GM Inside News Forum banner
1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,528 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.motorauthority.com/news/industry/tight-budgets-slow-saturn-refresh/#more-6898
General Motors’ Saturn brand currently boasts one of the youngest overall lineups in the industry - its oldest model is the Saturn Sky (pictured), which debuted in 2006 as a 2007 model. Tough economic times at GM may mean that the current crop of mostly new models will have to stay largely unchanged for longer than previous generations.

While existing models like the Astra (see our review here), Aura and Sky aren’t scheduled for updates until 2011 at the earliest, with full redesigns pushed out to 2012 for the Aura and 2014 for the Sky - provided it’s still in the lineup then - a new car is being considered for introduction. If it does go forward, the new car would be a small entry-level offering slotting below the Astra in the lineup, possibly a rebadged version of Opel’s Corsa. A unique small car is also a possibility if importation proves impractical, and would be designed around GM’s Gamma FWD platform, reports Automotive News.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,469 Posts
A new small car?? why?? How about getting the Astra OUT there, cut the price a bit, actually advertise, add more to it, then think about a smaller car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,042 Posts
http://www.motorauthority.com/news/industry/tight-budgets-slow-saturn-refresh/#more-6898
Tough economic times at GM may mean that the current crop of mostly new models will have to stay largely unchanged for longer than previous generations.

Is that even possible? I don't remember any updates to the Ion, or S series cars except for every 5 years they changed the plastic panels. If they put updates/redesigns on the back bumper, or worse, don't replace them, how do they expect to sell more of these cars or any of the miriad other GM cars as this seems to be the track all of GM is on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,332 Posts
GMI suggested that Saturn could be inserted into BPG.

The idea of substituting Saturn into the BPG stores (and killing Pontiac) make some sense. It reduces the number of competing brands/products GM has (and reduces development costs which is a MAJOR issue for GM right now), provides the existing Pontiac dealers with almost equal retail volume, provides GM with more Saturn stores and avoids the need to close down existing Saturn stores that are almost all freestanding (and thus cost prohibitive).

Maybe this is the "official" news NSAP is promising later this week?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,119 Posts
If GM cuts Pontiac in favor of Saturn, it will be the biggest mistake GM has made in a long time (and that's really saying something with this comedy of errors).

Quite frankly, one brand needs to go. Given that Saturn only has a limited number of stores and a limited sales volume (plus, little brand value due to its relatively recent creation), it is the most obvious choice. Cutting Saturn should be relatively inexpensive, and it's product portfolio could be redistributed Buick and Pontiac (whatever isn't cut altogether).

Outlook -- gone, it's the worst of the Lambdas anyway.
Vue -- Buick
Aura -- gone -- the upcoming Lacrosse is better and competes in the same category/price.
Sky -- gone -- already have the Solstice. Could make it a Chevy if GM really wants to keep 2 around.
Astra -- could be the entry level Pontiac. Performance needs to be added, but it's already available in the european model, so that's noot a big deal.

Going forward, Buick should be heavily aligned with Opel -- as Opel's new, upscale designs appear to be a perfect fit for Buick. That should reduce Buick's overhead, while allowing for a relatively complete lineup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,689 Posts
I agree with BRAVADA. The Outlook was a mistake for the Saturn brand. With the Traverse coming for Chevrolet, I think the Outlook should die. Sales of the Vue might inch up if there were no Outlook.

The Astra is a grearter puzzlement. According to Automotive News Data Center, only 5900 had sold so far this year, through July 31. In comparison, the Outlook has sold 15,428 which is down 22% from last year.

Saturn totals were off nearly 18% from last year for the same period.

What the hell is wrong????
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
If GM cuts Pontiac in favor of Saturn, it will be the biggest mistake GM has made in a long time (and that's really saying something with this comedy of errors).

Quite frankly, one brand needs to go. Given that Saturn only has a limited number of stores and a limited sales volume (plus, little brand value due to its relatively recent creation), it is the most obvious choice. Cutting Saturn should be relatively inexpensive, and it's product portfolio could be redistributed Buick and Pontiac (whatever isn't cut altogether).

Outlook -- gone, it's the worst of the Lambdas anyway.
Vue -- Buick
Aura -- gone -- the upcoming Lacrosse is better and competes in the same category/price.
Sky -- gone -- already have the Solstice. Could make it a Chevy if GM really wants to keep 2 around.
Astra -- could be the entry level Pontiac. Performance needs to be added, but it's already available in the european model, so that's noot a big deal.

Going forward, Buick should be heavily aligned with Opel -- as Opel's new, upscale designs appear to be a perfect fit for Buick. That should reduce Buick's overhead, while allowing for a relatively complete lineup.
I COULD NOT AGREE MORE. THE ONLY GM BRANDS THAT WOULD BE CHEAPER TO CUT WOULD BE HUMMER AND SAAB. HUMMER IS UP FOR SALE, AND I DON'T THINK SAAB WILL BE GOING ANYWHERE SINCE IT IS BECOMING A STRONG DEVELOPMENT SOURCE FOR GM.

