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Saturn will be GM's hot brand this year, Lutz says

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Paying Off?

Saturn will be GM's hot brand this year, Lutz says

By JAMIE LAREAU | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

AutoWeek

DETROIT -- General Motors' efforts to revitalize Saturn will pay off handsomely for the brand this year, a GM senior executive says.

While GM's Chevrolet brand will still see the most growth in terms of unit sales, Saturn will experience the greatest "rapid overall percentage expansion" of GM's eight brands this year, Robert Lutz, GM's vice chairman for global product development, said in an interview with Automotive News.

Lutz credited the expansion to the new Saturn lineup. Saturn dealers already are sold out of the new Sky roadster into next year, Lutz said. Dealers will get the Aura sedan, Outlook crossover, Vue Green line hybrid crossover and a Sky Red line high-performance roadster this year. Saturn will get a rebadged Opel Astra sedan next year to replace the Ion.

"When you think of where Saturn was two years ago, compared to where they will be 18 months from now, it'll be unrecognizably different," Lutz said.

Lutz stopped short of predicting how much of a percentage sales increase Saturn might experience this year. Saturn sold 64,324 light vehicles in the United States through April. That's up 1.2 percent from 63,581 in the year-ago period.

Lutz said GM is studying increasing production of the Sky and the Pontiac Solstice roadster, which are built on the same rear-wheel-drive platform in Wilmington, Del. GM had aimed to build 20,000 Solstices and 10,000 Skys this year, but Lutz said the plant has the capacity to build more.

Globally, Lutz said, Chevrolet is on "an extremely fast growth curve." The brand sold more than 4 million vehicles worldwide last year, he said. In the United States last year, Chevrolet sold 2,651,124 cars and light trucks.

http://autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?...41/TOC01ARCHIVE

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If the Astra is a sedan, does this mean it's the one from Brazil and not from Europe?

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I don't know how all these saturn salespeople and dealers are not wetting their pants with excitement for the next 2 years. It's going to be nonstop fun!

aura, vue greenline, outlook, aura redline (est shown at NYIAS, for MY08), astra, new vue, aura greenline, outlook greenline, astra redline, new vue redline, etc

insane i tell you!

Edited by jbartley

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the Ion/Astra transition is a bit of a hole. and then there is the danger of them decontenting and 'North Americanizing' the interior of it so it sucks.

Aside from that, things are looking up for Saturn. Too bad the new Vue wasn't coming out a bit quicker also.

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I sell Saturns. Right now we're struggling. I mean, struggling. For the month we've sold around 30 cars. April and May have been the worst months of the year so far. We have very few visitors and fewer buyers. All this to say that, yes, we're excited.... but a little doubtful. If nobody's buying the bread-and-butter cars we have now, will they show up for the fancy new stuff when it finally arrives?

Take the Sky for example. There's a lot of buzz and excitment and expectations, but a lot of people who come in to see it start complaining right away, for a variety of reasons (lack of trunk space, no power top; they expected better gas mileage, better 0-to-60 speed). When the car first went on sale, we sold five in four days. Our remaining supply now sits motionless like the rest of our inventory.

So all the buzz about the company is great. I really want it to come true because I started selling Saturns after owning one. But it's going to be a long wait and a rough road getting to the point Lutz is talking about.

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Take the Sky for example. There's a lot of buzz and excitment and expectations, but a lot of people who come in to see it start complaining right away, for a variety of reasons (lack of trunk space, no power top; they expected better gas mileage, better 0-to-60 speed). When the car first went on sale, we sold five in four days. Our remaining supply now sits motionless like the rest of our inventory.

I'm curious as to what Saturn dealership you work for (name & city) - PM me if it's not okay to advertise it here (admin?).

My Saturn dealership has delivered 5 SKYs already, with 13 more having been ordered. They've sold their entire allotment for the year! Just about every Saturn dealership has, from what I've gathered from A SKY forum I visit. I'm surprised your dealership still has allotment. Again, if the admin here will let you post the dealership you work for, I'd like to know.

And you're right about the customer complaints - I've heard them too. But for those of us in love with the car and using it as a second or third vehicle (meaning - nondaily driver), then we can somehow overlook those issues. :P

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i said it before ,i'll say it again.

All new style, all new refinement, all new proformance.

The all new SATURN......worlds apart.Posted Image

As long as the beancounters dont mess it up!

