BigPontiac

Insignia will come to U.S. as a Saturn, with new sheetmetal, interior

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What happened to Saturn = Opel, and Aura = Insignia?

Maybe Chevy got concerned that the Insignia looked too good relative the Malibu and told Saturn to tone it down..

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I think GM realized that they couldn't possibly sell the Euro version of the Insignia here as a Saturn because the Euro version is too upscale and would need to be priced too high to appeal to Saturn's shoppers. So we will get a cheapened and decontented version that will essentially continue to compete with the Malibu. Instead of launching Opel in the U.S. and offering their products here essentially unchanged from their Euro counterparts to properly target the premium, import flavored market, GM will continue to support Saturn and allow it to cannibalize Chevrolet sales.

Why not make Chevrolet strong enough to challenge Toyota, Honda, etc. in the mainstream market? If GM would do this right, then they wouldn't need three divisions (Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Saturn) to cover the same mainstream portion of the market. GM could then fully convert Saturn into Opel and mold Opel's image and product portfolio to target buyers who prefer premium, import flavored vehicles. Right now, Chevrolet, Saturn, and Pontiac are just cannibalizing each other's sales instead of helping GM to gain back market share. It seems to me that the money wasted to give each of these three divisions products that target the same portion of the market could be better spent properly launching Opel in the U.S. to attract new buyers back to the corporation.

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>>"Maybe Chevy got concerned that the Insignia looked too good relative the Malibu and told Saturn to tone it down."<<

I thought there was no 'Chevy', just marketing names from 1 corporation.

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So what this is saying is that GM still doesn't get it and that they should just dump the Saturn brand and have German engineered and marketed Opels already? Edited by MyerShift
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>>"Maybe Chevy got concerned that the Insignia looked too good relative the Malibu and told Saturn to tone it down."<<

I thought there was no 'Chevy', just marketing names from 1 corporation.

Well, the marketing organisations compete with each other, no doubt..

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The 2003 Malibu was essentially a Vectra platform, shod with a different bodyshell, different interior, and different powertrains.

The next Aura then sounds no different in concept to the current Aura, which took the Vectra's extended Epsilon platform, and gave it a different bodyshell, different interior, and different powertrains.

So, the entire concept is no different to the 2003 Malibu.

GM's statement last year that "Opel and Saturn will be indistinguishable by 2014" is already losing credibility, in the same way that the Chevrolet Beat was confirmed for the US and a short time later, it wasn't.

This is where GM differs from Toyota, which firmly understands its markets and sticks to its gameplan.

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Hmm... Well we know Buick is getting a version of the Insignia in China as the next gen Regal, maybe that's why? Insignia will still come to the US, but as a Buick Regal positioned under Invicta?

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I think GM realized that they couldn't possibly sell the Euro version of the Insignia here as a Saturn because the Euro version is too upscale and would need to be priced too high to appeal to Saturn's shoppers. So we will get a cheapened and decontented version that will essentially continue to compete with the Malibu. Instead of launching Opel in the U.S. and offering their products here essentially unchanged from their Euro counterparts to properly target the premium, import flavored market, GM will continue to support Saturn and allow it to cannibalize Chevrolet sales.

Why not make Chevrolet strong enough to challenge Toyota, Honda, etc. in the mainstream market? If GM would do this right, then they wouldn't need three divisions (Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Saturn) to cover the same mainstream portion of the market. GM could then fully convert Saturn into Opel and mold Opel's image and product portfolio to target buyers who prefer premium, import flavored vehicles. Right now, Chevrolet, Saturn, and Pontiac are just cannibalizing each other's sales instead of helping GM to gain back market share. It seems to me that the money wasted to give each of these three divisions products that target the same portion of the market could be better spent properly launching Opel in the U.S. to attract new buyers back to the corporation.

I always think...hey, isn't Saturn's 'new' plan the exact same mindspace that Olds was going for before they were euthanized? Wouldn't Saturn's wishfull pricing look like bargains if they sat in an Olds showroom?

Saturn should have forever been the inexpensive (note: not same as 'cheap'), fun-to-drive odd ball from Spring Hill. Would've at least been easier to sell...

