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wildcat

GMI: 2010 model Saturn Aura "On Hold"

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What's up with GMI's report that the 2010 model Saturn Aura has been placed "On Hold"? They say it may be due to concerns over "the car's fuel economy." Anyone here heard the same? How might this delay the launch of the NG Aura?

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why would the NG aura be postponed for mpg reasons? is it taking on weight? ...unless they're focusing on delta 2 and Gamma instead.

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I read it and I'm curious as to what the expression "on hold" means...

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I'd like to think it means Saturn is dead, the Insignia stays in Europe as an Opel/Vauxhall.
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Maybe it means Pontiac is Dead as opposed to Pontiac is Car, and they (GM) don't know what to do with 2 EP II's in the same showroom since it's been rumored Saturn might be joined with BUICK, should Pontiac and GMC go the way of Oldsmobile.

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Maybe it means Pontiac is Dead as opposed to Pontiac is Car, and they (GM) don't know what to do with 2 EP II's in the same showroom since it's been rumored Saturn might be joined with BUICK, should Pontiac and GMC go the way of Oldsmobile.

Even more so if the Insignia and the Invicta/LaX share the same wheelbase and basic dimensions. That famous test car that looks like an Invicta/LaX (the one wearing Swedish plates) is about the same size as the Insignia.

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I own a GMC and I love it, but as far back as I can remember, GMC has been a redundant brand. GM needs to kill Saturn, sell Hummer and SAAB... and *gasp* maybe euthanize GMC in this hostile climate before entertaining the dubious thought of killing Pontiac.
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Looks like more corporate ADD....no immediate Saturn turnaround?--Let's panic and go off in another direction.

Just like the premature culling of Zetas, or the indecision on FWD v. RWD Impy's or just about any other decision made in the last 10 years.

Question: If GM can't afford to develop carlines, how are they going to afford snuffing out GMC or Pontiac? Olds was a $1Billion+ years ago....wanna guess what these brands are going to cost to kill?

I just don't understand this company, at all. Caddy is regressing back to FWD architectures with the latest Theta+ and Lambda rumors. RWD and HF V8 development is being limited, despite the fact that every premium manufacturer in the world is sticking with it (you know, the kind of cars that make SUV-type $). Saturn isn't even being given a product generation to see if it can work with the new direction, Chevy has no truly competitive C/B class vehicles (despite being GM's volume brand)...the list is endless.

It's no wonder the stock is in the toilet and the 'experts' are predicting doom. If you really scratch the surface, the Volt "Hail Mary" is all you can hang your hat on...and GM's record with new tech is mixed, at best.

These are scary times to be a GM fan, my friends. Even scarier if you're a GMC, POnitac, Buick, Hummer or Saturn franchisee.

Edited by enzl
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I wont believe it until GMS reports that it has been "shelved."

:rotflmao:

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Looks like more corporate ADD....no immediate Saturn turnaround?--Let's panic and go off in another direction.

I just don't understand this company, at all. Caddy is regressing back to FWD architectures with the latest Theta+ and Lambda rumors. RWD and HF V8 development is being limited, despite the fact that every premium manufacturer in the world is sticking with it (you know, the kind of cars that make SUV-type $).

I guess GM is just going back to what they know...FWD. They have spent almost 30 years building mostly FWD generics, so they are retreating to their comfort zone...:)

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Looks like more corporate ADD....no immediate Saturn turnaround?--Let's panic and go off in another direction.

Just like the premature culling of Zetas, or the indecision on FWD v. RWD Impy's or just about any other decision made in the last 10 years.

Question: If GM can't afford to develop carlines, how are they going to afford snuffing out GMC or Pontiac? Olds was a $1Billion+ years ago....wanna guess what these brands are going to cost to kill?

I just don't understand this company, at all. Caddy is regressing back to FWD architectures with the latest Theta+ and Lambda rumors. RWD and HF V8 development is being limited, despite the fact that every premium manufacturer in the world is sticking with it (you know, the kind of cars that make SUV-type $). Saturn isn't even being given a product generation to see if it can work with the new direction, Chevy has no truly competitive C/B class vehicles (despite being GM's volume brand)...the list is endless.

