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Saturn Should Be Renamed Opel

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Saturn should be renamed Opel.

Saturn and Opel mostly share the same vehicles with little change other than federalization and the badge. Because of this fact Saturn's current positioning as the "new American car" makes absolutely no sense down here on earth. And this positioning will fail because it makes no sense and nobody (aside from all us geeks here) gets what GM is trying to do. Thankfully the cars are good because that's why they're getting bought at all. Certainly not on the back of Saturn's non-image. At least with the Opel name, it's clear why the Aura goes head-to-head with the Passat or the Astra versus the Rabbit (it's Opel versus VW, just like back in the Fatherland). Plus the Opel logo is far cooler than Saturn's.

It's easy. Take 2 or 3 years (or 4-5 for a whole lineup refresh) and call every new Saturn an Opel but keep the model name. In the advertising, you say that these vehicles can be found at "your Saturn-Opel dealer." Once the last Saturn is purged you have Opel but with Saturn's great customer service policies (probably better than in Europe) and a legit competitor in image to VW and Mazda. This is similar to how Datsun transitioned to Nissan.

GM has nothing to lose and clarity to gain.

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I would have to say some of that is completely backwards.

1) No one in the country - aside from us geeks - knows what Opelis. For the vast majority of its existence (and even now), most people didn't know Saturn was associated with General Motors.

2) I counter that people do get what GM is trying to do, GM just isn't doing the best job at conveying it. The AURA debut was met with somewhat stunted advertising, as is the new VUE. And in the case of the OUTLOOK, people are simply not used to higher priced or large Saturn. People have zero familiarity with Opel and Opel has zero resonance with 90% of the buying public.

3) You say Saturn has a "non-image" problem, but then hint at it with "great customer service." Saturn as industry-reknowned customer service, and its an arguable statement that service was the only reason Saturn sold those average, buzzy little cars as long as it did.

4) The advertising may indeed be ironic to us who understand that about half of the future Saturn lineup is imported and the majority of coming models will be designed overseas. But do you think anyone else gets it? Does anyone know the Astra is really an import? Futhermore, does anyone care? Remember, this is the same country that regularly throws out thirty grand on a foreign car with zero ties to the United States without a care and even proudly do so.

No offense, but re-recasting Saturn as Opel is a pretty stupid idea, especially since GM has already invested whatever it has bringing Saturn around with some early success.

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Renaming them Opels really wouldn't do much. It's the product that counts, not the name of the brand (unless it says Honda, Toyota, or Lexus). The SKY confirms that this is the case. You're just much too close-minded and too impatient to think logically.

Know one knows about Opels here. If you're going to market them as "VW vs. Opel" then you're going to have to inform the general public that Opel is like VW in Germany, which would be a waste of time and money.

Also, I don't see what a cool logo is going to do.

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GM's last ditch effort (it's axville if this doesn't work) is to sell Opels as Saturns. Great idea. But marketing them as the "new American" car makes no sense at all. But it's understandable because GM is keeping the American name. Saturn really only means something here and in Canada. So GM really couldn't market these cars as European alternatives - nobody would understand the message for sure.

The benefit going from Saturn to Opel is clarity of branding. A Saturn in its original meaning (a small inexpensive economical plastic car) doesn't exist anymore. GM is rebuilding an image for Saturn anyway. Why not go all the way and call it an Opel? BTW, there are a handful of us who do remember when Opel sold cars here (and I don't mean the Isuzu imposters either).

***The "don't change anything" mentality from some of the posters here is perplexing. Think about how GM got in trouble to begin with. GM won't be great again without a great deal more change.***

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Wait, I thought Chevrolet was the "American Revolution?" If I "Rethink American" with Saturn is that because the same basic car over at the Chevy dealer blows chunks? As a customer how do I differentiate Chevy and Saturn? Why do I even bother with going to a Saturn dealer when I know that the same American mid-sizer is priced less at my Chevy dealer? Hell, my Chevy dealer even has the same 2 imports in their showroom as Saturn does to compare.

