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I'm heading to Wilmington in the morning...


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The day has finally arrived... tomorrow, Saturday May 19 is the infamous skyroadster.com (and sister Solstice site) Mecca Tour to the Wilmington, Delaware Kappa plant. Believe it or not, it was posted on skyroadster.com today that this will be the first tour EVER in the Wilmington plant. Approximately 200 lucky SKY, Solstice, RL and GXP owners and their guests will be given the opportunity to get a one and a half hour tour of the plant, lunch in the employee cafeteria (courtesy of GM), give-aways from Pontiac & Saturn, a small car show by the Kappa owners on property, display trucks by both Pontiac & Saturn, and the chance to bid on some unique GM items to raise cash for charity (items have not been discussed - part of the "surprise"). Due to GM's stringent regulations and rules (as outlined in the waiver required to enter the plant), no cameras or camera phones will be allowed IN the facilty; however, pictures outside of the plant are allowed - so look forward to pictures only of the attendees and not inside of the plant. There are two tours scheduled - 6:45AM and 7:45AM (of which I am part of) - not happy to wake up for work during the week, but it's never a problem for anything car-related on the weekends!

While there have been many SKY/Solstice drives and gatherings over the last two years (one for SKY), this is the first GM-sponsored Kappa event where the owners will see the "birthplace" of their cars. How many GM owners can say that they saw how their car was manufactured? Needless to say I'm very excited, as this will be the very first event I attend with owners of the same car I love (and hopefully many more to come). My 13 y-o stepson Anthony will be my guest at this event - and he's even excited about it. Although not a writer, I will try to summarize the day when I get home and get a chance to get on the computer. I'll try to post whatever pictures I take too.

So at 6:00 AM tomorrow morning, I will venture down I-295 South towards Delaware to see where my car came to life. Wish me luck for a safe drive and pray that any rain that thinks it will fall gets blown out over the ocean! :lol: Edited by GMTruckGuy74
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The day has finally arrived... tomorrow, Saturday May 19 is the infamous skyroadster.com (and sister Solstice site) Mecca Tour to the Wilmington, Delaware Kappa plant.

If Rick Buda is there, tell him I said hi. :wavey:

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What are the black and yellow things under the cars in the fifth pic down?

They are called Skillets. Skillets allow workers to remain stationary while doing final assembly work, instead of chasing a moving assembly line. The name is a contraction of " skid " and "pal let. "

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Oh and it's not the 1st ever tour in the Wilmington plant. Tours used to come through quite often in Wilmington 12 years ago. They are just less frequent now. Even my Grandmother in Germany has toured the Wilmington plant! Tell them they need to get their facts straight! :smilewide:

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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That is a V8 in the bay so that isn't at the Kappa plant. It seems like it would be the Vette plant in BG.

Oh yes it is, that is the 3rd floor where new designs and plans are studied to see what it would entail to build certain aspects of cars in a real assembly plant, in real time. GM was testing this along with Opel at the time, to get something up and running along the lines of what Mallett does, but to do it inhouse instead. Do you think Holden is the only one that can experiment with cool V8 stuff? Nahhh!

http://www.mallettcars.com/solstice-conversion.htm

http://www.mallettcars.com/index.html

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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Oh yes it is, that is the 3rd floor where new designs and plans are studied to see what it would entail to build certain aspects of cars in a real assembly plant, in real time. GM was testing this along with Opel at the time, to get something up and running along the lines of what Mallett does, but to do it inhouse instead. Do you think Holden is the only one that can experiment with cool V8 stuff? Nahhh!

http://www.mallettcars.com/solstice-conversion.htm

http://www.mallettcars.com/index.html

Now, THAT is cool. :thumbsup:

Thanks, PCS.

