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ToniCipriani

Oldsmobile vs. Saturn

21 posts in this topic

I know this issue has been beaten to dead quite a few times, but with the recent releases from Saturn, it triggered my mind to think about it.

Wouldn't Saturn's current lineup fit Olds perfectly? Let's see:

Outlook -> Replaces Silhouette, called Recon

Aura -> Redesigned Alero on Epsilon, could be called Profile, but since Alero sold, name could be kept

Vue -> Partially replaces Bravada (older Blazer based), could be called Expression

Astra (if imported) -> Hatchback and convertible, called O4

Sky -> O4 Roadster

The only thing different is that Olds will have Aurora as the flagship, redesigned on Zeta.

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I'd rename the Astra/O4 as Alero, wait for an Epsilon II for the next Intrigue, and of course, a Zeta Aurora.

I'd also switch the Expression/Recon nameplates because the Expression was a large wagon concept while the Recon was the small crossover...but that's me being picky. :)

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Sounds like a solid lineup....although I'm more in favor of traditional Olds names....

I would have Aurora

88 would be LSS

Cutlass/ 4-4-2

Alero

SUV...Bravada?

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Recon sounds like a good Jeep name... and Profile and Expression are TERRIBLE names... :banghead::banghead:

But I do see where you are going with your post - I agree completely that there WAS a case AT SOME POINT for keeping Olds and dropping Saturn... I think the end result was based purely on Saturn being new and Olds being.. well... Old

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:thumbsup:

It's hilarious that GM now has to move Saturn upmarket into where Olds used to be.

I'm new here so forgive me if I'm beating a dead horse.

If GM didn't like "Olds" as a name, they twice could have renamed the division while retaining the heritage. In the mid-80's, they seemed to be going down the road of switching to "Cutlass", as you had the Calais, Ciera, Cruiser, and Supreme. Of course, once they switched to FWD and went to the awful body cladding, the Cutlass name lost its luster.

Then, of course, the "This is not your father's Oldsmobile" campaign, which will be taught for generations as the worst ad campaign in automotive history.

Aurora was an opportunity for Olds to recover, it was a great car but they never could quite capitalize on it. I could have seen them using "Aurora" as a marque with the new Olds logo and have alphanumerics for model names. Sigh.

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GM sells the majority of what it makes over almost every nameplate, so the arguement made in the first post works for just about every brand (excluding Hummer, GMC, Saab...)

In the long run, creating new brands (Saturn & Geo) was pretty lame. They offered nothing that couldnt' have been marketed as a Chevy, Ponty, Buick, or Olds.

I think the name "Oldsmobile" just wasn't something you could easily market to young people... say it with me OLDS-mobile.

That being said, I simply cannot understand why GM has more than three or maybe four brands... baffling.

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In the long run, creating new brands (Saturn & Geo) was pretty lame.  They offered nothing that couldnt' have been marketed as a Chevy, Ponty, Buick, or Olds. 

In the case of Saturn, there was once a special union contract that would indicate differently. In fact, a whole culture that couldn't have just been created in any existing brand. Too bad GM gave up on it dispite it's success and made Saturn just another brand.

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what rename oldsmobile to.... hmphttt , newsmobile hmphttt, hmphttt, hahahahahahahah

that would've been horible!!!! :nono::nono:

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the Recon was the small crossover...

Not to mention that the styling of the Recon is quite similar to the Vue (mainly in the squared off headlights and lack of a grille in between them)

Oldsmobile Recon:

Posted Image

Saturn Vue

Posted Image

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In the case of Saturn, there was once a special union contract that would indicate differently.  In fact, a whole culture that couldn't have just been created in any existing brand.  Too bad GM gave up on it dispite it's success and made Saturn just another brand.

You know, that's a pretty dumb reason! Guess I can't complain... that dumb reason netted us an SC1 that currently has over 140K & amazingly, the gas mileage keeps getting better as the car ages!

Granted, everything aside from the driveline has broken at least once, but with gas at $Arm for the cheap stuff, $Leg for the mid-grade & $First Born for premium, I'll keep the little scrapper around!

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You know, that's a pretty dumb reason!  Guess I can't complain... that dumb reason netted us an SC1 that currently has over 140K & amazingly, the gas mileage keeps getting better as the car ages! 

Granted, everything aside from the driveline has broken at least once, but with gas at $Arm for the cheap stuff, $Leg for the mid-grade & $First Born for premium, I'll keep the little scrapper around!

It's not a dumb reason at all. It's vital to a company trying to push increasing quality standards (requires employee involvement, not just engineers pushing for things to be done differently) and lean manufacturing (again requires employee involvment, trust, and cooperation). Saturn encompassed much of the best buisiness practices of GMs competitors - something that couldn't be done in any current factory due to barriers held by traditional union/management relations.

I really think the only reason that Saturn didn't thrive in its original cultural form is because it was starved for product. Economy cars (S-Series) dont' make enough profit to have allowed Saturn to develop their own independently designed 2nd or 3rd vehicle, so they got nothing forever, followed by a buggy reskinned Opel in the L-Series. Saturn now has a decent lineup, but GM wouldn't give it to them until after making Saturn "just another brand" due to internal politics.

