carman21

Saturn

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Saturn could be a mainstream brand but, it is better off building on its already established characteristics like its outstanding dealers. The influx of Opel inspired product shall increase Saturn's fortune's tremendously. What do you think? Edited by carman21
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No. Just no. Radical, but completely devoid of good business logic. You are not looking at the industry from a profit standpoint. GMC is pure profit, therefore don't f*** with it. Chevrolet is about to sell 3 million, therefore it doesn't need internal competition. Chevrolet competes with Toyota. Why should Saturn? I'll answer that: it shouldn't. Let Saturn specifically target upscale brands like Acura, VW, and Mercury, and if the product is good it will get conquest buyers from Toyota and Honda who are trading UP, not the same people in the market for a second or third Camcord. The problem is that you are focusing on competitng brands instead of market segments. Pontiac will likely be the part of the B-P-GMC trio that caters to the "youth vehicles" i.e. cheap, fun to drive, sporty, but not too well-appointed. If you want to think in terms of competing brands, then somewhere between Plymouth, Dodge, Scion and Mazda. Yes, I said Plymouth because those used Plymouths are still being sold. Buick is currently in a bit of an identity crisis. I don't think GM knows what it wants to do with it, and I see that as a problem. Personally, I think GM should take a two-pronged approach to the luxury market and sell Buicks and Cadillacs in the same dealerships, but different showrooms. The Buicks should target the Lexus/Jaguar luxury mentality of plushness and crypt-like quiet, while Cadillac should focus on BMW, Mercedes and Infiniti as far as offering more sporting cars with firmer suspensions. Cadillac takes more radical, flashy styling while Buick is more subdued and elegant. I think it could work if positioned right, though I doubt GM would be capable of that.
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Saturn was created to compete with the likes of Toyota and now look where the brand is. It's currently on the verge of phase out and I'm sure we'd see it happen if it wasn't for the change in product offering. Sure, none of the products are out yet but by the time they will be, Saturn will be a completely different animal. It will be offering some of the best vehicles GM has to offer in terms of styling and variety. Competing against Mercury and Chrysler is setting your sights low. GM is aiming for the imports. So it's going to play at their game by designing their cars in Germany(Opel) but building them here to save costs. Edited by Cadillacfan85
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Chevy would be the cheapest brand over all. Aveo($9-12k),Cobalt($12-16k),Malibu($16-22k),Impala($22-28k) Pontiac would be youthful but, slightly more expensive than Chevy G2($10-13k),G4($13-17k),G6($17-24k), G8($24-31k) Saturn would be priced essentially like that of Toyota, Nissan, & Honda. Quark($11-14k),Ion($14-18k),Aura($18-26k),Evoke($26-34k) Buick would be as luxiurious as a Lexus or Acura but, much cheaper in price. Signia($18-26k),Allure(26-38k), Lucerne(38-54k) Cadillac would of course be the most expensive and luxirious BLS($25-40k),CTS($40-70k),STS($70-130k),Fleetwood(130-250k), of course these prices a far in the future like ten years,if ever. Edited by carman21
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Chevy would be the cheapest brand over all.
Aveo($9-12k),Cobalt($12-16k),Malibu($16-22k),Impala($22-28k)
Pontiac would be youthful but, slightly more expensive than Chevy
G2($10-13k),G4($13-17k),G6($17-24k), G8($24-31k)
Saturn would be priced essentially like that of Toyota, Nissan, & Honda.
Quark($11-14k),Ion($14-18k),Aura($18-26k),Evoke($26-34k)
Buick would be as luxiurious as a Lexus or Acura but, much cheaper in price.
Signia($18-26k),Allure(26-38k), Lucerne(38-54k)
Cadillac would of course be the most expensive and luxirious
BLS($25-40k),CTS($40-70k),STS($70-130k),Fleetwood(130-250k),
of course these prices a far in the future like ten years,if ever.

I think having Chevy & Saturn as true full-lines would work well for GM. The discounts at Chevy would ensure that Chevy remains the highest volume brand. The mainstream prices at Saturn would mean high volume sales and profits matching those at Honda & Toyota. Chevy & Saturn would build GM's equity as an automaker.

Saturn's intension was to compete with Toyota.  GM has avoided its original intention for Saturn for over 15 years by not having a full-line. To quote or at least paraphase  a 1989 Motor Trend from memory. "Saturn will be to the midlevel market what Chevrolet to the entry market",so said a GM spokesman at the time. Now this is before Saturn got the reputation as a cheap strange Chevy. GM's original intention was to match the Japanese automakers, since they were upscale in price and quality compared to Chevy, hence midlevel compared to Chevys. Unfortunately, GM took until now to make amends while Saturn is in intensive care. Saturn will relize its true potential by 2015 and we will see if GM as we know it still exists. Look how fast Toyota has grown,I think Saturn can do the same. Without hurting Pontiac & Buick.GMC is the least safe by Saturn's boom. Saturn will absorb GMC by 2015,if not earlier.