It's no wonder the stock is in the toilet and the 'experts' are predicting doom. If you really scratch the surface, the Volt "Hail Mary" is all you can hang your hat on...and GM's record with new tech is mixed, at best.

These are scary times to be a GM fan, my friends. Even scarier if you're a GMC, POnitac, Buick, Hummer or Saturn franchisee.

The architects of the decisions over the last few months are suffering from cranio-rectal insertion.

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I would wait until this is actually backed up by a real source before worrying about it. It's just a rebadged Opel--why would the fuel economy be so horrendous?

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I would wait until this is actually backed up by a real source before worrying about it. It's just a rebadged Opel--why would the fuel economy be so horrendous?

That does seem a bit suspicious..the current Aura gets decent mileage, and the Insignia is a bit larger... they should offer it in the US with some diesel options..

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Looks like more corporate ADD....no immediate Saturn turnaround?--Let's panic and go off in another direction.

Just like the premature culling of Zetas, or the indecision on FWD v. RWD Impy's or just about any other decision made in the last 10 years.

Question: If GM can't afford to develop carlines, how are they going to afford snuffing out GMC or Pontiac? Olds was a $1Billion+ years ago....wanna guess what these brands are going to cost to kill?

I just don't understand this company, at all. Caddy is regressing back to FWD architectures with the latest Theta+ and Lambda rumors. RWD and HF V8 development is being limited, despite the fact that every premium manufacturer in the world is sticking with it (you know, the kind of cars that make SUV-type $). Saturn isn't even being given a product generation to see if it can work with the new direction, Chevy has no truly competitive C/B class vehicles (despite being GM's volume brand)...the list is endless.

It's no wonder the stock is in the toilet and the 'experts' are predicting doom. If you really scratch the surface, the Volt "Hail Mary" is all you can hang your hat on...and GM's record with new tech is mixed, at best.

These are scary times to be a GM fan, my friends. Even scarier if you're a GMC, POnitac, Buick, Hummer or Saturn franchisee.

That sums it up in a nutshell.

I would also like to point out that despite fuel prices, Honda is developing an RWD RL and a rumered V8 along with a V10 for their NSX.

Edited by Dodgefan
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Looks like more corporate ADD....no immediate Saturn turnaround?--Let's panic and go off in another direction.

Just like the premature culling of Zetas, or the indecision on FWD v. RWD Impy's or just about any other decision made in the last 10 years.

Question: If GM can't afford to develop carlines, how are they going to afford snuffing out GMC or Pontiac? Olds was a $1Billion+ years ago....wanna guess what these brands are going to cost to kill?

I just don't understand this company, at all. Caddy is regressing back to FWD architectures with the latest Theta+ and Lambda rumors. RWD and HF V8 development is being limited, despite the fact that every premium manufacturer in the world is sticking with it (you know, the kind of cars that make SUV-type $). Saturn isn't even being given a product generation to see if it can work with the new direction, Chevy has no truly competitive C/B class vehicles (despite being GM's volume brand)...the list is endless.

It's no wonder the stock is in the toilet and the 'experts' are predicting doom. If you really scratch the surface, the Volt "Hail Mary" is all you can hang your hat on...and GM's record with new tech is mixed, at best.

These are scary times to be a GM fan, my friends. Even scarier if you're a GMC, POnitac, Buick, Hummer or Saturn franchisee.

You know, enzl...

I have consistently been one of your biggest critics over the years.

But everyday I see more and more of what you're talking about and what you predicted.

I think this post pretty much sums everything up in a nice little package and I agree 100% with everything you said.

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You know, enzl...

I have consistently been one of your biggest critics over the years.

But everyday I see more and more of what you're talking about and what you predicted.

I think this post pretty much sums everything up in a nice little package and I agree 100% with everything you said.

I'm really not such a bad guy.

I was hoping that someone up at the tubes was listening (or reading).

