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carman21

GM's Changes

18 posts in this topic

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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A good point, except I think Pontiac would need to compete against Dodge aswell since Dodge is by far more of a performanc brand than Pontiac is right now.

About Saturn, I see your point but at the same time, look at how much better the Opel designs ae than the American Saturn designs.

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Despite what it appears, Saturn will not be repositioned above Buick. One look at the Outlook and Enclave makes that obvious. The next Gen LaCrosse will be positioned above the Aura as well.

Saturn is actually becoming the Toyota & Honda fighter while Buick is moving to become a Tier2(?) premium/luxury brand... similar to Lincoln.

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there is the pair of four and the two import brands

there will be the Chevrolet - Pontiac - Buick - Cadillac

and then on another level Saturn and Saab are premium vehicles that will be imported...

i think holden should also play a role in pontaic...

but for now, i think we're getting a good line up

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Saturn isn't moving that far upmarket.

Buick will remain slotted above Saturn in GM's heirarchy, and if all goes well, the next-generation of Buicks will compete with Lexus. Don't forget, Buick likely has a Zeta-based rear-driver in the pipeline. Saturn will remain all front-drive aside from the low-volume Sky. As Ven stated, the Enclave is a clear depiction of where Buick's aspirations lie. The Outlook, on the other hand, is aimed at an entirely different demographic.

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I actually think Buick is more going for Acura's throat. Think about it:

-Buick's lineup in predominantly FWD/AWD. (So is Acura's.)

-The tagline "Beyond Precision". (Can be construed as "Beyond Accuracy" = "Beyond Acura".)

-Cadillac is more inline with Lexus (and Infiniti) offerings.

As far as Saturn goes, seeing their latest offerings, they can be as Euro they want to be. 8) They've never been a typical American brand to begin with anyway. They were always intended to be "American imports".

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I actually think Buick is more going for Acura's throat.

I don't. Buick is much more conservative, traditional, comfortable than Acura. I think that the next generation Cadillac BLS, probably Epsilon II, may be GM's Acura competitor.

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I don't think that GM would allow Saab to surpass Cadillac in prestige or price...

Frankly; I don't see this as being even remotely possible, never mind being "allowed".

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Saab will likely never live long enough t seriously be an Audi-fighter. Saturn may be heading off to attack Acura & VW.

We already know that early UNOFFICIAL Prices start at $20k for the 2.4L I-4, the 3.6L V-6 would pull the cars price up to $30k. If tis is true then the Aura is almost as expensive as the Buick Lucerne, Buick's flagship. The Enclave is very nice. Hwever, it will likely be priced similar to that of the Lucerne. Yes, the car will compete on price with the RX350 but, it will be in a different class. Just as the Lucerne is competing with the ES350 on some levels but, for te most part the Lucerne is in a different class altogether. A Saturn Omega or Insignia could bring prices up to $50k especially with a V-8.

Buick couldn't be priced above that without replacing Cadillac altogether.

I'd suspect that GM is already ready to import Astras, Corsas and any other viable Opel to the US.

Chevrolet-Pontiac-Buick-Saturn-Cadillac could work. However, Ironically wasn't the Olds Aurora priced well above the Buick LeSabre, its nearest GM relative. Olds was in a ay above Buick from time to time. Saturn would be no different. I'd say that this reliefs Buick to go after Toyota. Thats just my feeling.

Here's a thought as well.

Malibu-G6-Allure-Aura-BTS

Impala-G8-Lucerne-Omega-DTS

Edited by carman21

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No...Saturn will land right on Honda/Toyota turf..the Astra will be the civic (corolla doesnt deserve to be placed near the astra becuase astra is sooo much better) competition...While Aura will be Accord competition...Sky is in its own class...Enclave is up against the Pilot and VUE Vs. CRV.

Saturns direction is very obvious...if you think about how it lines up to honda.

Plus they will steal some sales from Toyota...

Edited by Ravenfreak13

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Saturn may not be as "premium" as Buick...but then why is it that Saturn will be getting all kinda of new platforms and technologies Buick has yet to get? Why buy a LaCrosse or Lucerne when you can get the AUra, which is on a much more modern platform, will have a refined and powerful V6, a 6-speed automatic, a Nav system, and LED illumination. Buick has noe of those things (besides the Nav system in the Lucerne, which I have yet to see as an option).

