it's German, let it stay that way. No more dumbing down for American tastes. It's just like the BMW, Mercedes and VW cars....if you don't 'get it', you never will.
The "dumbing down" comes from GM's execs thinking they "know" what American drivers want. The fish rots from the head. [Opel collaborated on the J Car, btw, but exited the program when GM insisted on doing it "their way" with OHV engines and 4 speed manuals when everyone else had OHCs and 5 speeds. Opel used it's own engines, transmissions and suspension settings etc.]
And after the Catera,the L Series [euro based] Focus[ Euro based], Contour [Euro based] the troublesome VW Beetle [among other VW products] and recent declines in Mercedes quality as well as a history of being as or more troublesome than US cars in data covering 20 years published by Consumer Reports [I know I know, but the data spans two decades, in this case enough of a time line to show a trend], I have a real
problem buying into alleged European product "superiority".
I think that "Euro flavor" may have left a bad taste in the mouths of many.
The last thing Saturn needs is another product with lots of intro bugs.]
I guess this is the final nail in Saturn's philosophical coffin.Their import killer imported from overseas.......
Saturn 69: It IS a beautiful car and I would love to see it here, I just don't buy that it will be automatically "better" because it comes from Germany. I'd rather see it built at Spring Hill myself.....

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Old 02-16-2006, 11:32 AM   #22
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Default Re: Should GM Import the Opel Astra from Europe as Saturn's Next Small Car?

I think i would go with yes as long as tghe car is great quality and does not hurt saturn/gm or u.s. workers, mfg, buyers, sellers. If its good for everyone envolved why not!! I look forward to the future with saturn products and hope they continue to make fun, interesting, sporty vehicles. I like some others no nothing about this astra vehicle and need to do some research, I think it will be cool. my ugly 2 cents worth bue05

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Old 02-16-2006, 11:48 AM   #23
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Default Re: Should GM Import the Opel Astra from Europe as Saturn's Next Small Car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkl
Opel Astra would become the smallest Saturn ever. Only 169 inches long. 3dr/5dr, just a bit shorter than the Matrix/Vibe so it will compete directly with them and the Subaru Impreza/Saab 9-3x. And the Optra hatch.

It may be good for small/young/single people on a budget, but it is no Ion replacement. With no Ion, there will be a pretty large gap between Astra and Aura.
Here's some specs comparing the Astra with the Ion QC:

Length - QC:185 / Astra: 169 (BTW, that's only 8 inches front and rear difference, which is nothing)
Wheelbase - QC: 103 / Astra: 102
Width - QC:67.9 / Astra: 68
Height - QC: 56 / Astra: 56
Track f/r QC:58.8/58.4 / Astra: 58/57.6

Interior:

Legroom f/r QC:42/32 / Astra:42/33.7
Headroom f/r QC: 38.9/36.5 / Astra: 37.8/37
Shoulder room f/r QC:54/51 / Astra: 52/43

Seems pretty darn close to me. The main reason the Astra is shorter than the Ion is that the Ion has some really long overhangs in the front and rear; the Astra doesn't. Much like any German car, the Astra has short overhangs. I say it's a pretty good replacement for the Ion, and it's within fractions of an inch the same size. I see no problem having this beneath the Aura...guess what? That's the way the Astra and Vectra are in Europe and nobody seems to mind. We don't need 15 different sized Saturns to fit us as our waistlines grow. Heck, the idea of Saturn importing the Astra makes me want to lose more weight, not only to fit better and be healhier, but because if I weigh less, the car can go faster and corner better. Bring it, Saturn.

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Last edited by saturn_69; 02-16-2006 at 12:00 PM..