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Maybe Chevy got concerned that the Insignia looked too good relative the Malibu and told Saturn to tone it down..

BINGO.

the aura sales have gone up with the high gas prices and the intro of the 4 cylinder and dropping of prices.

and yes, the beancounters got scared. they were afraid again of giving the customers more than what they expected instead of the GM usual (what we can get away with cheaply).

if this insignia does not come to this market in tact, then officially i am done with GM.

if the insignia hit the sales floor tomorrow here in the US or when it does in Europe, AS IS, would almost singlehandedly revive GM assuming the prices were good.

GM can't punch their way out of a paper bag however.

One thing, maybe there is a plan to sell the aura and insignia side by side for awhile.

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BINGO.

I disagree. I think the Insigna's content/equipment would position it closer to the LaCrosse. I think GM is scared that the Insignia would hurt LaCrosse sales.

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This is a new development, isn't it? I would imagine the new Aura is now much delayed. Unless he means it will be different in the same way that the Vue and Antara have slightly different trim and interiors.

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Why mess with the interior? That's the best part about the Insigina. Honestly you could bring the whole car here and it would be fine, unless they were to make the front end a bit more aggressive...I'd be all for that.

Dumbing down the car for this market does not a segment killer make.

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I disagree. I think the Insigna's content/equipment would position it closer to the LaCrosse. I think GM is scared that the Insignia would hurt LaCrosse sales.

<dripping sarcasm>........oh....but GM has no problem with "too many models, too many divisions"

If this were the case, it would be a textbook case of how a proper product decision (bringing the Insignia over here in some capacity) being hampered by GM's decades' old problem of too many models and divisions stepping on each others' toes.

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<dripping sarcasm>........oh....but GM has no problem with "too many models, too many divisions"

If this were the case, it would be a textbook case of how a proper product decision (bringing the Insignia over here in some capacity) being hampered by GM's decades' old problem of too many models and divisions stepping on each others' toes.

Well, GM hasn't figured out how to resahpe its brand structur in NA, that's for sure. And unlike what most people here think, tiny Saab isn't the real problem. The problem is having a brand aspiring to having bigger volume (Opel/Saturn) fighting with two other brands that are struggling (Pontiac and Buick), with all 3 brands wishing they can occupy the same space above Chevrolet. Also, a big part of the problem is Cadillac not being able to move upmarket fast enough to give those 'lesser' brands some breathing room.

Re the Insignia/Aura thing, maybe Saturn could have everything smaller than EpII and leave that to Buick, but there are a lot of different options to consider at this point. I think GM is delaying the Aura to consider all of those options, including the starving of one or more brands.

Edited by ZL-1
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Why mess with the interior? That's the best part about the Insigina. Honestly you could bring the whole car here and it would be fine, unless they were to make the front end a bit more aggressive...I'd be all for that.

Dumbing down the car for this market does not a segment killer make.

You'd think they'd have learned that, especially with such grrrreat, offerings like the Cadillac Catera, and Ford Contour. <_<

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You'd think they'd have learned that, especially with such grrrreat, offerings like the Cadillac Catera, and Ford Contour. <_<

Both of these cars were great cars which were dumbed down for the North American market. Indeed, the Omega was fleet favourite with police forces.

In the case if the Catera, GM chose to use the worst engine from the entire Omega range - the lumpy 3 litre V6. The Omega's 2.5 was a far superior unit. The Catera also came in just the sedan body style. The Omega was reknowned for its handling, with the European press often put on the same mantle as the 5-series of the time.

In the case of the Contour, Ford took the Mondeo underpinnings, front doors and front wings (it shared no other body panels with the Mondeo) and threw the rest of the Mondeo away. It used inferior brakes to the Mondeo, a sloppier suspension, poorer quality materials, and reduced the rear headroom with a coupe-like sloping rear roofline which was unique to the Contour/Mystique. Compared with the Mondeo, the Contour felt like it was literally thrown together.

Both GM and Ford have traditionally either poorly marketed their European products in North America, or dumbed them down significantly. The Focus was also greatly dumbed down for the States - it used cheap interior and exterior materials compared with the European Focus, as evidenced with the mirrors, B-pillar and seath cloths - however it was a big sales success.