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Oh yes it is, that is the 3rd floor where new designs and plans are studied to see what it would entail to build certain aspects of cars in a real assembly plant, in real time. GM was testing this along with Opel at the time, to get something up and running along the lines of what Mallett does, but to do it inhouse instead. Do you think Holden is the only one that can experiment with cool V8 stuff? Nahhh!

http://www.mallettcars.com/solstice-conversion.htm

http://www.mallettcars.com/index.html

Are you SURE about that?

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you call that a assembly line?

It was the worst job to have in the day. I was a welder on the Cadillac line welded the rear structure on Eldo's

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In reality though Its still a suicidal job, But Its much more laded back now. Plus easier and safer. I remember non stop working for the full 10+hours Only 2 10 minute breaks and 1/2 hour lunch. Which sucked because they where staggered because the cover guys could only hold 7 jobs at a time so you only had lunch with the same 3-4 guys everyday. It was very labor intensive I think i had 90 seconds to weld a 2 foot section that held the rear suspension up so its a pretty vital part. Every shirt i had was burned up. I remember going to the salvation army on Saturday and buying 6 shirts just to get trashed and caught on fire. Last Year i got to see the Pontiac assembly plant. And people could talk to each other and some guy gets almost 3-4 minutes to install a interior panel then gets to mess around with his cell phone. The entire line shuts down for breaks and Lunch. At Conner's if the line shut down there have better been some guy dead or someone got decapitated because they would be furious and threaten you your job for shutting the line down. Although they couldn't because we had Union reps.

I didn't mean to sound Like a crotchety old man talking about "back in the day" I was just trying to point out how times have changed definably for the better!

Edited by capriceman
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Sorry that I haven't posted an after-tour follow up... it was a busy day witht he family and I just uploaded all 9 images (too many, I know :P ) to Photobucket to post here. I started writing my follow up, but it's late, work comes early, and I need an excuse to play on the Internet tomorrow!

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Love seeing that V8 nestled in between those frame rails. Either way, 4 or 8 cylinder

Kappas all rule. RWD for the masses.

As far as that welding job, Crazy Stuff Capriceman...

Also, Balthazar had the right idea, any high nickel content blocks hanging around?

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Sorry Balthazar & Sixty8, no leftover '50s parts for you guys :cry:

First, some pictures that I took (remember, no cameras were allowed in the factory and had to remain outside of the gates):

Wilmington Plant sign (SKY on this side, Solstice on the other side):

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The outside of the factory (mainly the office, training, & cafeteria areas):

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Member's cars in the designated parking area:

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A Polar White Redline SKY (you don't see many SKYs, RL or regular, in white):

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Pictures of Kappas waiting to be loaded (onto car carriers or trains):

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Some SKY/Solstice soon-to-be owners will be happy soon:

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Thanks for the Pictures Sir,

:thumbsup:

The white RL Sky looks gorgeous IMO. It looks more expensive and stylish.

Never could say that for a white colored vehicle before.

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Oh yes it is, that is the 3rd floor where new designs and plans are studied to see what it would entail to build certain aspects of cars in a real assembly plant, in real time.

Not surprisingly, this fact was left off the tour! Probably too many people would try to find it on their own and get arrested! :lol:

The event was great and GM really showed the 173 attendees that they appreciate our business and passion for the Kappa cars. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia were represented, with Illinois and Florida being the two farthest states that Kappa owners drove their cars from. Engineers, plant workers (nee tour guides), plant management, UAW leaders, and Saturn & Pontiac Marketing personnel were there to meet & greet with everyone throughout the day.