[post="31907"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I don't think you read a word of what I said.

It wouldn't work and would cheapen and devalue every applicable brand. Just no.
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I don't think you read a word of what I said.

It wouldn't work and would cheapen and devalue every applicable brand.  Just no.

[post="31958"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I agree with Croc. Saturn needs to be distinct (with product that finally make that believable) to attract a buying segment not addressed by GM today. It may have intially set out to be the American Toyota, but 20 years later needs to draw in buyers who'd otherwise shop Acura, VW, Mazda, Nissan, Honda. Pontiac just isn't pulling in those types of buyers.
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Hello all, sorry, my cousin started this thread I'll set him up with a new account. Again Sorry about that. I was away at college. Anyway, the idea of GMC merging with Saturn is cuning but, totally impractical and besides if Saturn gets any real truck it should start with a Lambda pick-up ala the Honda Ridgeline. I agree with Croc & dutch on this one. Sorry cuz,thoughtful thread but, your wrong.
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I'm with Croc. As he said, the brand is pure profit. It's also another very old brand, with alot of history. Saturn's the baby in GM's portfolio, not GMC. I agree that there should be two full lines. The value filled Chevy brand, with an offering in every segment (like Ford or Toyota), and an upscale alternative (Saturn), that is also in every segment (minus trucks and truck-based SUVs). Pontiac/Buick/GMC will compete in it's on niches, not having full lineups. GMC will remain the "Professional Grade" trucks and SUVs, the premium SUV alternative to Chevy, while Saturn is the premium alternative for everything else. Pontiac, very narrow in vision and focused on driver oriented cars. Three sedans/performance SUVs (small and midsize)/Solstice/GTO/G6 coupe/vert. Buick, the value packed Lexus alternative, with 3 sedans, the Velite, and atleast two SUVs (small and midsize), and maybe an R-class competitor. Caddy, full lux line, with a competitor for every Benz/Bimmer product.
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Buick is currently in a bit of an identity crisis.  I don't think GM knows what it wants to do with it, and I see that as a problem.  Personally, I think GM should take a two-pronged approach to the luxury market and sell Buicks and Cadillacs in the same dealerships, but different showrooms.  The Buicks should target the Lexus/Jaguar luxury mentality of plushness and crypt-like quiet, while Cadillac should focus on BMW, Mercedes and Infiniti as far as offering more sporting cars with firmer suspensions.  Cadillac takes more radical, flashy styling while Buick is more subdued and elegant.  I think it could work if positioned right, though I doubt GM would be capable of that.

[post="30755"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

I like that idea alot. But I dont think the Buick name, and image is anywhere close to where it needs to be to pull that off. And thats too bad, because that could give Cadillac some freedom. They wouldn't need to keep the aged DTS to appeal to the traditional buyers, because they could move it over to Buick.
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Buick is where Cadillac was a decade ago. All they need is one stunning, superlatively capable vehicle to turn their brand around, or at least get the momentum going. Frankly, I think you could even make some financial sense out of it. Put both Buick and Cadillac on similar (if not the same) platforms and have the styling and interior design be the distinguishing characteristics as well as ride. Buick should have the same engines, too, but not in high output versions. This would decrease platform costs via volume by allowing both Cadillac and Buick to utilize the same basic underpinnings. The corresponding Cadillac platform-mate would have a 15-20% premium over the Buick, and this would go toward higher-end features, sportier suspension, and even higher quality interiors. Buick wouldn't have any trucks or SUVs, but crossovers are game. Thoughts?
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In other words, use the regular Sigma for Buick. Maybe the next generation LaCrosse would be based upon the CTS; the next generation LaCrosse would be based upon the STS; and instead of Lambda, give Buick a crossover based upon the SRX. The styling would be substantially different, and the Cadillacs would be substantially more luxurious. Makes sense to me, as it would be BPG a nice variety of products, with Pontiacs and GMC's based upon Chevrolets and Buicks based upon Cadillacs.
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Buick should return to the design theme of the LaCrosse concept. That was sexy as hell.
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Hello all, sorry, my cousin started this thread I'll set him up with a new account. Again Sorry about that. I was away at college.
Anyway, the idea of GMC merging with Saturn is cuning but, totally impractical and besides if Saturn gets any real truck it should start with a Lambda pick-up ala the Honda Ridgeline. I agree with Croc & dutch on this one. Sorry cuz,thoughtful thread but, your wrong.

