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GM Chief Envisions Stronger Saturn-Opel Ties

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Automotive News recently sat down with General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner to talk about the current state of the company and how "2005 began poorly, then worsened." Saturn was among topics that were discussed. Automotive News asked if he could "envision a day when a substantial part of Opel's portfolio would be used in North America as Saturns, or will it be a car here or a car there?"

Mr. Wagoner's response: "I think it would be more the rule than the exception, although I don't think it would be one-for-one because Opel traditionally has had a much broader product lineup. But for a lot of Saturn's products we're going to try to drive their brand positioning to run more against Volkswagen and Honda. So the Opel design language we think will work well for them."

http://www.saturnfans.com/Cars/Future/satu...alignment.shtml

Nothing that we didn't know already but I think its safe to say we won't be seeing any ION replacements from GMDAT anytime soon.

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I'm guessing they're just killing GMX002 and then building the next Astra here as planned. Rather than waste a lot of R&D on a 2008 MY vehicle they can just use what Opel will have already develop and build it here as a 2010 MY. What they should do is import the Astra here and then build the next one here, but it might be too expensive to do. They could just re-tool the current ION production line though. Surely they'd make enough of their money back in the 3-4 years it'd be around to pay for the tooling.

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I was wondering about assemblying Complete knockdowns somewhere here. Dodge is assemblying complete knockdown Sprinters from germany in South Carolina. I wonder what the Cost is for a CKD assembly plant? I wonder if The U.A.W. would object. Turn half of Wilmington into a C.K.D assembly plant. Use GMNA powertrains. I wonder how Flexible a CKD plant could be? Assemble some Opels and Holdens here from Kits.

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Assemble some Opels and Holdens here from Kits.

[post="61101"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



I have a better idea, why not build some SOAPS (Saturn/Opels) in NA where appropriate and export those overseas, and when appropriate import SOAPS from Europe into the US. The same with Holden.

ie Meriva, Zaphira to US, Sky and a product to be named later to Europe.

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That will probably happen. Though, how many Europeans will buy a vehicle made in America? They're very picky about where their cars are built. Right now, American cars are just as s&@*y as any car coming out of France while German and British cars are superior...even though the opposite is true.

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I'm just glad I'll see Opel products here, rebranded or not. It's amazing how much they're ahead compared to their American counterparts... No wonder our cars seem like crap to them.

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That will probably happen.  Though, how many Europeans will buy a vehicle made in America? They're very picky about where their cars are built.  Right now, American cars are just as s&@*y as any car coming out of France while German and British cars are superior...even though the opposite is true.

[post="61160"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Europeans buy US-made X5s, Z4s, and MLs just fine, though the ML in particular isn't known for quality.

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I have a better idea, why not build some SOAPS (Saturn/Opels) in NA where appropriate and export those overseas, and when appropriate import SOAPS from Europe into the US.  The same with Holden.

ie Meriva, Zaphira to US, Sky and a product to be named later to Europe.

[post="61110"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


How many Korean built Chevy's are sole in Europe? Edited by evok

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Europeans buy US-made X5s, Z4s, and MLs just fine, though the ML in particular isn't known for quality.

[post="61187"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Those cars are not mainstream vehicles. SUV's are not popular in Europe at all.

Europeans, especially Germans, obsess about where products are made, unlike Americans. You'll hardly see any mainstream vehicles from the big auto companies that are made in N.A. or Asia for the European market. Even Toyotas are made in Europe! When Europeans go out and buy something, they first look at where it's made, whereas Americans look at the price tag. That's just a cultural difference. So I highly doubt you'll see Opels for Europe made in Tennessee. Ain't happening.

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I have a better idea, why not build some SOAPS (Saturn/Opels) in NA where appropriate and export those overseas, and when appropriate import SOAPS from Europe into the US.  The same with Holden.

ie Meriva, Zaphira to US, Sky and a product to be named later to Europe.

[post="61110"][/post]



I have no doubt Zafira would sell well for Saturn.

Posted Image

Meriva is just sooooo tiny. I would'nt want it in Saturns lineup. It could be a Chevy below Aveo though.

Posted Image

The Cars I would most like to see in Saturns Lineup are the Vectra GTS.