The tour consisted of 6 people to one tour guide, which allowed for a lot of interaction and questioning. We saw most of the plant - the paint shop was the exception and I don't recall seeing the wheel & tire installation process. Pontiac-Custom S told me to pay particular attention to the body shop area to see why these cars are special; most of the welding is done by humans! That's right, people do most of the welding when assembling the platform of the Kappa cars. We watched two areas in welding where robots did welding (merging of the upper and lower parts of the hood and some areas of the platform), but the rest was done by humans who apparently take a lot of pride in what they do. As you can tell, the plant was in operation during the tour (not fully); we were told that there are 3 shifts per day, 5 days per week and that 1 Saturday per month is when overtime is given (May 19 just happened to be the overtime Saturday). The plant looked completely filled up with Kappa production that you'd never notice that 1 million square feet has been left open for future product. The tour did not take place in chronological order, so depending on where you started you saw the cars in various stages. My tour group started at the water leakage testing area. We watched a Silver Graphite SKY (my color!) drive into an area where water is sprayed in hurricane like fashion at the car. After several minutes, the car gets driven out and the driver opens and inspects all areas of the SKY to see if water leaked in. If it did, it would be brought over to a repair area where the issue(s) would be corrected. Moving on we saw just about everything - painted body panels on "bird cages" coming from the paint shop; entire cars being sent up and over areas on skillets by special elevators; windshields, rear brake rotos & suspension pieces, rear quarter panels (glued on, btw), and more all being installed, dashes being assembled and installed into cabins, frame rails/floorboards/central tunnels being welded together, DVT testing where the cars systems (ABS, traction control, etc) are tested with the car being stationary -- you name it, we saw it. It was simply amazing to see how our cars came into existence. Too bad many other GM vehicle owners can't get the chance to see how their vehicle came together.

Besides mandatory safety training and mutilation prevention (not for us, but for protection of the cars being made!), there was a presention by the plant assistant manager, a greeting by the local UAW official, a small "Roadster Story" by the lead engineer (included were shots taken by a GMI member of the first camo'd test run of the Solstice), snacks and lunch provided free, gift bags (SKY & Solstice posters, SKY Cross pen, UAW pewter coaster, Solstice keychain, GMAC Financial mints/toohtpike holder, and for the Solstice owners - a FREE <$35 value> copy of The Solstice Book), and door prize drawings for Solstice & SKY diecast (signed by Bob Lutz), Solstice "The Apprentice" brochures, SKY & Solstice fender clocks (painted fenders that had a clock added to them to decorate a wall in your house, made special by the plant employees), cut rims (back half missing) so that you could mount it on your wall at home... all in the name of the local Veteran's hospital (all procedes from ticket sales went directly to the veterans). Many cars on display inside the plant - a 1947 Pontiac Streamliner (represented the first model year of cars produced by the plant), a black Daewoo G2x, a red Opel GT, a yellow SKY RL, #16 SCCA Pontiac Solstice (plant employee owned), a silver Solstice GXP - all 2008 model years too. Outside Pontiac sent an event trailer with two Xbox 360s with the NCAA Basketball video games, about 7-8 Solstices on display, inlcuding the Tangerine Orange Sosltice featured in the Ludacris video ($30,000 custom paint job). Saturn had their event truck too, with a Hahn Stage II SKY, the preproduction 2008 VUE XR AWD, and dealer-loaned AURA XE and OUTLOOK XR models on display and a bank of computers to surf Saturn's web site.

In the end, it was a great day and one that both me and my 13 y-o stepson (Anthony) will never forget. My wife was home sick, watching the baby too, so I did the right thing and headed home at the end. I missed out on joining about 20 or so other owners on a cruise into Kennett Square, PA and a stop at a famous Mexican Restaurant. But I got my SKY out on the road for a great drive, a great time with other Kappa owners, and an awesome tour of a GM plant.

*Many thanks to General Motors, the employees and management of the Wilmington Plant, the UAW #435, Saturn and Pontiac Marketing/Divisions, and the members of the Solstice and SKY forum for giving us Kappa owners this very special day.

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The plant looked completely filled up with Kappa production that you'd never notice that 1 million square feet has been left open for future product.

Hmmm they told you that did they? I'm thinking Electric! :smilewide: I'm glad you enjoyed my most favorite of GM plants, it's people make it what it is!

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And to prove I was there (thanks to another skyroadster.com member that posted this pic)... top row, first gray one parked next to the black or dark blue Solstice is my SKY (parked head-in). For some reason I can't get the picture to show here, so click on this link to check it out: Kappas (and mine too!)