[post="32453"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


That doesn't make any sense. Why would you give your cousin your user name and go away to college and then come back to post on here? Are you pulling the old: "It wasn't me, so let's all forget what I just said" trick?
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Buick is where Cadillac was a decade ago.  All they need is one stunning, superlatively capable vehicle to turn their brand around, or at least get the momentum going.  Frankly, I think you could even make some financial sense out of it.  Put both Buick and Cadillac on similar (if not the same) platforms and have the styling and interior design be the distinguishing characteristics as well as ride.  Buick should have the same engines, too, but not in high output versions.  This would decrease platform costs via volume by allowing both Cadillac and Buick to utilize the same basic underpinnings.  The corresponding Cadillac platform-mate would have a 15-20% premium over the Buick, and this would go toward higher-end features, sportier suspension, and even higher quality interiors.  Buick wouldn't have any trucks or SUVs, but crossovers are game.

Thoughts?

[post="32587"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

But Buicks image has never been anywhere near Cadillacs. Buick will have a much harder time restoring their image than it would be for Cadillac. Cadillac at one time, was standard of the world, and they are working back up to that. Buick at its greatest was still a few notches below that. And it took $4 billion to get Cadillac to where it is now, it would take at least that much for Buick. I like the idea, but I dont think it would be as easy as you say.
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Again, what's your proof of that? In recent years several carmakers have turned their images around with just one model. Look at Nissan and the Altima. Cadillac had the triumverate of the CTS, Escalade, and EXT. If Buick came out with breakthrough product, who's to say they couldn't do the same? Look at Hyundai. With a few models they are now a power player. It really just takes one breakthrough product that generates a lot of enthusiasm to begin to turn a brand around, and good followup product launches to keep the momentum going. With my plan, Buick would still be a notch below Cadillac, but currently GM's inane pricing strategy will have Saturns and Buicks in a similar price range while Cadillac goes from 30-100k. That's quite a spread. If Buick were bumped up with product deserving of a higher price, then it would take some pressure off of Cadillac to deliver a 40k STS and be able to make all trims of its product exemplary. Edited by Croc
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Look at Hyundai.  With a few models they are now a power player.

[post="32636"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


What models are those? I'm still loathe to call Hyundai a 'power player,' though I do realize they're the auto rags' wanking material as of late. They have yet to have one true, solid, breakout product...and the Sonata does not count because its still only just as good as the current, soon-to-be-revamped Camry/Accord.
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Sonata DOES count as far as I'm concerned. It is a very competitive product. It has an appealing design, and it looks nice enough for someone to avoid feeling embarrassed over its purchase. It might not blow away the competition, but it is a very solid competitor in the segment. Hyundai also has some very capable SUVs. I'm not big on Korean cars myself, but I gotta give credit where credit is due. In 1998 Hyundai was looked down upon as pretty cheap, basic transportation, and now they are said in the same breath as Toyota and Honda in many circles. That's a pretty good turnaround. They've come farther faster from 1986 and their Excel to the present than the Japanese did from the 1970s to their first truly competitive products in the early 90s.
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Actually, there are several points in time where Buick's premium image has made Cadillac quite uncomfortable. The most memorable was where Buick began to offer custom vehicles built by Brunn in the late 1930's/early 1940's. They were equivalent to Cadillac & Fisher. Cadillac felt extremely threatened by Buick’s ever growing luxury image. Cadillac and Fisher both complained to GM Corp and GM ordered Buick to discontinue Custom Brunn-built luxury vehicles.

But as Croc said, even today Buick is where Cadillac was just 5-10 years ago. Buick is not that far beneath or behind Cadillac. I'd have no problems with Croc's 2-tier luxury structure.

found a pic on the BCA website:

Posted Image Edited by VenSeattle
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GM really should go for it...Cadillac can be "Breakthrough" and "Standard of the World" while Buick is "sophisticated elegance" and "sumptuously breathtaking."
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The Sonata is still one of those '...for a Korean car' products, i.e. "Nice interior. For a Korean car." or "Looks nice. For a Korean car." Speaking of the interior, its still one of those examples of what not to do when designing a car. Typical dead-panel plates over options you couldn't afford, unergonomic layout, hillarious radio stack and surround. Designwise, its unoffensive because it borrows many-a-cue from the Accord. Peep the taillamps, for one. Derivative, bland styling. Also, what SUV's? The Santa Fe? Decent, yes, but still second-fiddle to the CR-V, RAV4, Escape, and Equinox, all breakout products in their own right. Tuscon is also an oddly-placed also-ran. I do realize Hyundai has progressed, but it still sells on price and warranty and frankly, I could sell Russian or Slovakian cars like that. You mentioned Altima. The '02 Altima had a crappy interior - both layout and materials - decent quality, wasn't the economical, and wasn't super-reliabile. But it sold because it had power and was desireable. I'll wait to see a Hyundai (or Kia) that sells solely on desire before I consider them 'turned-around'. In that regard, Tiburon was the closest.
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My cousin didn't realize that I am a regular on C&G. So, he just thought he can put his 2 cents in. I made the foolish mistake of leaving my password in memory on my laptop. I'm not going to retract anything he said. Nor do I really care. The Aura will hopefully be to Saturn what the Altima is to Nissan. A game-changing car.
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The Sonata is still one of those '...for a Korean car' products, i.e. "Nice interior. For a Korean car." or "Looks nice. For a Korean car."

Speaking of the interior, its still one of those examples of what not to do when designing a car. Typical dead-panel plates over options you couldn't afford, unergonomic layout, hillarious radio stack and surround. Designwise, its unoffensive because it borrows many-a-cue from the Accord. Peep the taillamps, for one. Derivative, bland styling.

Also, what SUV's? The Santa Fe? Decent, yes, but still second-fiddle to the CR-V, RAV4, Escape, and Equinox, all breakout products in their own right. Tuscon is also an oddly-placed also-ran.

I do realize Hyundai has progressed, but it still sells on price and warranty and frankly, I could sell Russian or Slovakian cars like that.

You mentioned Altima. The '02 Altima had a crappy interior - both layout and materials - decent quality, wasn't the economical, and wasn't super-reliabile. But it sold because it had power and was desireable.

I'll wait to see a Hyundai (or Kia) that sells solely on desire before I consider them 'turned-around'. In that regard, Tiburon was the closest.

[post="32651"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Brian,

I don't know if you're basing your opinion on internet/autorag articles or if you've had a chance to sit in or drive the new Sonata. I just began new car shopping last weekend. I'm more in the market for a compact five-door, but I checked out the Sonata anyhow...an absolute base GL with a 5 speed manual and a top of the line LX. Anyone, particularly in the industry, who is underestimating the Sonata is whistling past the graveyard IMHO. It's fully competitive with anything currently in it's class without qualification and embarasses many of those competitors on it's own merits....BEFORE considering price. Once price is factored in, the deal is practically closed if you're in the market for a mid-size car. I was quoted around $15.5 for the GL and $21K for a fully loaded LX. I see no compelling reason to buy an Accord or Camry over the Sonata...unless you want a fully optioned manual transmission which the Accord offers. And it frankly embarrasses the current Malibu (actually, I'd say it embarasses the current Camry also).

Hyundai is making astounding leaps from generation to generation in their cars...I'd say their biggest shortcoming is a lack of exterior design talent or at least a tendency to be too derivative. The new Sonata interior goes toe-to-toe with the Accord's. But at their current pace, they're as good a bet as anyone to be class leaders in another generation or two if they aren't already in some respects.

I haven't been a Hyundai fan by any means, but unless there's a fly in the ointment somewhere (like the thing turns out to be riddled with recalls/reliability issues), I was seriously impressed with the progress they're making.
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GM should keep the dent resistant body panels on Saturn. Of course, they won't do it because they want to make building their re-badged common platform cars cheaper, but it just plain sucks that they're giving up such a great feature, and people are just going to have to live with unsightly dings and dents in their $20,000 or $30,000 vehicle!
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GM should keep the dent resistant body panels on Saturn.  Of course, they won't do it because they want to make building their re-badged common platform cars cheaper, but it just plain sucks that they're giving up such a great feature, and people are just going to have to live with unsightly dings and dents in their $20,000 or $30,000 vehicle!

[post="38120"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


It's not just that Saturn will be rebadged Opels (which is a great thing). GM obviously doesn't think the pluses outweigh the minuses as far as the dent resistant body panels go. It's a good feature, and a good gimmick, but they weren't contributing to selling cars in the numbers GM would have liked. If Saturn was a great selling brand, they wouldn't be touched. It seems people would rather have much tighter gaps. As far as unsightly dings, there found in much more expensive luxury cars also, so I don't think that'll be a deterent to people buying Saturns. Rather, they'll buy them in droves now because the product is so good, tight body panels and all.
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Saturn is the only GM division (save hummer) to show a year to year ncrease in sales. Perhaps the plastic planels are just now catching on.
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