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depending upon how saturn plays their cards i can see them as a serious contender... they have that "ooommph, for lack of a better term, to draw in people that may not necessarlily consder a chevy or especially pontiac...

i think they are in a way still cutting their teeth...

saab on the other hand is a very "niche" car..as much as i hate that term.

they are a friendly alternative to other cars that arent american...a very specific person will consider a saab, in my opinion.

i dont think theyrre bad, per se...but as george carlin would say "whtd you buy a swedish piece of $h! for"... its a saAAABbbb.

on the plus side their sales are improving....like i said, they arent for everone and theyrre not bad...just relegated to a small portion of the market and in my opinion will never, ever..ever make up for volume.

buick is rebuilding, saturn has a bright future...pontiac is well, pontiac. i hope they have more in store.

chevy will always be making trucks and corvettes...and hopefully camaros.

if gm ever downsized theyd still have the most impressive resume even if they only kept the creme.

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Saturn may not be as "premium" as Buick...but then why is it that Saturn will be getting all kinda of new platforms and technologies Buick has yet to get? Why buy a LaCrosse or Lucerne when you can get the AUra, which is on a much more modern platform, will have a refined and powerful V6, a 6-speed automatic, a Nav system, and LED illumination. Buick has noe of those things (besides the Nav system in the Lucerne, which I have yet to see as an option).

HHmmmmm... because....

  • Technology issue? The 6-sp auto, high-powered V6, & LED illumination start to arrive at Buick with Enclave. (this is not taking into account that the LaCrosse & Rendezvous both had the 3.6l years before Saturn... along with Buick having V8s when Saturn doesn't)

  • LaCrosse and Lucerne issue? The current LaCrosse & Lucerne are last minute rescue efforts by Lutz when he originally joined GM. He postponed both the Regal & LeSabre replacements by a year to upgrade on already developed vehicles. He renamed them both to help with Buick perception and to establish Buick's change in market direction.

  • New Platform issue? Because Buick has recently remodeled product, it will take longer for their new products to show. Buick will receive EPSII before Saturn. Buick will also get Zeta when Saturn won't.

  • Navigation issue? Navigation has been available on Lucerne for a while now. It's a $1,526 option.

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I just figured Buicks were aimed for the more flagship imports like the Avalon or Azera, the Enclave is a perfect competitor to the Pacifica but. Its like a multi-purpose flagship brand.

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the reality is that Saturn and Buick and Pontiac should really just occupy the same price classes, but simply offer different flavored cars.

GM will likely not execute it properly, but in theory all three of those brands should be positioned about the same prices (with Buick maybe being as much as 10% higher in some cases). Its just that Buick would be luxury, pontiac performance, and saturn would appeal to the import and style minded. Saturn should be the brand someone who has an VW, Audi, or Lexus or Toyota would go to for a second family car or a solid family hauler becuase they don't want to buy a 'typical' GM car.

chevy would get the dumpster to share with Kia. haha, really chevy needs to stay above kia and be just slightly below toyota.

i am still confused as to how Saab can surivive without new products but I have always been convinced if they moved Saab downmarket a bit and positioned at as the cool accessible european and tried to emulate VW to a certain degree with credible Passat and Jetta competitors, and slightly cross into Audi and Acura and Lexus territory while stile offering the traditional scandinavian sensibilities that Volvo offers.........Sometimes I think Saab could be paired with Cadillac and sometimes I still think Saab needs to be fiercely independent. Saab doesn't mesh with Hummer at all. Maybe GM needs to create unique, low overhead dealers for Saab like Mini had done for BMW.

GM is not nearly doing enough to build an image for Saab. and not so much through car marketing as through 'cultural marketing' and having their name pop up in the places that the funky offbeat independent types who should buy Saabs would find them.

If Saab had a parallel car with the Golf / Rabbit and jetta that equal style and cache'.....Saab could make inroads. Imagine a 9-3 that had the desirability of the 98-05 Passat

Edited by regfootball

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Give GM time.

The Lucerne was the intro step in the right direction for Buick (understated, elegant, and luxurious). The Enclave is the first real move in remaking Buick. Idon't care for the styling of the Enclave, but...that Interior...mmm...so awesome.

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