Believe it or not, that whole area was filled with SKYs and Solstices. After the tour ended, many people seemed to have left right before lunch. My son and I ate, then went outside to look at all the cars and most had left. The pictures I took were around 2:00 PM, as many people were getting ready to leave. I forgot to take a shot of mine parked among the sea of Kappas, that is until I found the one posted above!

And yes PCS, my tour guide mentioned to us the fact that "there's about 1 million square feet of unused space in this plant". Another guy in my group said "Why's that?", to which my tour guide said "For future product" and nothing else.

One thing I forgot to mention is the way the cars get transported around the factory - something I thought was really neat and still sticks out in my mind. When the frames/tunnel/floorboards are being welded, they are placed on a wheeled pull-cart (think a really big Radio Flyer wagon). Next they are put onto these computer controlled SmartCarts that seemingly drive themselves around the plant. No human is near them, they just glide from station to station. They follow a magnetic tape stripe on the floor. Eventually, when the cars come together with wheels they are transferred to the "skillets" - large, flat pieces of metal that carry the car along as workers assemble parts and components. As I did mention, when the skillets need to move to another area, they do it overhead on these conveyor systems. These large lifts/elevators move the entire skillet up and down. It's really an interesting thing to watch - I'm thankful that my tour guide took the time to point this out.

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And to prove I was there (thanks to another skyroadster.com member that posted this pic)... top row, first gray one parked next to the black or dark blue Solstice is my SKY (parked head-in). For some reason I can't get the picture to show here, so click on this link to check it out: Kappas (and mine too!)

Believe it or not, that whole area was filled with SKYs and Solstices. After the tour ended, many people seemed to have left right before lunch. My son and I ate, then went outside to look at all the cars and most had left. The pictures I took were around 2:00 PM, as many people were getting ready to leave. I forgot to take a shot of mine parked among the sea of Kappas, that is until I found the one posted above!

And yes PCS, my tour guide mentioned to us the fact that "there's about 1 million square feet of unused space in this plant". Another guy in my group said "Why's that?", to which my tour guide said "For future product" and nothing else.

One thing I forgot to mention is the way the cars get transported around the factory - something I thought was really neat and still sticks out in my mind. When the frames/tunnel/floorboards are being welded, they are placed on a wheeled pull-cart (think a really big Radio Flyer wagon). Next they are put onto these computer controlled SmartCarts that seemingly drive themselves around the plant. No human is near them, they just glide from station to station. They follow a magnetic tape stripe on the floor. Eventually, when the cars come together with wheels they are transferred to the "skillets" - large, flat pieces of metal that carry the car along as workers assemble parts and components. As I did mention, when the skillets need to move to another area, they do it overhead on these conveyor systems. These large lifts/elevators move the entire skillet up and down. It's really an interesting thing to watch - I'm thankful that my tour guide took the time to point this out.

In the old days your Smart Carts were called AGV's (Automatic Guided Vehicles), now the term is AGC's (Automatic Guided Carts), but Smart Carts will do. They have bumpers in case they run into someone they will stop and not run the person over. To bad they don't have an upgraded system like this working on the Interstate! :P

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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*grins*

GMT ... I can tell how excited you are about this experience. Very glad you were able to attend ... and shared it with us in pics and words ... thank you :).

Cort:33swm."Mr Monte Carlo.Mr Road Trip".pig valve.pacemaker

PICS:lego.HO.model.MCinfo.RT.CHD = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

"She became the envy of my dreams" ... Kenny Rogers ... 'Scarlet Fever'

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Knightfan, it was a great experience. Other than GM employees here, how many of us can say we saw the birthplace of our beloved car/truck? I wish I could see more plants, but there aren't too many more around the NJ area. It was a very exciting day. I hope GM starts doing more of these for the other passionate owners of their cars/trucks.