Posted Image

And Astra 3 door

Posted Image Edited by Ghost Dog

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The Meriva MPV is substantially bigger than the Aveo - more like an Aveo Maxx, with a long wheelbase (Gamm-Astra hybrid) high roofline and flexible seating. Both the updated Meriva (with a new 180 hp OPC version) and the forthcoming new Corsa would be welcome additions to the Saturn lineup. European consumers are buying more SUVs every year, despite the recalcitrance of politicians, and new models from Peugeot, Renault and Opel (all imported from Asian partners) will only increase their popularity. Europeans' traditional parochialism is rapidly decreasing, with growing numbers of consumers buying imported vehicles, whether from outside their own country or outside Europe. Chevrolet sales are growing so well in Europe GM is looking at acquiring the Daewoo Romania plant.

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The Zafira would be great and would sell, IF it were priced right. The Astra would be a must have for Saturn, as well as the GTS. The Meriva is too small I think.

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I worry that GM is not going to really follow through with this I don't think it's viable to import Opels to the US - the Euro is too strong. I mean think about it the only cars imported from Europe these days are Mercs and top end BMWs. Z4s X5s and Mseries are built in the US and Golfs are built in Mexico. And to get real Opels built in the US the delta and epsilon platforms will have to be globalised - that is years away - isn't it 2010 for Epsilon 2? I think between now and "global delta/epsilon" they will restyle the Cobalt with alot of Opel design cues, put a bit of extra money into the interior and build it in that plant that now has spare capacity..

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I worry that GM is not going to really follow through with this

I don't think it's viable to import Opels to the US - the Euro is too strong.  I mean think about it the only cars imported from Europe these days are Mercs and top end BMWs.  Z4s X5s and Mseries are built in the US and Golfs are built in Mexico.

And to get real Opels built in the US the delta and epsilon platforms will have to be globalised - that is years away - isn't it 2010 for Epsilon 2?

I think between now and "global delta/epsilon" they will restyle the Cobalt with alot of Opel design cues, put a bit of extra money into the interior and build it in that plant that now has spare capacity..

[post="61238"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


That was GMX 002 which has been cancelled now that the US small car team reports to the Global Compact Car unit in Germany. It seems fairly clear now that the HHR will be the last car on Delta. The Global Compact Car team will probably develop an updated version of the Astra platform with elements from Epsilon. The Astra is not only built in the EU. There is the Gliwice plant in Poland which builds the Zafira and would certainly be the source of US exports, South Africa and Brazil, which builds the only sedan version as the Chevrolet Vectra. The latter with a Euro-spec interior and L850 engines would make a very credible Ion replacement until the next-gen Astra arrives.

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I have no doubt Zafira would sell well for Saturn.

Posted Image

Meriva is just sooooo tiny. I would'nt want it in Saturns lineup. It could be a Chevy below Aveo though.

Posted Image

The Cars I would most like to see in Saturns Lineup are the Vectra GTS.

Posted Image

And Astra 3 door

Posted Image

[post="61227"][/post]


But let us say GM only sells 50k Merivas or Zaphiras combined. What does it really cost them? I makes Saturn more viable and fills a niche. Much like Scion does for Toyota and it increases the utlization of the Euro plants. Even if the Euro/Dollar exchange forces the MSRP to be a premium. GM needs the flexibility to take advantage of their global manufacturing much like Scion does for Toyota.

Seat/Skoda could do the same for VW's problems.

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But let us say GM only sells 50k Merivas or Zaphiras combined. What does it really cost them?  I makes Saturn more viable and fills a niche.  Much like Scion does for Toyota and it increases the utlization of the Euro plants.  Even if the Euro/Dollar exchange forces the MSRP to be a premium.  GM needs the flexibility to take advantage of their global manufacturing much like Scion does for Toyota.

Seat/Skoda could do the same for VW's problems.

[post="61385"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



With the Exchange system, what happens if one end catches fire? While the other Duds? What If GMNA Goes through 25k of Zafira, in the time GME sells 2k of Sky?

Wasn't there going to be an exchange system Between GMNA and Holden? GMT361's for Zetas?

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The Meriva MPV is substantially bigger than the Aveo - more like an Aveo Maxx, with a long wheelbase (Gamm-Astra hybrid) high roofline and flexible seating. Both the updated Meriva (with a new 180 hp OPC version) and the forthcoming new Corsa would be welcome additions to the Saturn lineup.

