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Saturn, Opel En Route to Complete Integration

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Saturn, Opel En Route to Complete Integration

By Alisa Priddle

WardsAuto.com, Oct 4, 2006 9:36 AM

General Motors Corp. has begun a 7-year strategy of consolidating its Saturn and Opel brands to provide a slew of European-styled vehicles for consumers on both sides of the ocean.

By 2014, all vehicles for Saturn and Opel will be interchangeable, says Carl-Peter Forster, president-General Motors Europe.

“From now on, whenever we develop a vehicle, we have to make sure we can export it to the U.S., and vice versa,” Forster says in an interview at the auto show here.

“The idea is to be very flexible,” he says, with each new model capable of meeting global regulations.

It means the Opel Astra and the replacement for the Saturn Ion is the same vehicle, as is the Opel Antara and next Saturn Vue cross/utility vehicles.

The Astra as the Saturn Ion replacement “is absolutely the right vehicle,” says Bryan Nesbitt, who oversees design for Opel and Saturn brands from Europe.

Their designs will be very similar, Nesbitt says. It is not yet known if they both will be dubbed Astra.

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