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A brief but interesting article.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/08/news/companies/taylor_gm.fortune/index.htm

Rick Wagoner's worst nightmare
Events beyond his control are jeopardizing General Motors' fragile recovery.
I thought they were pretty off base with the comments about the Astra: no one in America cares (and relatively few even know) that Astra is a rebadged Opel; and I've not heard a single complaint about the gauges in any review I've read.

The Saturn problem is unfortunate. I think the general public is having difficulty seeing Saturn as a step above Chevy rather than econo-pods; and they don't think the price is justified. I think GM should play up it's new Euro-heritage, if nothing else to let people know that it's different.
 

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A brief but interesting article.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/08/news/companies/taylor_gm.fortune/index.htm



I thought they were pretty off base with the comments about the Astra: no one in America cares (and relatively few even know) that Astra is a rebadged Opel; and I've not heard a single complaint about the gauges in any review I've read.

The Saturn problem is unfortunate. I think the general public is having difficulty seeing Saturn as a step above Chevy rather than econo-pods; and they don't think the price is justified. I think GM should play up it's new Euro-heritage, if nothing else to let people know that it's different.
Totally agree, the greatness of Saturn is being wasted. The new Saturn commercial where the guy walks into the Saturn dealer and cant believe its a Saturn dealership is a good start and it gets people thinking, but even so. With Products like the Astra, Sky, Vue, and Aura the have mabey the best lineup in GM's product line! And the Aura, its even better than the new Malibu (IMO), and people dont even have a clue! Gm really needs to step up the Saturn promotion!
 

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The Saturn problem is unfortunate. I think the general public is having difficulty seeing Saturn as a step above Chevy rather than econo-pods; and they don't think the price is justified. I think GM should play up it's new Euro-heritage, if nothing else to let people know that it's different.
Yes indeed, and an understatement as well. More stores doesn't equal more Saturn sales. Nor does more models equate to more Saturn sales.

And apparently, new design doesn't guarantee more Saturn sales. GM has literally, done everything they can for this brand, and it still sits flat.

They only way I see Saturn being saved is by giving it a *HUGE* biofuel based fleet, replete with plugin batteries and solar panels for good measure. For Saturn to be saved - and it does need saving - it needs to be rebranded to be synonymous with green. Saturn = green = the anti-gasoline-car company. Something along those lines. I am clearly not a marketing guru ;)
 

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Ahh, the blathering of marginal automotive experts at its finest.

So what if the Astra is a rebadged Opel. Everything I have seen about the car is pretty decent. I hope it does well for GM. I cheer for every success they can muster in such a difficult economic period.

Thank Goodness that these aren't the typical rebadged J-Bodies of the past. Can you say Cadillac Cimmaron! Thank God they aren't going back down that road any longer.

To me it is encouraging to see GM use the Global engineering that they have developed over the years to bring some pretty decent vehicles to market here in North America.

Like it or not they compete on the world stage. Once the protectionists get over that point, perhaps they will understand what Rick and the gang are trying to do here.

Yes GM is an American based company. Any success they can bring to the table is to their benefit as well as the US Economy.
 

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European styling is not the huge selling point that GM thinks it is.

I personally think that Saturn should be GM's "green" brand.

I think they should give the Volt to Saturn,(or at least a variant)
and Saturn should have a very strong presence with hybrids.
They should also offer diesels, and drum up the fuel economy.

I'm not saying that they can't be re-badged Opels, but that in and
of itself will not move sheetmetal off the showroom floor.

This ain't the 80's. The euro-trash slant is way over-rated.
 

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Well as i have said it before rick is an idiot and he needs to go. He had 10 years to fix gm and he did not. He sold all of gm assets and he is still losing money. He fired so many employes and he decided to speed up development of gmt 900 and ignore zeta, epII and delta because of that. SO now he is paying for it. He needs to go. Look what ford is doing with smart managers. They did not make f-150 all new. IT is just updated version of old one becuse they are investing all of that money in future small and midsize cars. This is why ford quality is better them gm and this is why ford is smaller and worth more then gm. See what rick did to this company.
 

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As recently as six months ago, GM's shares were selling for more than $43 per share. Today they are worth less than half that, closing at $21 on Monday. Investors seem to be tiring of GM's stormy weather and looking elsewhere for blue skies.
Plan A: A reporter notices that speculative stock investors are tired of waiting for GM, and have pulled their day trading money, their home equity line of credit money and their "gotta-make-this-quarter's-numbers" mutual fund investments from GM, and the reporter concludes GM is in trouble.