Opel as Saturn skirts this altogether.

4) The advertising may indeed be ironic to us who understand that about half of the future Saturn lineup is imported and the majority of coming models will be designed overseas. But do you think anyone else gets it? Does anyone know the Astra is really an import? Futhermore, does anyone care? Remember, this is the same country that regularly throws out thirty grand on a foreign car with zero ties to the United States without a care and even proudly do so.

No offense, but re-recasting Saturn as Opel is a pretty stupid idea, especially since GM has already invested whatever it has bringing Saturn around with some early success.

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GM is not marketing them as a "new American" car. The ads are saying "Rethink American." That's not the same as "the new American."

GM is changing. That's what Saturn is doing right now. You're giving up after ~1 year of trying? Disappointed that Saturn isn't outselling Honda already? Give it some time. Starting over with Opel doesn't do much good because you have to "remake" the brand and market your new direction again. The money spent to remarket Saturn would be lost and you'd have to start over.

You're always complaining about marketing dollars and how GM wastes so much marketing money, but now you're calling for a huge campaign to first launch Opel-Saturn and then launch Opel. Seems like a big endeavor for a logo that's just so much cooler.

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My thinking is "change for the better" rather than "change for the sake of change." Changing Saturn to Opel in badge-only after years of developing an identity for the brand falls under the latter.

Saturn has always been known as a good, cheap, friendly, economical car. Just replace 'cheap' with 'value' and add 'attractive', and that's what Saturn is now.

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Wait, I thought Chevrolet was the "American Revolution?" If I "Rethink American" with Saturn is that because the same basic car over at the Chevy dealer blows chunks? As a customer how do I differentiate Chevy and Saturn? Why do I even bother with going to a Saturn dealer when I know that the same American mid-sizer is priced less at my Chevy dealer? Hell, my Chevy dealer even has the same 2 imports in their showroom as Saturn does to compare.

Opel as Saturn skirts this altogether.

"Rethink American" is not "oh we know American cars suck and so you should try ours," it's conveying the more upscale mainstream American vehicle that has influence from mport vehicles. That's why they aren't comparing Saturns to Fords and Dodges but rather to Camcords.

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Wait, I thought Chevrolet was the "American Revolution?" If I "Rethink American" with Saturn is that because the same basic car over at the Chevy dealer blows chunks? As a customer how do I differentiate Chevy and Saturn? Why do I even bother with going to a Saturn dealer when I know that the same American mid-sizer is priced less at my Chevy dealer? Hell, my Chevy dealer even has the same 2 imports in their showroom as Saturn does to compare.

Opel as Saturn skirts this altogether.

You probably don't go to your Chevy dealership because the dealership atmosphere there sucks and Saturns are more visually-attractive and upscale in apperance and feature content than a comperable Chevrolet.

A simple fact is - and no offense to the good Chevy salesmen that post here - if the Chevrolet dealer network did a good enough job keep their customers happy instead of trying to shuck and jive them on undercoating, clearcoating, and sidecoating, there would be no rationale for Saturn.

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Okay, seriously...where does everyone get this impression that there is some pent up American demand for Opel, that everyone knows what Opel is, that Opel has this hallowed image in the states, that anyone besides us car nerds realize Opel exists?

What would you change about Saturn, just calling it Opel? How inauthentic is that?

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I also think Saturn should become Opel, think of all the money we could save in badges alone! :AH-HA_wink:

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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This is a bad idea. It costs $$$ to wipe away the Saturn name and more $$$ to establish the Opel name, which in actuality needs all the help it can get in this country. Opel's last tour here wasn't too successful.

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>>"It will take generations for Saturn to lose it's lame image. "<<

Saturn's image isn't nearly as lame as hyundai's 'rollling garbage' image was, and it took about 18 months for people to forgive that.

I agree with the majority here and will further state: there was just possibly a chance at a name switch before the new product rolled into the dealers; now it's far too late. Continual name juggling does not inspire confidence, either.