I feel way worse about being right than being wrong in this case. Lots of people are going to lose everything because of the Executive Level negligence at this company.

I'm sorry that I was harsh at times...but I really felt that there was a severe lack of urgency in GM's planning. Unfortunately for everyone involved, the worst may be coming to pass.

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I think the best case scenario would be that they have put it on hold until GM can figure out a plan to sell it under the "Opel" name in the U.S. Let's face it, Saturn has been saddled with a dorky "touchy feely/cheap and cheerful" brand image that will never represent cool, upscale Euro chic in the U.S. auto market. Opel has almost no market recognition in the U.S. (except to enthusiasts) and could be molded to represent whatever brand image GM decides to give it in the U.S (if they don't botch it up).

From everything I have read about the car so far, it seems as though GM has given the Opel Insignia the proper elements to enable the car to be taken seriously in the premium car segment. Selling it here as the "Opel Insignia" would give it a fighting chance to make an impact in the premium segment here as well. If they sell it here as the next generation "Saturn Aura", customers will oppose paying a premium price tag for a Saturn product and it will be yet another failure for Saturn and GM.

I think this partially explains why the Astra is not selling in the quantities that GM had projected it to sell. Customers are accustomed to going to Saturn to buy an inexpensive compact car like the ION, only to be disappointed to be asked to pay much more for a premium compact car like the Astra. The Astra defies everything that Saturn has represented since its inception.

Basically, I think the transformation from Saturn to Opel needs to be a complete makeover that even includes changing the name of the division. The next generation of Opel products would be a good opportunity for GM to make the transition.

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Basically, I think the transformation from Saturn to Opel needs to be a complete makeover that even includes changing the name of the division. The next generation of Opel products would be a good opportunity for GM to make the transition.

I can't see them going through the expense (and questionable tactic) of trying to introduce another division name to NA when they are dealing with the quandry of having too many to produce quality vehicles for at this point. They will shutter Saturn and just relabel Opels as Pontiacs before that happens. Pontiac could end up being the Opel/Holden NA distrubutor instead of Kidney Grilled Chevies.

Edited by frogger
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I can't see them going through the expense (and questionable tactic) of trying to introduce another division name to NA when they are dealing with the quandry of having too many to produce quality vehicles for at this point. They will shutter Saturn and just relabel Opels as Pontiacs before that happens. Pontiac could end up being the Opel/Holden NA distrubutor instead of Kidney Grilled Chevies.

I can't really see Pontiac being positioned as a captive import division for Opel products either. I would love to see GM turn Pontiac into a RWD affordable specialty car division. I think transforming Pontiac into that kind of division suits the brand much better and allows it to be something unique in the market.

As far as overall brand management, I think GM should do the following:

1) Sell Saab and Hummer. I think there would be foreign companies interested in these 2 divisions. GM needs the money that the sale of these 2 divisions could bring in and they don't need the distraction of managing these 2 low volume divisions. Both divisions existed before GM took control of them and I think they will survive if GM does not own them in the future.

2) Convert GMC to commercial fleet sale vehicles only. Chevrolet can handle the shrinking truck/SUV market on its own.

3) Combine Buick with Cadillac to form the luxury dealership network. Buick would carry FWD luxury cars and FWD/AWD crossovers. Cadillac would focus on RWD luxury cars.

4) Convert Saturn to Opel and combine it with Pontiac to form a midmarket, premium dealer network. Opel would focus on FWD premium cars/MPVs and FWD/AWD premium crossovers. Pontiac would focus on affordable RWD cars.

5) Chevy would be a stand alone dealer network for affordable mainstream products. They would carry a wide range of vehicles that would include FWD cars, FWD/AWD crossovers, trucks/SUVs, and the RWD Camaro/Corvette.

This would give GM 5 manageable divisions arranged into 3 distinct dealer networks with each division being given a well defined purpose and position in GM's brand hierarchy.

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if you go to saturnfans.com you can get the explanation straight from JILL herself. the aura's product cycle is being lengthened is how it was explained, because of 'high product upside' and the success with the 4 cylinder models and now the 6 speed version arriving.