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Old 02-16-2006, 11:59 AM   #24
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Default Re: Should GM Import the Opel Astra from Europe as Saturn's Next Small Car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Citation84
The "dumbing down" comes from GM's execs thinking they "know" what American drivers want. The fish rots from the head. [Opel collaborated on the J Car, btw, but exited the program when GM insisted on doing it "their way" with OHV engines and 4 speed manuals when everyone else had OHCs and 5 speeds. Opel used it's own engines, transmissions and suspension settings etc.]
And after the Catera,the L Series [euro based] Focus[ Euro based], Contour [Euro based] the troublesome VW Beetle [among other VW products] and recent declines in Mercedes quality as well as a history of being as or more troublesome than US cars in data covering 20 years published by Consumer Reports [I know I know, but the data spans two decades, in this case enough of a time line to show a trend], I have a real
problem buying into alleged European product "superiority".
I think that "Euro flavor" may have left a bad taste in the mouths of many.
The last thing Saturn needs is another product with lots of intro bugs.]
I guess this is the final nail in Saturn's philosophical coffin.Their import killer imported from overseas.......
Saturn 69: It IS a beautiful car and I would love to see it here, I just don't buy that it will be automatically "better" because it comes from Germany. I'd rather see it built at Spring Hill myself.....
And yet people flock to BMW, Mercedes and VW...BMW has been profitable for years now, some of that has to be perceived quality based on German engineering, yes? I've read favorable reviews of the Astra (heck, all the newer Opels/Vauxhalls) from European websites, they are constantly commenting on the increased quality of build and materials in the new Opels/Vauxhalls. Could there be something to this? I think, and predict, that when Springhill shuts down to retool, the next gen Opel Astra will be built here in America, not necessarily exported to Europe since they have 3 factories already, but as the new Ion replacement. That's in what, 2008? We'll see.

...
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Old 02-16-2006, 12:17 PM   #25
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Default Re: Should GM Import the Opel Astra from Europe as Saturn's Next Small Car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkl
Opel Astra would become the smallest Saturn ever. Only 169 inches long. 3dr/5dr, just a bit shorter than the Matrix/Vibe so it will compete directly with them and the Subaru Impreza/Saab 9-3x. And the Optra hatch.

It may be good for small/young/single people on a budget, but it is no Ion replacement. With no Ion, there will be a pretty large gap between Astra and Aura.
Before someone else picks up on my memory lapse -- of course, the Sky will be the smallest Saturn at about 157 inches.

But my point was that Astra is significantly smaller than even the SL or SC.

For those looking for Astra specs, check out the Opel web site.

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Old 02-16-2006, 12:23 PM   #26
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Default Re: Should GM Import the Opel Astra from Europe as Saturn's Next Small Car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkl
Before someone else picks up on my memory lapse -- of course, the Sky will be the smallest Saturn at about 157 inches.

But my point was that Astra is significantly smaller than even the SL or SC.

For those looking for Astra specs, check out the Opel web site.
As far as exterior length, yes. But, it's within millimeters of - or even equal to - the Ion in every other dimension, including the most important: interior space. It just has short front and rear overhangs, as many German cars do. Not a problem.

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Old 02-16-2006, 12:30 PM   #27
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Default Re: Should GM Import the Opel Astra from Europe as Saturn's Next Small Car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturn_69
And yet people flock to BMW, Mercedes and VW...BMW has been profitable for years now, some of that has to be perceived quality based on German engineering, yes? I've read favorable reviews of the Astra (heck, all the newer Opels/Vauxhalls) from European websites, they are constantly commenting on the increased quality of build and materials in the new Opels/Vauxhalls. Could there be something to this? I think, and predict, that when Springhill shuts down to retool, the next gen Opel Astra will be built here in America, not necessarily exported to Europe since they have 3 factories already, but as the new Ion replacement. That's in what, 2008? We'll see.
Here's hoping. My main concern would be that the exchange rate could torpedo the thing right out of the box if it changed drastically, much like what happened with the original Capri in the 70s and other imported brands.
I like it quite a bit. What happened to that 5 door "Evoke pictured here awhile back? Was this not what was supposed to be built at Lordstown in 08. It seemed very similar in looks to the Astra pictured, but with 5 doors. It was beautiful.
And true: it is the preceived quality of the engineering. Unlike our "car guys" here in the US, they seem not to think that the public is too stupid to appreciate competent ride and handling. And good they're improving @ Opel as I like the cars.
I DON'T like that GM seems to be turning Saturn less into the next Oldsmobile but into the OLD Geo brand : 1 from here one from there all sold under one name........ not a way to build a brand identity. Okay. So let Pontiac have the clones...

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Old 02-16-2006, 12:45 PM   #28
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Default Re: Should GM Import the Opel Astra from Europe as Saturn's Next Small Car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturn_69
I say it's a pretty good replacement for the Ion, and it's within fractions of an inch the same size. I see no problem having this beneath the Aura...guess what? That's the way the Astra and Vectra are in Europe and nobody seems to mind. We don't need 15 different sized Saturns to fit us as our waistlines grow. Heck, the idea of Saturn importing the Astra makes me want to lose more weight, not only to fit better and be healhier, but because if I weigh less, the car can go faster and corner better. Bring it, Saturn.
Assuming you don't need a trunk, your argument is perfectly valid. Have you taken a close look at the Vibe/Matrix? The Astra's rear storage (I won't call it a trunk) looks even a bit smaller.