Opel has no cache' and no image here- and those that remember Opels before they pulled out of the US Market remember prematurely-rotted, oil-smoke belching tin cans and a cheap-o corvette knock-off. NOT a step up.

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I also think Saturn should become Opel, think of all the money we could save in badges alone! :AH-HA_wink:

Except since apparently the vehicles will sell so much better under the Opel badge you'll actually end up spending more on badges :P:rolleyes:

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I had the same idea to change Saturn to Opel, about a year ago. I believe it was Evok that changed my mind on that. If he said it wont work, then it probably wont work.

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i would enjoy it if they renamed it. i wouldn't mind holden brand here too

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:deadhorse::deadhorse::deadhorse:

Not going to happen. In an already over-saturated market, adding an a brand with zero recognition in the American market would prove to be a disaster. The only people who remember it are buying Avalons and Lexuses = Old People. It will be oldsmobile all over again... although, buyacargetacheck, I think you'd probably want that.

Edited by Cadillacfan
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Hey Buythecar... I have a brilliant idea instead why don't we name like this

GM -- Becomes JM -- Japanese Motors

Chevy -- Becomes -- Toyta (Not with A in middle)

Saturn -- Hunda (That's right with a U)

Pontiac --PMW

Buick -- Aucra

Cadillac -- Luxes

Hummer keep it regardless of what we name it, it will divide the society.

That way we can do with the bad names and be in sync with the halos associated with those brands here in the US. (<SARCASM>)

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Disaster? What do you think they have now?

Right now with Saturn GM is struggling to invent an identity for a brand whose raison d'etre died a long time ago and is the one that most everyone who's ever heard of Saturn remembers. Moving Saturn into Oldsmobile's place in Sloan's structure is not going to work. Buyers increasingly don't get American middle brands no matter how good the iron (see Mercury, Buick, Pontiac sales over the last 20 years). At least with Opel GM would have a genuine niche story to tell: that is, Adam Opel has been making genuine value-priced German-engineered road cars for 108 years. No, they won't make any new sales records in the North America, but they won't with Saturn either. But under Opel they'll have a better, more genuine heritage combined with Saturn's excellent customer service.

:deadhorse::deadhorse::deadhorse:

Not going to happen. In an already over-saturated market, adding an a brand with zero recognition in the American market would prove to be a disaster. The only people who remember it are buying Avalons and Lexuses = Old People. It will be oldsmobile all over again... although, buyacargetacheck, I think you'd probably want that.

Edited by buyacargetacheck
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BTW, I agree that GM will not adopt this idea. You can always count on GM to do the wrong thing. They're, like, experts at it. :lol:

Except, they are doing the right thing. The wrong thing would what you've described. Please, take care of your insanity before posting. :P
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buyacargetacheck= >>"GM is struggling to invent an identity for {Saturn}"<<

Quantify the degree of 'struggling', please.

>>"Moving Saturn into Oldsmobile's place in Sloan's structure is not going to work."<<

Psst! The Sloan Heirarchy was dissolved in the late 1950s, you have some catching up to do.

>>"Adam Opel has been making genuine value-priced German-engineered road cars for 108 years."<<

No one gives a tin sh!t about this- it will not sell cars. In fact, as the consumer at large becomes increasing better informed, playing up a German heritage when the present German-based makes are lagging in quality is, again, NOT what GM needs.

Like Cadillacfan stated: the U.S. market is ALREADY oversaturated, and the manpower & cost to 'switch over' from one name to another is a collosal distraction when there are many more pressing matters for Corporate to focus on. Opel has NO image, there is no advantage, it's a waste of time, how can you not see this?

Not to mention once again, you fail to consider the marketing aspect of GM 'discontinuing' ANOTHER division. The media will pounce on 'another GM failure' like a Great White.

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On the bright side, I don't think this idea is as bad as the occasional "get rid of GMC" threads that pop up...

Still not a good idea, though. On the flip side, I think it's only a matter of time before Opel badges become available aftermarket for the newer Saturns.

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