This is the second GM factory I've been in (3rd automotive plant all together) - the other one was the defunct Trenton (NJ) plant at their ceremonial closing (for all employees and the public) back in 1998. Most of that plant had already been cleared out of the machines that could be used elsewhere, and the walk-around area was very limited (plus no guided tours). So it was great to see how the Kappa cars (Saturn, Pontiac, Opel & Daewoo) come to life. The tour was titled "Mecca Tour 2007" on the plant ID badges we were issued, so a lot of us over at skyroadster.com are hoping for a "2008" tour, in which I may bring someone from C&G with me if they allow it next year.

Some other cool things:

*Plant engineers issued to all Kappa owners clear 3M protective strips to be placed under the hood where paint scratching can occur. This is a running change made to all factory-built cars and they wanted the current owners to have the protection too.

*Plant management allowed workers to come outside to address issues on current owners cars. One person in particular has been experiencing problems when lowering the top. After speaking with a plant engineer, a worker and the engineer went outside, made some adjustments, and viola! - the top works perfectly now.

*One-to-One chats were held throughout the day. Most of the engineers were asking what we liked, didn't like, and had problems with our cars. They wrote stuff down, made adjustments, and thanked us for our input/feedback.

*Saturn & Pontiac Marketing people were present. I spoke with Andrea from Saturn Marketing about licensing issues and The GM Card earnings. She said many dealers and customers are upset about not being able to use their earnings on Saturn vehicles. Saturn was not expecting such an interest from current GM owners and Jill L. was not moving from her position about accepting the earnings. However, with such feedback already received, the marketing dept is reevaluating the position and hope to get Jill to change her mind.

If anyone has questions, please ask. I'm sure I forgot to mention some things.

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Yup, it's an Opel and that's why I took it. There were quite a few Opels parked out in the lot, some were out being driven around the test track and many were being assembled throughout the tour. The Daewoo on display inside of the factory was the only one visible - there were none on the lines being made and it was mentioned during one of the presentations that the Daewoo G2x officially goes into production in June.

Apparently some of the attendees asked the event planner to post the names of the factory people responsible for the day's events so that they could send them written "thank you" letters. I plan to do that and ask if they could pass the word on to other GM plants to consider doing this type of event for owners. Many people there were first time owners of Saturns and/or Pontiacs - and they left very impressed by GM (I've heard a few SKY owners tell Andrea that Saturn is on their shopping list from now on). Imagine if owners could get a tour of the Lordstown plant (Cobalt/G5), Shreveport plant (Canyon/Colorado), or any other plant? It would be a great experience, and the free word-of-mouth advertising the GM would get would definitely be worth it.

I'm not a big fan of unions (and being a teacher in NJ, I belong to one of the bigger state unions), but if you could see the pride in the UAW workers as they assembled the cars, the many thanks they gave to us owners for keeping their plant going/buying a Kappa/buying a GM product, and the enthusiasm they have for the Kappa cars (many are owners too), then you can understand why it's important to have happy workers assembling your products. One plant employee I spoke with on the line said he's been there 28 years. I asked what carline he started with and he said "Chevette". I asked what car he liked most out of this plant and he said "the current ones because they have style and are in demand and it's a great feeling building a car that people absolutely love". Boy, doesn't that sum it all up?

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Yup, it's an Opel and that's why I took it. There were quite a few Opels parked out in the lot, some were out being driven around the test track and many were being assembled throughout the tour. The Daewoo on display inside of the factory was the only one visible - there were none on the lines being made and it was mentioned during one of the presentations that the Daewoo G2x officially goes into production in June.

Did you happen to notice where the side-mounted turn signals are on the Opel? I know it's a small silly detail, but the yellow Opel provided to European magazines for testing did not have them.