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...something that couldn't be done in any current factory due to barriers held by traditional union/management relations. 

That's what I was referring to... the decision makes perfect logical sense. It's just a shame that in order to even attempt to compete, GM had to run & hide from its union woes. That's the dumb part. The union has the company by the balls so bad, it doesn't create a new brand to fill a niche its current brands cannot (as in Scion or Lexus,) but builds a new brand to escape union problems.

That's sad.

There's nothing Saturn has ever sold that couldn't have worn a Chevy logo had GM had the freedom to do what they needed.

BTW, your brief history of Saturn is spot-on.

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It is sad. I love Saturn because it is different, and did so many things right, especially in worker relations. A factory with a good culture is a great place to work, and has awesome productivity at the same time.

Sorry 'bout the misunderstanding before - I gotcha now. ;)

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It is sad.  I love Saturn because it is different, and did so many things right, especially in worker relations.  A factory with a good culture is a great place to work, and has awesome productivity at the same time.

Sorry 'bout the misunderstanding before - I gotcha now. ;)

No sweat... there's something about these forums that seem to encourage conflict for some reason...

You know, the wife & I have a Saturn & loved it for years... not because it was great car - it's only average on a good day. However, unlike with our Honda, when we took the Saturn to the dealership for service, we were treated so well, we honestly didn't mind the reliability issues. (I quit suffering the Honda dealerships years ago & only take it to a private shop.)

However, over time, the dealership's attitude towards us changed & eventually they insulted my wife to the point that they'll never see our car for service, again... and, with that in mind, I doubt they'll ever see us for a purchase again.

They really were once something special.

Now, the future of the Tennessee plant is in question, the plastic body panels are going to go extinct & most are going to be built by Opel in Europe. The Saturn some of us once admired as a bright spot in GM's line-up is being "Oldsmobilized."

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The Saturn some of us once admired as a bright spot in GM's line-up is being "Oldsmobilized."

Its even better than it was in the beginning by the looks of things, so...?

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Its even better than it was in the beginning by the looks of things, so...?

True, so what's not to love, right?

There really was something different about Saturn only a few short years ago. The dealerships treated people with respect, the service depts were wonderful & the cars truly were unique - if not only for the plastic body panels (I for one can handle some wind noise to NEVER have to worry about dings in my car!)

There will always be a part of me that wishes Saturn would have been able to expand under its original business plan, instead of becoming just another GM division... afterall, that's all it is, now.

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True, so what's not to love, right?

There really was something different about Saturn only a few short years ago.  The dealerships treated people with respect, the service depts were wonderful & the cars truly were unique - if not only for the plastic body panels (I for one can handle some wind noise to NEVER have to worry about dings in my car!)

There will always be a part of me that wishes Saturn would have been able to expand under its original business plan, instead of becoming just another GM division...  afterall, that's all it is, now.

Everything except the polymer panels is still there. Visit a Saturn dealership, you'll see.

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True, so what's not to love, right?

There really was something different about Saturn only a few short years ago.  The dealerships treated people with respect, the service depts were wonderful & the cars truly were unique - if not only for the plastic body panels (I for one can handle some wind noise to NEVER have to worry about dings in my car!)

There will always be a part of me that wishes Saturn would have been able to expand under its original business plan, instead of becoming just another GM division...  afterall, that's all it is, now.

Everything except the polymer panels is still there. Visit a Saturn dealership, you'll see.

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Everything except the polymer panels is still there. Visit a Saturn dealership, you'll see.

Actually, sadly enough, Saturn dealerships are just like any other brand's dealerships - there are some great ones, and there are some stinkers. Yes, they all use the no-haggle policy, but even that seems somewhat violated when some of them do things like tack an extra $5K on the price tag of the new Sky. The one local to me is medocre - it is owned by the same company that owns the local Toyota/Scion, Honda, Kia, Mitsu, Suzuki, Hyundai, Lincoln, and Mercury dealerships. It's just another brand to them, too, and the Saturn culture is very watered down.

Sadly, I think Saturn dealers have become just like any other brand's dealers - it just depends on which one you go to.

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Everything except the polymer panels is still there. Visit a Saturn dealership, you'll see.

Why do you say that? What will I see? A Saturn Equinox? Another attempt to sell an Opel as an American car? The Ion? Puke!

What will I see that I haven't already seen? We quit taking our Saturn to the dealership for service because they've gotten to be such a pain in the arse that we'd rather deal with a private mechanic. The cars they're now offering don't come close to appealing to my nor my wife's desires... did something change? Did they replace the a-holes in the service department with people who aren't a-holes? Did they replace the idiotic sales people with folks who actually know more about the cars than my wife?

Saturn is its own worst enemy.

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Dealers are privately owned businesses, and because of that they are populated by the same number of a-holes as other businesses. It is the nature of the commission structure that tends to bring out the worst in some of them.

I think Saturn will be on the right track again, once it starts importing (or building here?) non-watered down versions of Opels. I have driven many of these vehicles and they are exactly what North America needs as we head into the $5 a gallon range.

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