I have no problems with Saturn importing the Astra. But there is a gap between the Astra and the Aura.

How does the Astra interior room compare to a Matrix? The 06 Matrix/Corolla feel cramped to me, the Ion doesn't.

Last edited by gkl; 02-16-2006 at 12:50 PM..

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Old 02-16-2006, 12:53 PM   #29
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Default Re: Should GM Import the Opel Astra from Europe as Saturn's Next Small Car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Citation84
I DON'T like that GM seems to be turning Saturn less into the next Oldsmobile but into the OLD Geo brand : 1 from here one from there all sold under one name........ not a way to build a brand identity. Okay. So let Pontiac have the clones...
Saturn is SO becomeing the next Oldsmobile, and getting away from the old GEO brand. Saturn was pretty much the GEO replacement. The original SC and the GEO Storm look a lot alike. GEO was the cheap, entry level brand below Chevy, for GM. Saturn WAS the cheap entry level brand below Chevy, but the doors didn't dent. Now you can get the VUE dressed up with a chrome package, the Relay starts with a base price above the Uplander (and I've heard the SV6 does too, but I'm not sure). Olds used to be all dressed up with chrome, and was the test bed for new technologies for GM. And who is getting the first GM Hybrid? (The Silverado doesn't count) Saturn is quickly filling the strangely shaped hole left by Oldsmobile, and it has successfully carried on from GEO, without suffering the same pathetic fate, at least not yet.

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Old 02-16-2006, 01:10 PM   #30
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Default Re: Should GM Import the Opel Astra from Europe as Saturn's Next Small Car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkl
Assuming you don't need a trunk, your argument is perfectly valid. Have you taken a close look at the Vibe/Matrix? The Astra's rear storage (I won't call it a trunk) looks even a bit smaller.

I have no problems with Saturn importing the Astra. But there is a gap between the Astra and the Aura.

How does the Astra interior room compare to a Matrix? The 06 Matrix/Corolla feel cramped to me, the Ion doesn't.
The dimensions I gave were for the hatchback, not the sedan or 5 door. The Astra wouldn't feel cramped since most of it's interior dimensions are the same as the Ion Quadcoupe. The Astra does compare dimensionally with the Mazda 3 - the 5dr Astra and Mazda 3 5dr are practically the same size, and they don't seem to have any trouble selling as many of those that they can make. The Corolla is about the same as the Ion, except it has more headroom and rear seat legroom; the Matrix is wider, taller, has more headroom, rearseat legroom and a wider track than the Ion. The Astra is bigger than the S-series and we've all owned at least one of those and raved about it, some of us still do. The 91-96 SC were smaller inside than a Geo Metro and no one complained; the SL's are smaller inside than any Cavalier; the Astra is palatial compared to the S-series. I'm just suggesting we don't shoot it down for being too small when all we have to judge it are photos and hunches that it's the same size as something in a different niche. Let's wait and see.

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Old 02-16-2006, 01:21 PM   #31
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Default Re: Yes!

I think that this can't possibly happen. Labor costs are too high in Germany for GM to make a profit selling a small car here. Add to this the cost of shipping it. What will be imported from Germany, however, are those neat smaller-than-ours mini vans or MPV. The sales volume for these should apporximate the volume of rebadged skys going to Europe. The ship needs equal amount of cargo (vehicles) going each way to keep the cost of shipping reasonable. Perhaps this will fill the void sizewise between Astra and Aura that one of the posters mentioned.

Probably the ION replacement will be built in North America on the same platform and styling as the NEXT Astra.

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Old 02-16-2006, 01:29 PM   #32
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Default Re: Yes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by haypops
I think that this can't possibly happen. Labor costs are too high in Germany for GM to make a profit selling a small car here. Add to this the cost of shipping it. What will be imported from Germany, however, are those neat smaller-than-ours mini vans or MPV. The sales volume for these should apporximate the volume of rebadged skys going to Europe. The ship needs equal amount of cargo (vehicles) going each way to keep the cost of shipping reasonable. Perhaps this will fill the void sizewise between Astra and Aura that one of the posters mentioned.