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Here's why they have to change the Insignia... It's not Chevy they're worried about. It's Buick.

pic08_big.jpg

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Why don't they just make the Insignia a 'LaCrosse'? The Invicta, if it's big enough, can be the 'Lucerne'.

The next AURA can continue to be a restyled Malibu - which, like the Cruze, will be a global Chevrolet.

The Epsilon-II hierarchy can go like this...

Entry-level; GM-DAT

Chevrolet Malibu/Epica; Daewoo Tosca

Saturn AURA

Pontiac G6

Mid-grade SWB; GME

Opel Insignia; Buick LaCrosse, US/Regal, China

Mid-grade LWB; GME

Buick Invicta, US/LaCrosse, China

Premium (i.e., double wishbone) SWB; GME

Saab 9-3

Premium LWB; GME

Saab 9-5

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Well they are going to dumb the car down because the bean counters and accountants got a hold of it, or they think no one will pay $30,000 for a Saturn since they make those dent resistant door cars for college kids, or they don't want it to compete with Buick's Epsilon, or Saab's Epsilon, so they need to price it a little lower, but not too low to compete with Chevy or Pontiac's epsilon.

Clearly there isn't a too many models. too many brands problem.

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Well they are going to dumb the car down because the bean counters and accountants got a hold of it, or they think no one will pay $30,000 for a Saturn since they make those dent resistant door cars for college kids, or they don't want it to compete with Buick's Epsilon, or Saab's Epsilon, so they need to price it a little lower, but not too low to compete with Chevy or Pontiac's epsilon.

Clearly there isn't a too many models. too many brands problem.

Ok, first of all Saturn no longer has dent resistant door panels. 2nd the Buick Epsilon should compete with the ES, that is not Saturn's territory. The current 9-3 starts at close to $30k, again not Saturn's territory except for the upper end, plus Saab is a niche brand and the 9-3 is going to be the size of a Cruze, and the 9-5 starts at $38k. No Saturn sedan should cost that much, ever. If the Insignia/Aura is priced at Passat levels ($24k to $33k or so, forget the VR6), it should not overlap too much with the Buick Epsilon, which should start at $31k if comparably equipped to a base ES ($34k). Aura and Malibu should have different enough styling that they attract different customers. Malibu should also be priced as low as $21k for a base model. Even if they attract some of the same customers, the midsize car market is so big, does it really matter? It will likely get even bigger as people move away from SUVs and large sedans but don't want to move all the way down to a compact vehicle.

There is no Pontiac Epsilon AFAIK.

I was thinking about this, and there's no evidence that the vehicle is getting dumbed down. That may be the case in the end, but I am actually wondering if it's just going to be an MCE of the Insignia, or something of the effect, especially on the interior. Insignia will be dated by the time the NG Aura arrives, anyways.

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You know it's a darn shame that Lutz didn't take the time to give the recently departed Pontiac GTO and the current Pontiac G8 it's own unique sheetmetal. I might have not been so opposed to those cars if they had taken the time to differentiate the cars and not just make another rebadge of a current model.

I hope they make the new Saturn Aura's sheetmetal as unique as possible, and take the time to do it right.

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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You know it's a darn shame that Lutz didn't take the time to give the recently departed Pontiac GTO and the current Pontiac G8 it's own unique sheet metal. I might have not been so opposed to those cars if they had taken the time to differentiate the cars and not just make another rebadge of a current model.

Most ordinary punters would never know unless they spend copious amounts of time in Australasia or the Far East.

The purpose is to save development money on making a who raft of different unique vehicles of similar size by utilising global resources. It's been a commonplace practice with many mainstream manufacturers for decades who offer different brands globally, and GM themselves have pulled it off successfully enough before (the T-Car and J-Car both spring to mind). The G8 certainly looks the most credible product in the Pontiac stable for a very long time, and a far cry from the hideous, over-designed plastic-clad offerings from just a few short years ago.

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Well they are going to dumb the car down because the bean counters and accountants got a hold of it

I think you need to understand that a car manufacturer is, above all else, a business.

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