Patient and methodical, Wagoner spent years laying the groundwork for 2007's historic agreement on health and labor costs with the United Auto Workers. He makes a virtue of never coming to a snap decision or acting reflexively just to be seen doing something. Now, though, he seems to be taking an equally long view towards GM's financial recovery.

Lately, the party line at GM has been to look past the current difficulties to what it believes will be the halcyon days of 2010 and 2011. That's when the full effect of the UAW contract kicks in; Chevrolet's plug-in hybrid, Volt, hits the road (hopefully lifting GM's technology image); and demographic and sales trends give a boost to auto sales as younger drivers reach the market and people who put off getting a new car or truck return to dealerships.
Plan B: Ignore the investment "advisors" who scream for a half hour every day on CNN, invest in product for the long term rather than trying to rig the books to make the numbers look good for this quarter, cut costs dramatically and increase RETAIL sales in a down market.
 

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Yes indeed, and an understatement as well. More stores doesn't equal more Saturn sales. Nor does more models equate to more Saturn sales.

And apparently, new design doesn't guarantee more Saturn sales. GM has literally, done everything they can for this brand, and it still sits flat.

They only way I see Saturn being saved is by giving it a *HUGE* biofuel based fleet, replete with plugin batteries and solar panels for good measure. For Saturn to be saved - and it does need saving - it needs to be rebranded to be synonymous with green. Saturn = green = the anti-gasoline-car company. Something along those lines. I am clearly not a marketing guru ;)
I agree with you 100% Saturn needs to be gm green brand. It would sell a lot better. But then again rick and lutz made wrong choice by making saturn upscale brand with 4 speed trans.
 

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Saturn sales will improve, we just have to be patient. It has only been a year since the Aura came out, and they are just getting on to the used car lots where most people buy their first car. GM just needs the balls to continue on this path. Knee-jerk reactions are what got them in trouble in the past.
 

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Saturn sales will improve, we just have to be patient. It has only been a year since the Aura came out, and they are just getting on to the used car lots where most people buy their first car. GM just needs the balls to continue on this path. Knee-jerk reactions are what got them in trouble in the past.
Why is that for the last ten years people have been saying it takes time, it takes time. Well guess what it took time for gm to lose 10% of market share during those 10 years and lose billions of dollars. Sure why dont we give it some more time and see when gm will be out of buisness.
 

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The reviews that I have read about the Astra rave about everything the Astra brings to the table. There are a few things they knock, but there isn't a car out there that is great in all areas in the automotive press. The Astra is a car I would consider but there are two things I would be hesitant about if I was seriously considering one, the size and the 4 cyclinder engine are my concerns of note.

I have a large chocolate labrador retriever. I take in the car fairly frequently as I do various things. If a cars cargo area isn't big enough for a long haul with the dog than its not going to be something of interest for me. The second issue is the fact that it has a 4 cyclinder engine. 4 cyclinders are lacking in power to V6's in general. I won't consider a turbo for the car because the run hotter and rev higher therefore they are not as reliable over the long haul. I want at least the 3.5 liter V6 that you can get in the Impala and other vehicles. Another good powerplant for it would be the DOHC 3.6 liter V6 that you find in the Malibu, Impala, SRX V6 and other GM cars. The Vue is something I might consider when I'm in the market for a car next time also. I am looking mostly at the GMC Acadia or maybe a well equiped Saturn Outlook if it has some features on it worthy of considering. I know the Outlook is a stripped version of the Enclave and the Acadia.
 

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THe problem is that GM has been unable to properly market Saturn as a "european alternative" brand.
People are still going to see it as some tarted up Chevy. And that is detrimental to Saturn's image.
It also doesn't help that Aura is really nothing more than a tarted up Chevy in the first place.

GM's marketing and positioning problems still persist.

And there is nothing wrong with rebadging the Opel Astra into the Saturn Astra. The problem begins if Opel starts being sold in the US again... or if Saturn enters the European market.
 

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Plan A: A reporter notices that speculative stock investors are tired of waiting for GM, and have pulled their day trading money, their home equity line of credit money and their "gotta-make-this-quarter's-numbers" mutual fund investments from GM, and the reporter concludes GM is in trouble...

