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Oracle of Delphi

Lutz: Saturn Astra has been a huge cost saver

24 posts in this topic

Jens Dralle

Automotive News

December 24, 2007 - 12:01 am ET

SAN DIEGO - Bringing the redesigned Opel Astra to North America as a Saturn has saved General Motors about $900 million in development costs, says GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz.

"Its adaptation to American requirements cost less than $100 million," Lutz said at a press event here.

"In the future, Opel and Saturn will share about 90 percent of their model portfolios."

The front-drive hatchback goes on sale in North America in January in three trim levels: the five-door XE priced at $15,995, the five-door XR at $17,545 and a sporty three-door XR priced at $18,495. Prices include shipping.

The Saturn Astra also will help boost capacity use at the Opel plant in Antwerp, Belgium, which will build the hatchback for both brands. About 45,000 Saturn versions are expected to be produced there annually.

The new hatchback is being counted on to help Saturn continue its sales growth. For the 11 months through November, Saturn sales are up 7.9 percent over a year earlier to 221,895 vehicles - in a market off 2.4 percent.

Despite the dollar's weakness compared to the euro, Lutz said importing the Astra from Europe still makes business sense.

"But if exchange rate trends go on the way they have,'' he said, "the Astra will become a GM charity project."

The dollar, which has fallen nearly 40 percent against the euro since 2001, is trading at around $1.43.

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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Agreed. Come on, Delta II.
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My prediction is NA production of the Saturn Astra for the next gen.

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This sure took long enough to get here...

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I thought they were bringing the Astra over to the Delta plant later on in production, or was that the G8 thats switching production to NA?

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100 Million? For what? Engine and transmission are both the same. You can't tell me that suspension tuning and different bumpers cost $100 million.

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100 Million? For what? Engine and transmission are both the same. You can't tell me that suspension tuning and different bumpers cost $100 million.

Not sure how it would add up to that much either, but maybe if they're counting everything - testing, tooling, marketing, market testing, flying people back & forth between the US and Europe a gazillion times... *shrug*

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Add to that the Saturn Astra ride and drive event, which may have cost about 10-15 million dollars. They did it for almost two months.

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"In the future, Opel and Saturn will share about 90 percent of their model portfolios."

I love that we generally see all the Opels months before we see their Saturn equivalents. haha

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Wonder how the ever-sinking U.S. dollar will affect the sticker price of these "Opels"...

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thank certification costs......safety and crash testing, EPA testing and then another layer of crap for the United Emirate State of California. PERFECT example. They want their own standard so it costs all the rest of us more and is a hurdle to bring the car to market because of it.

not to mention setting up parts and repair networks and training, information etc.

Edited by regfootball
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Time to use an American plant for these cars.

Substitute American with mexican and your on to something .

The headlights were also re-engineered with a Halogen projector , no HID or active forward lighting components , which does require a new headlamp base , new internal brackets , new parking light reflector(that is US specific ...and ugly ) that uses a US 3156 style light ( Opel uses a h7 with a 194 city light in theirs ) and a new socket for the top turn signal light to except a common US size Bulb , and a new internal wiring harness . That was a nice chunk of expense right there and I was actually very surprised GM went the extra mile to put the HID/AFL style lamp on the Saturns ...as the Euro Astras did and still do have a halogen specific light , though it not nearly as good looking .

Edited by silverss/sc
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Don't forget that they are paying PCS' inflated salary too. :AH-HA_wink:

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Don't forget that they are paying PCS' inflated salary too. :AH-HA_wink:

+ medical bills

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Don't forget that they are paying PCS' inflated salary too. :AH-HA_wink:

+ travel to and from the EU

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Don't forget that they are paying PCS' inflated salary too. :AH-HA_wink:

+ Pontiac Grand Prix GXP shipping to Swaziland

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+ Pontiac Grand Prix GXP shipping to Swaziland

+ His gaming rig.

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Sleeping on the job... oh my.
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Sorry, unless they are adding the sedan to the lineup for North American production, the next Astra will come from GM Manufacturing Poland (cheaper than Belgium though).

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Sleeping on the job... oh my.

I don't post at sites while on the job, after all this isn't some Amish Ford dealership with the scented air of horse manure wafting through the Service Advisor's area, now is it? :AH-HA_wink:

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No Borger. It isn't. But do regale us with tales from that Ford dealership if you have visited it. Sounds interesting! :AH-HA_wink:
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Visit your local Nissan dealer. There will be no shortage of Horse Manure, even if it is in a large city.

Chris

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