Apparently some of the attendees asked the event planner to post the names of the factory people responsible for the day's events so that they could send them written "thank you" letters. I plan to do that and ask if they could pass the word on to other GM plants to consider doing this type of event for owners. Many people there were first time owners of Saturns and/or Pontiacs - and they left very impressed by GM (I've heard a few SKY owners tell Andrea that Saturn is on their shopping list from now on). Imagine if owners could get a tour of the Lordstown plant (Cobalt/G5), Shreveport plant (Canyon/Colorado), or any other plant? It would be a great experience, and the free word-of-mouth advertising the GM would get would definitely be worth it.

I could be a good PR move, although I'd suspect the average consumer really doesn't care where/how his/her car is built. Personally, I'd love to tour the Bowling Green plant, just because I have this thing for Corvettes: if I had the money I'd shell the 120K/150K Euro that one costs over here in a heartbeat :AH-HA_wink: Edited by ZL-1
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I asked what carline he started with and he said "Chevette". I asked what car he liked most out of this plant and he said "the current ones because they have style and are in demand and it's a great feeling building a car that people absolutely love". Boy, doesn't that sum it all up?

Of course. The guy's been building two of the greatest sports cars ever - the Kappas and the 'Vette! :lol:

As far as the GM Card earnings not being accepted, I get the feeling there is some weird internal reasoning behind this or the result of some petty squabbling at some point in the past. The explanation I received was way too verbose to be real - that the inherent value pricing of a Saturn means one doesn't need to use earnings to save on top of that and that Saturn's intent is to conquest import intenders who don't have GM Card earnings anyway, etc. Doesn't make sense to me either.

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Apparently some of the attendees asked the event planner to post the names of the factory people responsible for the day's events so that they could send them written "thank you" letters. I plan to do that and ask if they could pass the word on to other GM plants to consider doing this type of event for owners.

I would be in Lansing in a heartbeat if they did this for the Sigma factory.

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but if you could see the pride in the UAW workers as they assembled the cars, the many thanks they gave to us owners for keeping their plant going/buying a Kappa/buying a GM product, and the enthusiasm they have for the Kappa cars (many are owners too), then you can understand why it's important to have happy workers assembling your products.

:yes:

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I toured the plant when they were building Chevettes.

The less said about that, the better. :rolleyes:

Say what you want, that Chevy Chevette, based off the Opel Kadett, was built like a German tank. To this day I still see them on the road both the Chevy Chevette and Pontiac T1000 and when I travel to South America I see them there too.

Opel Kadett D

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Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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Did you happen to notice where the side-mounted turn signals are on the Opel? I know it's a small silly detail, but the yellow Opel provided to European magazines for testing did not have them.

The fender-mounted side marker lights are not included on the Opel GT or Daewoo G2x... I was going to ask why, but I overheard an engineer say to another Kappa owner that it has to do with European regulations (about the Opel GT). I wanted to ask more about it, but got sidetracked and after taking the pics of the cars in the lot, remembered but it was too late!
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Knightfan, it was a great experience. Other than GM employees here, how many of us can say we saw the birthplace of our beloved car/truck? I wish I could see more plants, but there aren't too many more around the NJ area. It was a very exciting day. I hope GM starts doing more of these for the other passionate owners of their cars/trucks.

That certainly would be neat. Though, not sure which plant I'd want to see.........

As for the Chevette ... my parents bought an '82 4-door version back in 1984. I _hated_ that car at first ... namely because it more or less replaced their ("my") '76 Monte Carlo. But, when I started driving ... and got my license ... the Chevette is what I drove. And, even though it had no power brakes or steering ... kinda enjoyed driving it. Heh ... ironically, now I really know what "hate" is after my 2 newer cars ... he heh.

Going into Chicago for one of my checkups, a car spun out a couple car lengths in front of us, and I still do not know how Dad did it, but he steered that Chevette around the cars going "haywire", passed them on the edge of the highway ... and kept going. It was not a fun experience :(.

Cort:33swm."Mr Monte Carlo.Mr Road Trip".pig valve.pacemaker

PICS:lego.HO.model.MCinfo.RT.CHD = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

"I'm ashamed of my life" ... Kelly Clarkson ... 'Because Of You'

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Some GM Wilmington car models you may remember.