Probably the ION replacement will be built in North America on the same platform and styling as the NEXT Astra.
Agreed. Although, we could get 1 or 2 years of the current Astra as a stop-gap measure. Let's not forget, they are also imported into Mexico in 2007, and do we not have the NAFTA? Couldn't they ship them from England, Brussels or Germany to Mexico, then ship them from Mexico to the U.S. without paying import duties?

P.S. Why do we need something sizewise between the Astra and Aura? You've got your compact car, then your midsize car. Nuff said. You don't need a compamidi sized car halfway in between, you'll just confuse people in the showroom. Honda has the Civic and the Accord. Nothing in between. Yes, they have the Fit coming this summer, but Chevy has the Aveo subcompact to compete with that. Remember, the days of every GM brand carrying the same cars and competing against each other and other companies are over. Not every division needs one of everything.

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Last edited by saturn_69; 02-16-2006 at 01:36 PM..

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Old 02-16-2006, 01:36 PM   #33
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Default Re: Yes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturn_69
Couldn't they ship them from England, Brussels or Germany to Mexico, then ship them from Mexico to the U.S. without paying import duties?
Very tricky Senior

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Old 02-16-2006, 01:41 PM   #34
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Default Re: Yes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uzzy
Very tricky Senior
I'm just hoping that'll work. hehehehe Probably not though. Darnit, I'll go gray-market if I have to. J/K! I hope there aren't any customs officials here....

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Old 02-16-2006, 01:55 PM   #35
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Default Re: Yes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jentzsch23
Not sure exactly what kind of car the Asra is. Im sure if I can find some infor on the kind of car, I might be better able to five my feedback. I will do some digging and if anyone has some info on this car, let me know. Thanks!
Have a look here:

http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/vx/carsand...randName=astra

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Old 02-16-2006, 01:57 PM   #36
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Default Re: Should GM Import the Opel Astra from Europe as Saturn's Next Small Car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDRedline
Sorry, I don't like hatchbacks.

Show me a coupe version and then I'd consider it.
They do a Coupe-Cabriolet with a folding metal roof.....

http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/vx/carsand...e=astratwintop

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Old 02-16-2006, 02:01 PM   #37
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Default Re: Yes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturn_69
I'm just hoping that'll work. hehehehe Probably not though. Darnit, I'll go gray-market if I have to. J/K! I hope there aren't any customs officials here....
No, it probably won't work. It makes too much sense, and when it comes to border issues the sensible way is never the way it goes (I live in a border city. Border crossing is issue #1 around here right now. Especially for me, I cross at least 4x a week.) But anyway I'm telling on you Maybe it'll take the heat off me for stooling on somebody else
But seriously, did you mention somthing about a sedan version of the Astra? I'm not big on hatch-backs in general, and I won't be driving a small car once I'm through with my current '02 SC1, but I'd be interested in seeing the sedan pics if there any.

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Old 02-16-2006, 02:03 PM   #38
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Default Re: Should GM Import the Opel Astra from Europe as Saturn's Next Small Car?

I'll take mine with the 200hp 2.0 Turbo Ecotec and a six-speed manual please.

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Old 02-16-2006, 02:06 PM   #39
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Default Re: Yes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uzzy
No, it probably won't work. It makes too much sense, and when it comes to border issues the sensible way is never the way it goes (I live in a border city. Border crossing is issue #1 around here right now. Especially for me, I cross at least 4x a week.) But anyway I'm telling on you Maybe it'll take the heat off me for stooling on somebody else
But seriously, did you mention somthing about a sedan version of the Astra? I'm not big on hatch-backs in general, and I won't be driving a small car once I'm through with my current '02 SC1, but I'd be interested in seeing the sedan pics if there any.
Well, they made a sedan on the last version, but I don't think they do now. I think it's the 5dr, 3dr and 2dr TwinTop. Sorry. That's not to say they won't make a sedan on the next version though.


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Old 02-16-2006, 02:08 PM   #40
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Default Re: Should GM Import the Opel Astra from Europe as Saturn's Next Small Car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EnglishSL2
They do a Coupe-Cabriolet with a folding metal roof.....

http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/vx/carsand...e=astratwintop
Well now, that's much better. It looks a lot like the AURA tho. Maybe the pictures make it look larger than it is. Well looking at that one, it seems to fit right in with Saturn's new corperate face, which looks a lot like the Opel/Vauxhall corperate face, which makes re-badgeing all that much easier. And to cash-strapped auto execs, that's a good thing. Now we just need to figure-out the Logistics. Or we could leave it to those execs.

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