GM Inside News Forum banner
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Editor
Joined
·
26,951 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DETROIT - General Motors will try to give the slow-selling Saturn Ion more style and refinement for the 2005 model year, replacing the automatic transmission, fascia, seats and interior materials.

The Ion needed "big changes (to help) those areas that consumers have told us, quite frankly, need improvement," said Gary Cowger, president of GM North America, in a recent interview.

Lori Queen, GM vehicle line executive for small cars, including the Ion, said last week that GM is applying many of the features developed for the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, which shares the Ion's Delta small-car architecture.

"We could roll (Cobalt features) right into the Ion and really get that car to a level that it hasn't been," Queen said.

For the 2005 Ion, GM plans to:



Replace the five-speed automatic transmission with a four-speed to counter complaints of "shift busy-ness," according to spokesman Michael Morrissey.


Replace the small steering wheel with a full-sized one.


Recalibrate the electric steering to improve responsiveness.


Add interior materials to improve appearance and tactile feel at "touch points."


Add laminated steel and insulation to cut interior noise.


Replace seats with better bolstered ones.


Redesign the sedan's fascia.



Full Article
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
hmmm...so they're going to try to fix the interior while leaving the nearly universally loathed center gauge cluster. not too good. what else? lets get rid of the 5 speed auto, one of the few pieces on the car that gives it a technological advantage (or at least appearance of one) over the the imports, instead of reprogramming it to make it hold gears longer.

am i the only one that doesn't really see this move helping too much?
 

·
Editor
Joined
·
26,951 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am just glad that it is getting a new steering wheel.. The current one is just plain UGLY :blink:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,692 Posts
At least Saturn is responding to the criticism of key points like it should. Much better than continuing to sell a vehicle with problems and shortcomings.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
895 Posts
Figures that Saturn would miss the obvious shortcomings of the crappy Ion:

1. It needs more interior room. The backseat has no room for passenger's feet at almost the entire range of the front seat being forward or rearward.

2. Redesign the instrument panel. Pathetic. Simply horrid.

3. Get rid of the multicolored drip rails. The car isn't pretty to begin with and those arcs of cheap plastic don't add anything to this vehicle's looks. Of all the things to customize!

4. Redesign the rear of the car. Too many conflicting angles.

This car wouldn't make a bad riding lawnmower. Perhaps GM could save some money and just add a blade attachment under the floorboard. They could strip all the seats out except for the driver's seat and have plenty of room for a clippings bag!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,943 Posts
Originally posted by Ming@May 31 2004, 12:23 PM
At least Saturn is responding to the criticism of key points like it should.  Much better than continuing to sell a vehicle with problems and shortcomings.
Yeah, this is an important point too, and Saturn deserves kudos for trying to address customers' complaints about the car. Despite the major complaints being drawn to the interior of the car, they might as well give the exterior a refreshening too. I'm not the biggest fan of the Ion's looks and they should do something to make the car more attractive. And if Saturn is going to go through the trouble of refining these interior complaints to draw more customers into the showroom, they might as well upgrade the exterior for a more complete package.

That being said, I agree with flobeelicious in that if they are going to address key customer concerns and update the Ion's interior, the LEAST they could have/ should have done is to get rid of that dumb-a$$ center mounted instrument cluster! There is absolutely no need for that and would think that customer clinics would have painted this as the most obvious complaint.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,863 Posts
Let's scrutinize the Ion plan, which basically amounts to a half-hearted attempt by designers and engineers who we all know are capable of world-class products.

GM delivered a vehicle that overall was sorely inadequate the day it was launched. Although Ming has a point (at least GM is attempting a mid-cycle fix of some major Ion problems), I once again fear it's too little too late. It amounts to placing a band-aid over a severed carotid artery. It may slow the surge of blood a bit, but the patient is doomed.

Contrast the Ion to the Cobalt, which in my mind will not require any major fixes mid-cycle to successfully compete with its bogeys.

Come on, GM, these half-hearted attempts are really getting annoying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,488 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
My question is who gave the OK to allow all these inadequate new stuffs added to the new ION in the first place. and does he/she still have a job? Somehow GM is continuing making obvious stupid mistakes on new models, such as under power in the SSR; bland styling in GTO and so on......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
809 Posts
Yeah I don't understand why they wouldn't replace the center console? It just doesn't make much sense. I'm glad they're helping the car along a bit but I agree that it's too little, too late. Already needs a complete redesign. Why, O why would you get rid of a 5 speed to go to a 4-speed?? Why couldn't they simply reprogram the 5 speed??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,663 Posts
Good news!