Circa 1977 Chevy Chevette, T Platform

Circa 1983 Chevy Caprice, Oldsmobile 88, B Platform

Circa 1986 Chevy Corsica & Beretta, L Platform

1997 Chevy Malibu, N Platform

2000 Saturn L Series, GM2900 Platform

2006 GM Kappa's, Solstice, Sky etc

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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I tried to get my mom to buy an '81 Chevette. She almost did it. I still think they were tough as nails, good little cars. She ended up with a Renault Le Car, which she loved. It served her well.
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Yeah bring on something like the Vette back with a RWD and good fuel economy. That will more than satisfy 68 and keep him from going back to Nissans (sorry Datsuns). :AH-HA_wink:
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As far as the GM Card earnings not being accepted, I get the feeling there is some weird internal reasoning behind this or the result of some petty squabbling at some point in the past. The explanation I received was way too verbose to be real - that the inherent value pricing of a Saturn means one doesn't need to use earnings to save on top of that and that Saturn's intent is to conquest import intenders who don't have GM Card earnings anyway, etc. Doesn't make sense to me either.

My reply to those verbose BS statement would have been that does Saturn not want previous and current GM owners to buy Saturn vehicles?

The Saturn of yore was a "different" company with different product portfolio and budget. With the new Saturn considering how homogenized it is to the GM pantheon, that discrimination does not make sense.

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My reply to those verbose BS statement would have been that does Saturn not want previous and current GM owners to buy Saturn vehicles?

The Saturn of yore was a "different" company with different product portfolio and budget. With the new Saturn considering how homogenized it is to the GM pantheon, that discrimination does not make sense.

That was the point I made to Andrea. I told her that I realize that Saturn's goal has always been to attract foreign car owners (Toyota, Honda, etc) and anybody that would never consider a GM vehicle. However, now that GM recognizes Saturn as a division (see those little GM badges on each Saturn vehicle?), why rule out current GM owners. I pointed out to her that not only did I buy my SKY in April, but in November I leased an AURA (that replaced another GM division's vehicle). I also said that I have quite a few earnings accumulated, that my Envoy lease expires next year, and my earnings and where I can spend them will influence my decision (seeing as how we may buy our next vehicle). I told her that I can either have three Saturns in my driveway, or two and another GM division gets my money. I wasn't cockey about it, but I wanted to get my point across. She said that she understands and agrees, but it's in Jill L's hands to make the decision and she'll go back and communicate it again that the buying force wants to be able to use their GM Card earnings.
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If someone/people want to write up a real nice but direct statement about why Saturn should accept GM Card earnings, we can put the C&G signature on it and forward it to her.

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Here I have started a draft while doing some analysis at work. It is not complete. I will try to finish it by the end of the day.

Take a look at it and tell me if it is going in the right direction. The red denotes incomplete part. Tell me if more points need to be added.

Dear Ms. Ladjiak,

First of all we all here at Cheersandgears.com would like to congratulate you and Saturn team in general, for bringing out exciting automobiles over the last couple of years and pumping in more fun, reliability, and excitement in GM’s youngest division to augment its already stellar customer service and relationship. We would like to also thank you for the opportunity Saturn presented for one of our representatives (Brian D.) for attending the Saturn’s Brand Convocation held in April 2007.

The new vehicles from Saturn namely Aura, Outlook, Sky, Vue and upcoming Astra have not only grappled the people who usually prefer a foreign branded vehicle but also hardcore GM enthusiasts who boast allegiance to the brand names which their family has bought for generations. Speaking of whom, we think that they are somewhat feeling left behind for not using their hard earned GM card cash reward points on Saturn vehicles. As a website of enthusiasts of GM automobiles, which Saturn is a part of, we would like to suggest the Saturn team to start the acceptance of GM cards rewards program.