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if you go to saturnfans.com you can get the explanation straight from JILL herself. the aura's product cycle is being lengthened is how it was explained, because of 'high product upside' and the success with the 4 cylinder models and now the 6 speed version arriving.

I think they should give the current Aura a chance to make more of an impact. The installation of the 4 cylinder/6 speed auto combo will certainly make the car more competitive. The car is very attractive (especially compared to the Camry and Accord) and the availability of this engine/trans combo makes it even more appealing (as well as class leading).

That being said, I still think Jill's comments are partially a public spin that smokescreens the issue of where to place the Insignia if it were to be sold in the U.S. From what I understand, the Insignia is quite a bit more upscale than either the Vectra or Aura. While it is a bit larger than the Vectra that it replaces in Europe, it is still smaller than the current Aura. How well will a smaller, yet more expensive, premium midsize sedan do in Saturn's lineup? While the current Aura is a nice looking car and a big step forward for GM midsize sedans (although they may have surpassed it already with the current Malibu), it is still essentially a midsize alternative to mainstream midsize sedans (Camry, Accord, Malibu, etc.) and nothing that is truly more upmarket or premium than the volume offerings. To replace it with a smaller, more expensive model will more than likely be a recipe for failure. I think the less than stellar (or anticipated) sales performance of the Astra (which suffers from the same issue that the Insignia faces: smaller car that costs more being offered by a brand that has become synonymous with affordable transportation) has GM rethinking their product strategy yet again.

I think the biggest challenge with giving Saturn or Pontiac premium products is that neither division has carried any vehicles that were truly more upscale than Chevrolet's offerings in the recent past. Saturn began its automotive existence as a sales channel for inexpensive small cars that were supposed to challenge the imports' offerings. I think the Astra and current Vue have already given many Saturn loyalists a big degree of sticker shock by being priced quite a bit higher than the vehicles that they replaced. Pontiac has really been nothing more than an alternative to Chevrolet for quite a long time now; some of their recent product offerings have been nothing more than "twin-nostilized" Chevy clones. Both divisions essentially just provide alternatives for people who don't want to drive Chevrolet branded products instead of truly targeting the premium market. To drop premium vehicles into their lineups (especially without a huge dose of marketing/advertising to push the products or inform the public about the products) is setting these really nice vehicles up to be sales failures and market underachievers.

That is why I think that it might be better to convert Saturn to Opel. Opel doesn't have any market image baggage in the U.S. and could be carefully molded/crafted to be a premium, captive import brand. I know it will take quite a bit of marketing/advertising to introduce the division to the U.S., but it will also take a lot of marketing/advertising to reposition an existing U.S. division that either has a damaged brand image (Pontiac) or original market position that is essentially opposite of where the brand is supposedly headed (Saturn). I think the money and effort invested in properly launching and maintaining something new to the market (Opel) would provide more long term advantages than trying to repair/transform something that already exists (Saturn/Pontiac) that may never be accepted or embraced by the public. I really don't see the Saturn and Pontiac names attracting the target customers that GM needs to appeal to in order to sell premium, Euro inspired captive imports. With Pontiac and Saturn, GM is currently spending money to essentially cannibalize their own sales instead of gaining market share or attracting new customers. A properly introduced/executed/maintained Opel division could give GM an opportunity to attract customers who don't consider their existing brands when shopping for a premium vehicle.

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Perhaps converting Saturn to Opel would be the way to go.

Considering the new Insignia's general spectacularity and respect in European mags, it would be better to have the "Ooh! It's German!" brand image and perceived quality then the "Oh My God! Are they kidding? They want HOW MUCH for a SaTuRn?!"

For the argument of German quality issues and people being "aware" of it, that obviously hasn't hampered the German luxury brands, perhaps only VW. I feel that to push the cars as the finely engineered road cars they are is better than that warm and fuzzy crap.

Plus, Opel's emblem is so much cooler than Saturn's. Have I mentioned the history and heritage that Adam Opel AG has over Saturn too?

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