Plan B: Ignore the investment "advisors" who scream for a half hour every day on CNN, invest in product for the long term rather than trying to rig the books to make the numbers look good for this quarter, cut costs dramatically and increase RETAIL sales in a down market.
I can see your point to some degree, HoosierRon, but I think that indeed looking long-term paints a cloudy future for GM. Even the invest-and-hold types aren't snapping at GM stock despite its historically low share price. I have to think that that reflects at least some people thinking about the company as a prospect and not being able to justify it based on some pretty turbulent times that still lie ahead.

Wagoner obviously cannot control a lot of forces affecting the corporation. However, even he concedes that despite major improvement in its core NA operations, the division is still more than a billion from profitability. Again, that in part reflects outside forces, but nonetheless, he's done a lot, and still the red ink flows. Constantly looking to the future for alleged relief just isn't going to cut it. I'm sure he has a plan to get there, but GM's called the future card one too many times with a lot of people.

When Wagoner took office, and at a time when the company was making in the $2 billion - $4 billion range, he mentioned that GM's profits in the 2007-2008 timeframe would make profits then pale by comparison. That obviously has not happened. And it's why I don't find his prophetic statements particularly inspiring.

I'd love to see GM succeed, but I'm just not as convinced as others that it's just bound to happen.
 

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THe problem is that GM has been unable to properly market Saturn as a "european alternative" brand.
People are still going to see it as some tarted up Chevy. And that is detrimental to Saturn's image.
It also doesn't help that Aura is really nothing more than a tarted up Chevy in the first place.

GM's marketing and positioning problems still persist.

And there is nothing wrong with rebadging the Opel Astra into the Saturn Astra. The problem begins if Opel starts being sold in the US again... or if Saturn enters the European market.
Exactly! And do you think the UK auto mags rag on Vauxhaul for being a rebadged Opel? No. So what's the problem? And I've driven the new Astra, it is awesome! It's not perfect yet, it's got some packaging issues, but considering the circumstances right now, that's understandable, but will hopefully be rectified soon. It's a really great car and I don't understand the "severe" comment about the gauges, I liked them. :yup:
 

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GM's new product is turning heads (Malibu, CTS, G8, Enclave/Acadia), but to many brands will be its death. Saturn has been a plague from inception. Ask any GM dealer what it has done for them and they will tell you it has robbed from there exisiting GM franchises not from the imports, Ford or Chrysler. If GM is to survive they need to kill off or sell Saturn and maybe consider the same for Hummer and Saab. (Both Saab and Hummer, I do like, but have to admit they have not helped).
 

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I agree with you 100% Saturn needs to be gm green brand. It would sell a lot better. But then again rick and lutz made wrong choice by making saturn upscale brand with 4 speed trans.
In most every other post you have made you said that Saturn needs to be "killed". Oh, you might want to look at the facts.

Astra 5 speed (4 speed on auto)
Outlook 6 speed (only option)
Sky 5 speed (auto and manual)
Aura 6 speed (4 speed on base model)
Vue 6 speed (4 speed on 4 cyl base model)

Four speeds are in the minority at Saturn but with your past record of disregarding facts, I am not surprised.
 

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Well as i have said it before rick is an idiot and he needs to go. He had 10 years to fix gm and he did not. He sold all of gm assets and he is still losing money. He fired so many employes and he decided to speed up development of gmt 900 and ignore zeta, epII and delta because of that. SO now he is paying for it. He needs to go. Look what ford is doing with smart managers. They did not make f-150 all new. IT is just updated version of old one becuse they are investing all of that money in future small and midsize cars. This is why ford quality is better them gm and this is why ford is smaller and worth more then gm. See what rick did to this company.
How many people did Rick fire and use sources to prove it.

The 2009 F150 is new just like the 2004 model was all new. Get a clue.
 

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In most every other post you have made you said that Saturn needs to be "killed". Oh, you might want to look at the facts.

Astra 5 speed (4 speed on auto)
Outlook 6 speed (only option)
Sky 5 speed (auto and manual)
Aura 6 speed (4 speed on base model)
Vue 6 speed (4 speed on 4 cyl base model)

Four speeds are in the minority at Saturn but with your past record of disregarding facts, I am not surprised.
I still stand by it. Either kill it or make it a green brand. The way saturn is now makes no since. And that is fault of rick and lutz.
 
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