As you very well know Saturn started as a brand under the GM umbrella with different product portfolio and its own marketing budget to create a “blue ocean” of no-haggle pricing and stellar customer relationship. However, over the past few years, Saturn has seen integration to the mainstream GM products and revenue. Saturn is sharing GM…….

First, an existing customer is the one …... In some ways they are conquest customers as they might have not considered Saturn as their vehicle to own.

Second, those GM enthusiasts who have collected thousands of dollars on their GM cards and want Saturn vehicles will be turned to going in a different GM brand and may be disappointed in the discrimination. As we said in the first point it is easier to attract an existing customer (in this case customer of GM) and keep him/her happy as then to spend resources and time to attract a new customer.

Third, as we have learned that Saturn has the general philosophy of inherent value pricing of a Saturn means one doesn't need to use earnings to save on top of that. I think it only gives us the general notion of

We fully understand that Saturn executives might have valid reasons and perceptions for not integrating GM card cash backs into their program. But I think in order to bring in the continual growth that Saturn is aiming for and even more loyalty among Saturn’s customers acceptance of reward points through GM card is a win-win situation for both Saturn as well as GM card members.

Thank you for your time and we genuinely hope that Saturn makes a decision in the right direction.

Cheersandgears.com

Edited by smallchevy
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The fender-mounted side marker lights are not included on the Opel GT or Daewoo G2x... I was going to ask why, but I overheard an engineer say to another Kappa owner that it has to do with European regulations (about the Opel GT). I wanted to ask more about it, but got sidetracked and after taking the pics of the cars in the lot, remembered but it was too late!

Thanks for the reply!

Euro side markers have to be amber, so most american cars don't have them. Euro-spec STS and Corvette are the only exceptions I remember seeing with 4 amber side markers... What I find strabge is the lack of a side-mounted turn signal, as I believe they are mandatory around here... Maybe those were pilot cars and the ones actually being exported will have them.

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Thanks for the reply!

Euro side markers have to be amber, so most american cars don't have them. Euro-spec STS and Corvette are the only exceptions I remember seeing with 4 amber side markers... What I find strabge is the lack of a side-mounted turn signal, as I believe they are mandatory around here... Maybe those were pilot cars and the ones actually being exported will have them.

Isn't the EU standard that the rear turn signal be amber colored too? :scratchchin:

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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Isn't the EU standard that the rear turn signal be amber colored too? :scratchchin:

Yep, and front parking lamps have to be white, not amber like some US cars have (Buick Lucerne, for example). Rear fog lamps are mandatory as well.
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ZL-1, the production Opels out in the shipping lots do not have those side-marker lights. I thought it was mandatory in Europe? The taillights are different on the Opel/Daewoo from the Saturn. The best way I can describe it is that the top 1/3 is all silver (not sure if it lights up or not), whereas the SKY's is all red and lights up. There is a rear foglight on the Opel/Daewoo, it's incorporated in the rear backup light (split in half, white & red).
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the production Opels out in the shipping lots do not have those side-marker lights. I thought it was mandatory in Europe?

I always thought the side mounted turn signals (not markers that illuminate with the headlamps) were mandatory in Europe, but they may be a convention and not an obligation. I really don't know...

The taillights are different on the Opel/Daewoo from the Saturn. The best way I can describe it is that the top 1/3 is all silver (not sure if it lights up or not), whereas the SKY's is all red and lights up. There is a rear foglight on the Opel/Daewoo, it's incorporated in the rear backup light (split in half, white & red).

The silver part is where the amber turn signals are.
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Fu*k... that's what I need to buy for a fuel economy champ.

an early 80s Chevette, perhaps I can find a M22 4-speed

equiped diesel, and I'd onnly ever need metric tools to work

on the little sucker.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did not make teh tour -- But HI!

Welcome to C&G Rick... you may know me as "GMguy74" over at skyroadster.com, but here I go as "GMTruckGuy74". Even though you missed out on the wonderful Wilmington tour, you & FlyBrian (Brian DeGreggors) still lucked out with the Saturn Advocacy Brand Board trip!
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