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GM's Changes

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Saturn was orginally intended to be an All-American can-do brand. Remember back to the 80s when some American thought wejust couldn't build cars as well as the Japanese. So, GM developed a project brand of how to build an American Japanese car. It succeeded to the extent that it proved Americans can build great quality cars. This problably saved GM and Detriot from ruin.

Bob Lutz said recently that Saturn will be an American version of Opel like England's Vauxhall or Australia's Holden. Well, Opel is VW's main German Competition. VW out prices all other non-luxury brands, including Toyota. This would likely mean Saturn's prices will sky-rocket to match those of VW. If Saturn sells well which it should, it will be very profitable but, this blocks any ambition that Buick might have to be a luxury brand.

This new order of ranking would be.

Chevy, Pontiac, Buick, Saturn, Saab, & Caddy

Saab on the other hand is becoming German as well. Saab has the ambition to become GM's Audi. I don't think that GM would allow Saab to surpass Cadillac in prestige or price but, it does add undo burden to GM in the luxury segment. Perhaps Saab could relieve Caddy from selling cheap cars less that $30k. This would keep Caddy a true luxury brand.

The way we should look at things is through a 4 brand prizm, ignore the Eurobrands of Saturn & Saab. Instead concentrate on the 4 American brands. Chevrolet should block progress on Kia and other upstarts as well as compete with traditional rivals Ford & Dodge. Pontiac should block more advanced upstarts like Hyundai, Mazda, & Mitsubishi. Buick should take-on Toyota & GMC takes on Toyota trucks. Buick should compete with Mercury,Chrysler, Nissan, & Honda as well. Cadillac will take on its natural rival Lexus & Lincoln as well as BMW & Mercedes.

Despite these unnerving possibilities GM will be fine over the long term. So, there is little need for worry. I just hate that Saturn may be lost to the Germans. Rolls Royce isn't quite British now that its German. I know GM still owns Saturn but, wasn't Saturn an American Dream not an European dream.

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