Center IP is fine, the steering wheel was the brutal part of the interior. Some upgrades should help sales for sure. I didn't think the car was noisy, but more quiet is all good also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,572 Posts
The problem with the Ion from the beginning was that it looked like it needed a major redesign right off the bat! I mean fans of the brand and even hold-outs for a new S-series replacement got a weird looking car with awkward seats and ergonomics after waiting for 13 years without a major redesign. If you look at the old Saturn SC and compare it to the Ion QC, the SC actually looks sportier and more modern than the newer Ion. Now that is sad. Now don't get me wrong the Ion drives better than the old Saturns, but that is not saying much since the old Saturns had such ancient drivetrain designs to begin with.
Whatever GM does for 2005, just make sure the Ion gets a complete redesign for the 2007 model year. A redesign that makes people lust after the Ion. Don't leave people hanging with a subpar design for another 10 plus years. The Ion is not a Porsche 911 or a Corvette.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,258 Posts
Replacing the 5-speed auto with a 4-speed is pathetic. It will hurt fuel economy and it makes GM look horribly inept in the transmission department - something that is already a common perception.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,632 Posts
So GM is going to regress on the tranny, bolster the seats more and fix the steering wheel. Really, you guys expected more! This is GM were talking about here. Lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,374 Posts
Originally posted by gmmerc5@May 31 2004, 07:35 PM
My question is who gave the OK to allow all these inadequate new stuffs added to the new ION in the first place. and does he/she still have a job?
The people responsible for the ION were probably assigned to the "new" GM minivans coming soon to a dealer near you.

The ION and the "new" minivans are proof that bad/incompetent elements are alive and well in GM.

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,032 Posts
My question is who gave the OK to allow all these inadequate new stuffs added to the new ION in the first place. and does he/she still have a job?
The people responsible for the ION were probably assigned to the "new" GM minivans coming soon to a dealer near you.

The ION and the "new" minivans are proof that bad/incompetent elements are alive and well in GM. [/QUOTE]

Mark, you are right on the mark, no pun intended. GM continues to make total
blunders in new products that are doomed from the beginning. I give GM props that they listen to consumer complaints, but why can't they get it right the first time.!
It's the same old story, and its repeated over and over again. GM needs to raise
the bar in every new product they produce, by not matching the current segment offerings, but exceeding them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,519 Posts
Originally posted by gmmerc5@Jun 1 2004, 12:35 AM
My question is who gave the OK to allow all these inadequate new stuffs added to the new ION in the first place. and does he/she still have a job? Somehow GM is continuing making obvious stupid mistakes on new models, such as under power in the SSR; bland styling in GTO and so on......
When the successor to the SL series was conceived, GM knew all the challenges. They knew they needed better interiors and more overall refinement. Had the Ion been developed to be as good as a 1998 Jetta (which was already in production !), we'd be happy with Saturn's new small car. But in terms of perceived quality, it wasn't even on par with a five-year old model! Toss in oddities like center gages, which won't single-handedly attract anyone to the car but will repel many, and you have the makings of a big mis-step. The SL appealed to young and old... why would you alienate your existing, conservative customer base with funky execution and unnecessary features?

The General Manager of Saturn, Jill L. (unsure of spelling, and not worth my time to look it up), needs to take the heat. Instead, they'll give her a few more chances to get it right. Even a dingbat could have cloned a Jetta, and that's essentially what was done with Cobalt. Compare the styling and materials of the interiors. If Chevy wasn't clever enough to re-set the benchmark, at least they picked a good one to work from.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,944 Posts
Lets see...

Center mounted insrument cluster on the......

Toyota Echo
MINI
BMW Z8
Toyota Scion Xb
Toyota Scion Xa
Toyota Prius
Every Jeep CJ before 1986.


But all of a sudden when GM does a center mounted instrument cluster...it's the worst thing ever.....

So whats wrong with a 4 speed? If it delivers better customer satisfaction and gives buyers of the car a better image of their car.

How many speeds are we going to need in a transmission? 10speeds? 14 speeds? What are we driving cars or tractor trailers?

The driving publice was perfectly happy with 2 speed powerglides, 3 speed Torqueflites and Turbo 350's and 400's for decades upon decades...and now your telling me that people who buy a $12,000 car "need" a 5 speed automatic or they will just go home and cry?

Since I am not in the market for a small car, the changes that are being made in the Saturn dont really make a difference to me, though I do see a large number of Saturn ION's on the road, so in spite of everyone cursing the car, it seems to be a pretty popular car. I have only had one chance to drive an ION, and I found it to be an adequate little car for the money, again since I am not a small car buyer, nor interested in a small car, I cant say that I was head over heels for an ION, but for the money it was a nice driving, comfortable little car, it was transportation, nothing more, nothing less.
Get real
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
650 Posts
What's wrong with center gages?

They look cool, give a new dimension to dashboard. I've driven cars with center gauges and its easyer to look at them while driving. Admittedly the first week of driving such a car took some getting use to.

Like others have said, at least GM is listening. Its a great fantasy to think they wont need mid model changes, but every car gets them. Americans are to picky anymore we like change. whether its the newest cars, cd's, cloths we are always looking for better. If GM continues to listen to complaints and fix problems we will be the people who benefit.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,621 Posts
Originally posted by nsap@May 31 2004, 05:05 PM
Replace the five-speed automatic transmission with a four-speed to counter complaints of "shift busy-ness," according to spokesman Michael Morrissey.
hey, if people have been complaining then it's not a bad idea to switch it. i doubt many people bought the car because it had a 5-speed auto. betcha half the people that did buy the car didn't know it had 5 forward gears. the ion has to compete with its peers, and if it's tranny feels 'busy', it's not gonna win any fans. remember, tech-minded individuals don't buy ions. joe and jane commuter do. and if the car doesn't suffer economy-wise, saturn'll be better off without the extra gear.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top