KILLING SATURN MAKES MOST SENSE, LESS DEALERS, LOWER COST TO DO SO AND PONTIAC HAS OUTSOLD SATURN EVERY YEAR AND HAS A BETTER IMAGE.

ONE SUGGESTION WOULD BE; If GM wants to have two cars of the Sky/Solstice, give Cadillac the Sky and upgrade the hell out of it in refinement (premium leather, power driver's seat, heated front seats, power top, high performance V6 Engine with turbo or supercharger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,791 Posts
GM needs to stop getting hysterical about whatever lies the media are propagating.

GM as the world's largest automaker needs to make: tiny cars, compact cars, midsize cars, large cars, FWD, RWD, allWD, midtrucks, large trucks, mid SUVs, large SUvs, mid Xovers, large Xovers, minivans, hybrids, electrics, 4 cylinder, 6 cylinder, 8 cylinder, manuals, automatics, manual mode automatics, turbo, supercharged, etc. And they need to keep making them regardless of what today's trend is. Just look at Toyota. Have they stopped making minivans? Have they stopped making mid-size SUVs? Have they cut divisions? Have they announced in a panic that they'll stop making engines except for 4 cylinder ones? Are they going to put a 4 cylinder in their Turdas?

GM is setting itself up for some future catastrophe by being short-sighted and going with trends. They know well it takes them 15 years to respond to any trend and here they are willing to throw out half of the company for not good reason. No more money for Pontiac, Saturn, Cadillac. This is more a reflection of the mess Ricky has gotten GM into than anything else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
Killing Saturn is not the answer. It's not as if Saturn is a so-called "damaged brand". They haven't been around long enough for that. Saturn's shortcoming is lack of market awareness.
Plus, killing off Saturn will have no effect on the income of GM. Just like the demise of Olds, Saturn buyers will NOT migrate to other GM brands en masse. It has been quoted numerous times that Saturn buyers in overwhelming numbers (60-75%) would not even CONSIDER buying a GM vehicle outside of Saturn.

So we have this paradox: The best selling car world wide can't manage 1000 sales a month in the USA, the car-buying country where there are more cars than children in each household. What's the problem? MARKETING. Hyundai solved their horrible brand image by marketing and a semi-useless but nice sounding non-transferrable warranty.

Outlook can stay or go, but if it goes Saturn should have some kind of 7-8 passenger vehicle (a competitive one, not another RELAY).
SKY is a nearly useless attractor of attention if we don't have another sporty vehicle to turn people to. It needs to either have all the shortcomings addressed seriously or dropped.

ASTRA is a great car that needs what is missing from the USA lineup: CHOICES. One of the reasons this car is so successful abroad is it has so many choices. Here, you get one engine, 2 transmissions, 2 similar styles. There, you get sedan, wagon, 3-door hatch, 5-door hatch, convertible, diesel engines, turbo gas engines, fancy panoramic glass roofs. We get jack sh_t.

AURA which won so many accolades as a show car is languishing on the lots, looking stale as little brother Malibu gets all the attention. It's a great car but the new Insignia hatch would be much more practical even though it looks like a notch-back sedan.

Time after time we get 75%, 80% of what we need to succeed. We need 100% support of GM, no matter the cost.
A sub-compact with a "40" on the MPG sticker would go a long way towards bringing in gas mileage slaves as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,332 Posts
Cutting Saturn would likely cost more than Pontiac because Saturn has almost all stand alone stores that would be out of business. You can appease a BPG dealer by offering them Saturn in exchange for Pontiac, which also serves to increase the number of Saturn stores, which should improve sales for the brand.

Pontiac's YTD sales are 178,127 units vs. 119,808 for Saturn. Pontiac's YTD numbers include 7,505 Grand Prix's (which has been cut) and 13,641 Torrents (which will be rebranded a GMC). 98,943 units or 55.5% of the Pontiac's total sales are from the G6, of which over 40% are fleet sales (mostly to rental companies) according to Automotive Fleet - a number consistent with the overall percentage of fleet sales for the brand. Take away the dead and dying product and fleet sales, and my guess is that the retail sales for the two brands are comparable, while Saturn's sales per store numbers are higher.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,904 Posts
This isn't Saturn News.. This is Buick, Cadillac, Pontiac, Saab, GMC and Saturn news
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,947 Posts
A new small car?? why?? How about getting the Astra OUT there, cut the price a bit, actually advertise, add more to it, then think about a smaller car.
A total and absolute waste of money. Saturn won't sell unless they fix the brand (image)............and considering that many people don't even know the company exists, that calls for a helluva fix.
based on todays headlines one would have to conclude that GM is in chaos. If there's a GM in 10 years it'll sell nothing but mini cars.
That's the overall problem with GM right now. The perception gap still exists and they are having a difficult time relaying to customers what their brands stand for and how they are relevant.

