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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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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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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 disagree that Olds and Buick are anything at all alike, or that they ever were - except for the badge-engineered Roger Smith years, which is all anyone seems to remember. Did Buick ever sell a million cars a year like Olds did? Olds was always *different*, a unique combination of engineering and value, and it was getting back there again with the Aurora and the Shortstar engines. Buick has always had an old man's reputation - "the Doctor's car". It still does, and builds cars that match that. Meanwhile, Chevy and Pontiac are chasing the same people and still building clone-cars. Saturn - well, I dunno what the heck Saturn is doing except losing gaazillions of dollars. I agree a brand (or two) had to go - but it should not have been Olds.
 

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Time will tell if Pontiac can pick up what Olds was delivering. If it can, great. But I have been sorely disappointed by anything turned out by that division in recent years. In fact, before I bought my Intrigue I was actually wanting a Bonneville - until I got inside one and saw that dashboard, gimmicky controls, and upholstery. The new GP is even more of a disappointment with its boy-racer dash, JC Whitney exhaust tips, hard shiny black plastic inside surfaces, uninhabitable rear seat and Uglycloth (TM Regd.) seat fabric (thankfully since replaced). The G6 looks nice in the photos, but I'll wait for the real thing. Pontiac needs to grow up before I can consider them.
 
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