European consumers are buying more SUVs every year, despite the recalcitrance of politicians, and new models from Peugeot, Renault and Opel (all imported from Asian partners) will only increase their popularity. Europeans' traditional parochialism is rapidly decreasing, with growing numbers of consumers buying imported vehicles, whether from outside their own country or outside Europe. Chevrolet sales are growing so well in Europe GM is looking at acquiring the Daewoo Romania plant.

[post="61230"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



Hmm The numbers I have, put Meriva 10 inches shorter then Aveo.And an inch narrower.

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Hmm The numbers I have, put Meriva 10 inches shorter then Aveo.And an inch narrower.

[post="61428"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

I don't know what you're looking at, but the Meriva is the largest production B-segment MPV.

5-door models
Dimens. (mm in) Wheelbase   Length      Width      Height     Headroom (fr/rr)     Legroom (fr/rr)      Shoulder room (fr/rr)
Chevrolet Aveo  2480  97.6  3880 152.8  1670 65.7  1495 58.9   998 39.3  955 37.6  1048 41.3  898 35.4  1362 53.6  1340 52.8
Opel Meriva     2630 103.5  4042 159.1  1694 66.7  1624 63.9  1024 40.3  989 38.9  1025 40.4  993 39.1  1378 54.3  1374 54.1
Difference      +150  +5.9  +162  +6.3   +24 +1.0  +129 +5.0   +26 +1.0  +34 +1.3   -23 -0.9  +95 +3.7   +16 +0.7   +34 +1.3

(no room here but the Aveo has better hip room in standard configuration. Meriva converts from a 5-seat to 4-seat configuration to give rear-seat passengers more shoulder room).

Toyota's new Yaris-based Ractis is a blatant copy of the Meriva, but doesn't have the Opel's long wheelbase. Edited by thegriffon

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Went back and checked I had the sedans numbers. But even at that I don't see Meriva as any thing but a bottom feeder in the U.S. market. I think The U.S. market is very ready to embrace Zafira though. But at a premium I'm Not sure. HHR, Mazda 5,range.

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Closest competitor to the Meriva in the US would be the smaller Scion xB. In basic trim you get as much or more room as a compact, lots of flexibility including massive cargo room, for not much more than a subcompact. If the base model is somewhat mouselike then the OPC version is a 180PS Speedy Gonzalez. Ariba!!

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Closest competitor to the Meriva in the US would be the smaller Scion xB. In basic trim you get as much or more room as a compact, lots of flexibility including massive cargo room, for not much more than a subcompact. If the base model is somewhat mouselike then the OPC version is a 180PS Speedy Gonzalez. Ariba!!

[post="61508"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



Meriva would be attempting to compete with the Scion. Not Vice Versa.I see it more in line with the Aveo,and Aerio. Now it would appear GM wishes a premium for it. But Based on what? How Does GM establish it as a premium vehicle?

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But let us say GM only sells 50k Merivas or Zaphiras combined. What does it really cost them?  I makes Saturn more viable and fills a niche.  Much like Scion does for Toyota and it increases the utlization of the Euro plants.  Even if the Euro/Dollar exchange forces the MSRP to be a premium.  GM needs the flexibility to take advantage of their global manufacturing much like Scion does for Toyota.

Seat/Skoda could do the same for VW's problems.

[post="61385"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Yes, I agree completely. Looking at it from the "makes Saturn more viable" perspective, it increases Saturn's market position, or any brand for that matter, to have valuable products that have desirability. Over the long run, good product like the Astra three-door, the Meriva, and Zafira, and Vectra GTS will only increase, tenfolds, the image of Saturn. I am glad they are finally seeing the value in brand and good product. I only hope they follow this plan of implementing Opels as Saturns, without any change, ASAP.

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Speaking of the Astra, if VW can send over the German-built Golf GTI as a niche product and make a profit, why can't GM send over the Opel/Vauxhall Astra VXR as an image booster? I'd definitely consider one, maybe choose it over the GTI because its a GM product, though maybe not if Ford sends over the Focus ST. Edited by empowah

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Yes the VW to US analogy is not a great But Merivas from Brazil and Astras/Zafiras from Poland sound good And it's great to hear from theGriffon that GM is really serious about global product development - how long until an Astra-based Cobalt replacement? (give us a hint...)

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