You guys hit it on the head. Saturn has some great products like the Aura and Astra - but if no one takes notice, what is the point? The public has not taken notice or simply do not care. It's almost like Oldsmobile - they built the best and most consistent products GM had at the time, but no one showed up at the dealerships to buy'em.

What's more, where will the money come from to advertise for these products? Will they take money away from Chevy just as the Malibu is coming on steam or the Traverse and Cruze that will soon be launched? Will they take it from Pontiac or Buick which are getting hit in the head at the moment - and they dont even advertise models like the G5 or the LaCrosse?

The money has to come from somewhere!!!

There is only so much $ to go around and GM better start making the tough choices on its outdated brand strategy or the rest of the company will suffer.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,947 Posts
GMI suggested that Saturn could be inserted into BPG.

The idea of substituting Saturn into the BPG stores (and killing Pontiac) make some sense. It reduces the number of competing brands/products GM has (and reduces development costs which is a MAJOR issue for GM right now), provides the existing Pontiac dealers with almost equal retail volume, provides GM with more Saturn stores and avoids the need to close down existing Saturn stores that are almost all freestanding (and thus cost prohibitive).

Maybe this is the "official" news NSAP is promising later this week?
It is certainly possible that Saturn stores could be consolidated with Pontiac stores.

However, how that will play out with franchise laws is another argument.

Saturn was set up since it's inception to be a stand alone franchise. Would the "no hassle" approach that the Saturnisti have enjoyed be carried over? Would BPG products now also be no-haggle?

I agree that killing Pontiac and retaining Saturn may be the easiest approach, but don't know if it will create any more sales for GM. Considering the fact that GM has sunk MAJOR investments in Saturn and has gotten very little in return is alarming.

Conversely, GM has paid almost no attention to Pontiac and has continually cut their lineup. Look at what they've cut over the last few years: No direct Firebird replacement, no Torrent replacement coming, no Montana replacement, no G5 sedan after the Sunfire sedan died (shameful in light of high gasoline prices) and no "direct" replacement for the Grand Prix (one would argue that the G8 is far more expensive and could be considered a lower-volume/higher-positioned product). Now all of these products weren't "Great", but volume is still volume.

Instead, Pontiac got only warmed over high-volume products (the G6 mostly) and still they sell in larger numbers than Saturn does (even if most people think that Saturn products are better looking/appointed).

That has to frighten more than a few people if Saturn has recieved Billions of dollars in investments while Pontiac has gotten nothing. If all things were equal, and Pontiac got that kind of investment, would they be getting the lion's share?

Perhaps there is some equity still left in the Pontiac name....
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,947 Posts
If GM cuts Pontiac in favor of Saturn, it will be the biggest mistake GM has made in a long time (and that's really saying something with this comedy of errors).

Quite frankly, one brand needs to go. Given that Saturn only has a limited number of stores and a limited sales volume (plus, little brand value due to its relatively recent creation), it is the most obvious choice. Cutting Saturn should be relatively inexpensive, and it's product portfolio could be redistributed Buick and Pontiac (whatever isn't cut altogether).

Outlook -- gone, it's the worst of the Lambdas anyway.
Vue -- Buick
Aura -- gone -- the upcoming Lacrosse is better and competes in the same category/price.
Sky -- gone -- already have the Solstice. Could make it a Chevy if GM really wants to keep 2 around.
Astra -- could be the entry level Pontiac. Performance needs to be added, but it's already available in the european model, so that's noot a big deal.

Going forward, Buick should be heavily aligned with Opel -- as Opel's new, upscale designs appear to be a perfect fit for Buick. That should reduce Buick's overhead, while allowing for a relatively complete lineup.
Some good points here as well.

Though if GM kills Saturn or Pontiac, either one will be very expensive for GM. If Pontiac folds, the dealer network will get worked up and look to sue GM for lost volume. If the brands are consolidated and BPG is folded in with Saturn, then it still costs GM a ton since they'd have to help negotiate buyouts, etc as stores combine (Remember, part of GM's aim is to heavily reduce the number of dealerships out there from the 6000+ locations). And if Saturn is killed, there are still 400+ dealerships out there that will have to be compensated somehow.

As for product, however, since China seems to be the biggest influence in Buick's design moving forward, may it not be better for Opel to be twinned with Pontiac and let Buick stay more connected with Buick of China? Considering that Pontiac has always pretended to be a "BMW competitor" (and the rebel-spirit of Pontiac back in the day was to go after the Europeans - GTO, LeMans, etc) wouldn't taking the Euro-centric Opel brand as an influence be better?

Just my two cents...
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
Top