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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DETROIT -- After 107 years in business, Oldsmobile will build its last car in June.

The last Oldsmobile, a 2004 Alero, is scheduled to roll off the line in the first week of June, an industry source says. General Motors had planned to assemble the last Alero on April 30, but demand warranted extra production, GM spokeswoman Rebecca Harris says.

The 2004 Pontiac Grand Am and the Alero are built on the same assembly line in Lansing, Mich. As long as demand holds, GM says it will keep the line running.

Production could continue until the annual model changeover on June 25, but no longer. GM will not produce 2005 Oldsmobiles.

And Pontiac will drop the Grand Am for 2005 and start producing the new G6 sedan in Orion Township, Mich.

But Oldsmobiles will linger on dealership lots much longer than June.

Dealers will receive a letter in the next few months from GM announcing the end of the brand. When dealers receive the letter, they will be allowed to sell Oldsmobiles for one more year.

Dealer George Nahas of Tavares, Fla., co-chairman of the Oldsmobile dealer council, says he plans no promotions because demand is holding for the cars.

GM stopped assembling the Oldsmobile Bravada SUV in January. Production of the Silhouette minivan, the only other Oldsmobile still in production, will end before the Alero, the company says.

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Methinks the article should have been entitled differently: "The Last Saturn Rolls off the Line in June."

Hmmm, let's kill Oldsmobile and send the Relay and Terrazza (nee Silhouette) over to Saturn and Buick and the Rainier (nee Bravada) to Buick. Then, we'll kill the quite pleasing Intrigue and let Saturn soldier on in the family sedan market with the failing L-series.

I know, it's quite debatable as to whether Oldsmobile should have gone in place of another division (like Saturn), but clearly I'm in the "Oldsmobile shoulda stayed" camp. While we're promised great cars for Saturn in the future, the present reveals little in the way of redeeming automobiles. Contrast that to some nice cars that Oldsmobile already had (like the Intrigue and Aurora), and it seems that strengthening Oldsmobile would have been far easier than resurrecting Saturn. This is why "Ronny" [Zarella] needed to go.

The point is pretty moot, though; all the "shoulda, coulda, woulda's" are pointless at this moment.
 

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Yes, sadly, you're right. Nothing now can bring back Olds ever, since GM murdered it. The billions GM poured down the drain on Saturn could have turned Olds into a world-beater. Their cars were already pretty good - in many ways, GM's best. All Olds needed was some halfway-decent marketing, which they never once got in the last 10 or so years of life. Instead, GM knifed Olds between the shoulder blades in favor of producing things like the Saturn L and Ion. Criminal, and shameful.
 

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I agree with both of you 100%. When it comes down to eliminating Olds, Buick, or Saturn, the latter two would have been a more sensible choice. Keeping Saturn and Buick around will probably prove to be nothing more than a delay of the inevitable. My prediction is that by 2020 either Saturn, Buick, or both will be history. Enough has been said about Saturn and the pathetic L-series. Buick, while admittedly on the road to recovery, still suffers from one very big problem--its rightful place in the GM hierarchy. While many of you will disagree with me, only time and sales figures will demonstrate whether or not there is a place for Buick. In a world where there are too many mid-size sedans and too many SUV's I think there is very little reason for anybody to buy a Buick when any one of the other GM divisions can give consumers what they want. In other words, Pontiac provides excitement, Cadillac provides luxury, and Chevrolet provides affordability. So, why buy a Buick?
 

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You guys are absolutely right I think. I am another of the club of Saturn haters that thinks that Olds should never have died. I always loved the Intrigue, Aurora, Alero and Bravada. Like Bob Lutz said the Aurora had the best GM interior and I think the Intrigue was GM's best mid-size. The Alero was more grown up than the Grand Am and the Bravada had a nicer interior than a Trailblazer. On the subject of Buick, I have always found their vehicles second best to Olds in most ways, especially in interiors and powertrains. In conclusion Buick and Saturn had better think real fast before they follow Olds to oblivion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My prediction:

Saturn will become Opel U.S.A.

Buick will stay and get much better
 

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Originally posted by nsap@Mar 8 2004, 04:45 PM
My prediction:

Saturn will become Opel U.S.A.

Buick will stay and get much better
I hope you're right, but I doubt it. Signs of the demise of Buick are all around. Take a look at what Olds was doing ten years ago to try to reverse its fortunes: a rebadged SUV, a luxo minivan, and an all-conquering sedan (Aurora). Didn't work for Olds, probably won't work for Buick.
 

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Right now I'm very happy with my '02 Intrigue. But when time comes to replace it, I'm in a bind. Pontiac has yet to build a car with an interior and exterior design I find palatable, at least not in the last couple of decades. Buick has been too soft, cushy and senior-citizeney for me. If they try to change that they'll do what Olds did - alienate their traditional market. Chevys have generally been too cheap inside for my liking. Caddy is the only thing I like from the General these days, but I'm not in their price range. Unless Saturn were to really transform itself, there's nothing there for me either. My GM future may have died with Olds.
 