This will get the cash flow goin! 8)

Edited by prototype66

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I think once the two key bread and butter vehicles come here (Aura and Outlook), and the sell well, success will be had. More importantly, it's proof of how amazing quick GM can turn a brand around if it puts it all into it, with the right product and right marketing. What's more amazing is that Buick has continued to be neglected. Hopefully, the Enclave will be the a real turning point (read: the Lucerne is not) for the company.

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Paying Off? 

Saturn will be GM's hot brand this year, Lutz says 

By JAMIE LAREAU | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

AutoWeek

DETROIT -- General Motors' efforts to revitalize Saturn will pay off handsomely for the brand this year, a GM senior executive says.

While GM's Chevrolet brand will still see the most growth in terms of unit sales, Saturn will experience the greatest "rapid overall percentage expansion" of GM's eight brands this year, Robert Lutz, GM's vice chairman for global product development, said in an interview with Automotive News.

Lutz credited the expansion to the new Saturn lineup. Saturn dealers already are sold out of the new Sky roadster into next year, Lutz said. Dealers will get the Aura sedan, Outlook crossover, Vue Green line hybrid crossover and a Sky Red line high-performance roadster this year. Saturn will get a rebadged Opel Astra sedan next year to replace the Ion.

"When you think of where Saturn was two years ago, compared to where they will be 18 months from now, it'll be unrecognizably different," Lutz said.

Lutz stopped short of predicting how much of a percentage sales increase Saturn might experience this year. Saturn sold 64,324 light vehicles in the United States through April. That's up 1.2 percent from 63,581 in the year-ago period.

Lutz said GM is studying increasing production of the Sky and the Pontiac Solstice roadster, which are built on the same rear-wheel-drive platform in Wilmington, Del. GM had aimed to build 20,000 Solstices and 10,000 Skys this year, but Lutz said the plant has the capacity to build more.

Globally, Lutz said, Chevrolet is on "an extremely fast growth curve." The brand sold more than 4 million vehicles worldwide last year, he said. In the United States last year, Chevrolet sold 2,651,124 cars and light trucks.

http://autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?...41/TOC01ARCHIVE

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If the Astra is a sedan, does this mean it's the one from Brazil and not from Europe?

Lareau may have simply assumed sedan without thinking about it.

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Colt45 Shooter..

have you recieved any Aura sedans yet? if not that car should be a decent seller.. you should get some cross shopping from prospective G6, Ford fusion and Malibu buyers as well as current Ion owners looking to upgrade..

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Hi, guys. I work for a Saturn store in California. I'm not entirely comfortable being specific, just in case my comments are taken the wrong way and passed along the chain of command. I don't mean to critizise the product (we have great cars--my '98 SL2 has over 200,000 miles on it, and I always use that in my presentations--they just keeping going and going....). You can't go wrong with our machines, yet convincing some of our customers that we're just as good if not better than the competing imports is like hitting a home run with a toothpick. You'd think with gas prices, in our area, approaching $3.50, that people would want to take advantage of the 32-35 mpg of the ION, but there's been few takers so far.

Some of our sister stores are doing better, and their Sky supply went quick, and a colleage informs me today that we now only have one Sky left. If it sounded like we had a dozen, forgive me; there were actually only two, both manual transmission cars. Most people see the five-speed shifter and say, "Do you have an automatic?" Ugh. But a manual Sky is the car to get if you really want to have a blast driving. It's ten times better than the automatic, in my opinion.

No sign of the Aura yet, but we're looking forward to it. I'm dying to try out the "automatic-manual" transmission.

I grew up with GM cars (there was always a Chevy in the driverway) and it's great to be a part of the company; I just wish we were moving more units and experiencing some of the excitement Lutz and Company are saying we'll have. I hope it happens soon. I need a Corvette really bad! :pbjtime:

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The Astra will be an improvement in terms of product, but I don't know if the Saturn dealers will be pleased about it. The Astra will sell how many units in America? 20,000? 30,000? The Ion is a vehicle that sells that much in a few months. Saturn dealers will have to deal with a loss of revenue with this car.

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hopefully when the astra comes here it will be availible in sedan, 3 door hatch and convertible versions.. the convertible would be a good idea for those who cant afford a G6 convertible and for those who like the sky but want a back seat..

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Astra Sedan? Did I read that correctly?

There's no sedan version of the Opel Astra right now IIRC...

The five door hatch would go against the Mazda 3 nicely, since there's no real 5-door compact hatch from GMNA right now. HHR doesn't count.

Northie: The Brazilian car you're referring to is a Chevrolet Vectra and was never sold as an Opel Astra.

Edited by ToniCipriani

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