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I don't think the fate of the brands should be based on the latest products they offered. If so, Olds might have won out over every other GM brand. Long term brand positioning just didn't favor Olds. It's mission became "import fighter", the brand the Saturn buyers would ascend to. Right. That was a positively stupid assumption on GM's part. Oldsmobile, by name, was the epitome of "old school Americana". Even the "Old" in "Old"smobile stood out and created a stigma noticed by many younger people. Even without Oldsmobile, GM has more brands than they need for long-term success. Chevy is targeting the center of the market, Pontiac is doing the same, in perhaps a more European flavor than Chevy. Buick may go after the American-near-luxury in the ilk of Lincoln or Chrysler, freeing up Cadillac to move further upmarket with a contemporay lineup. Saab then covers near luxury in the Euro slant. That leaves Saturn in limbo, with little value other than appealing to those now loyal to the brand. It's madness. Where, oh where, would Olds have fit into this already-convoluted scheme? The costs of developing, distributing, and marketing products for redundant brands like Olds, Saturn, and even Pontiac take away from funds that could be used to bolster a very strong three-branded portfolio.

So, even if you liked the last Aurora or Intrigue, consider the money that would have been spent on their successors, and where else that money should be used.
 

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Ok, so why are they killing off Olds since the demand is still up causing it to delay a cease production?

GM WAKE UP! If a demand for a car goes up causing you to delay a cease production from April to June that means you're making money! DUH!

I love most Oldsmobiles - Aurora (salivating), Silhouette (Olds grill looks far better than the Buick "hung" mouth), Alero, LSS, Intrigue, and the latest Bravada (which looks AWESOME and luxurious compared to the overdone Buick Rainier).
 

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Long term brand positioning just didn't favor Olds. It's mission became "import fighter", the brand the Saturn buyers would ascend to. Right. That was a positively stupid assumption on GM's part. Oldsmobile, by name, was the epitome of "old school Americana".  Even the "Old" in "Old"smobile stood out and created a stigma noticed by many younger people.
Saturn is the brand that doesn't fit, not Olds. Saturn cost GM billions of dollars and has delivered nothing but losses. Olds had 100 years of history and reputation, most of it good. The "Olds" in Oldsmobile being a negative is, I think, a red herring. This isn't the first generation of young people. They weren't the first to notice it. It worked for 90+ years, so I can't imagine suddenly it being a division-killer.

If someone would have asked me 4 years ago, here's whatI would have said: Chevy & Pontiac are going after the same market. Merge them. Keep Olds as the "step ahead" brand. Buick only appeals to a small segment of the market so give it a small (big-car) product line. Develop Caddy into something like it is now. Dump Saturn. Sell Saab.
 

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I dont think that killing off Oldsmobile was so bad after all. GM now has much more $$$'s to spend on Buick, rather than dividing it among another brand. Olds was the only GM brand that I had no idea what its exact purpose or target audience was.
 

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Flame me all you want, but I say good riddens. GM had wayyy to many divisions and Oldsmobile was just redundant. Its better this way, less re-badging that must be done, and more $$ spend on development...
 

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Originally posted by TaHoE@Mar 10 2004, 03:15 AM
Flame me all you want, but I say good riddens. GM had wayyy to many divisions and Oldsmobile was just redundant. Its better this way, less re-badging that must be done, and more $$ spend on development...
agreed. As much as I like olds and the cars they made, but now they are just kinda stuck in the middle and would just further complicate the GM divisions.
 

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Originally posted by TaHoE@Mar 9 2004, 09:15 PM
Flame me all you want, but I say good riddens. GM had wayyy to many divisions and Oldsmobile was just redundant. Its better this way, less re-badging that must be done, and more $$ spend on development...
I also agree.... Olds has been dying for a long time! The name, and its vehicles ;)
 

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Keep Olds as the "step ahead" brand. Buick only appeals to a small segment of the market so give it a small (big-car) product line 
Yeah, it could have been either Olds or Buick that occupied the slot now had by Buick. But one had to go. Which one should have gone? Buick has been more "American" in flavor in recent years, and that's what they wanted the brand directly under Cadillac to project. Also, since the "Old" in the name Oldsmobile was, in fact, a stigma (I never saw it that way, but some did), then retaining the Buick name was probably the smarter choice.

But again, most would agree one of these brands had to go... if we kept Olds, we'd have lost Buick. Some "rocket scientists" might debate this, but Buick was always a stronger brand than Olds under the GM umbrella. Plus, as Olds had become an import-fighter in the last decade, the overlap with Pontiac, Saturn, and Chevy would have been too great. If Buick is done right, it won't overlap the other brands very much.
 
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