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ralph124c
10-27-2009, 06:57 PM
I received a letter from Jill Lajdziak, the GM of saturn. She thanked me for my support, and said that the brand would be closed down (due the the breakdown of the Penske deal).
A sad day-is there anyway that the brand could be saved?
I wish TESLA could take it over!:)

Squink
10-27-2009, 07:17 PM
Limbaugh's not blowin money on a sports team anymore. Maybe he could buy the brand?

wmfellows
10-27-2009, 07:29 PM
I hate to make a useless post, but in reading the title, I opened this wondering what was wrong with the planet. Apparently there are also automobiles...

fuzzypickles
10-27-2009, 08:02 PM
I hate to make a useless post, but in reading the title, I opened this wondering what was wrong with the planet.
Thankfully, Jupiter is safe. (For now.)

kaylasdad99
10-27-2009, 08:08 PM
Better get your tires rotated now, just in case it can't.

:D

Sateryn76
10-27-2009, 08:44 PM
I was wondering why they 86-ed the Saturn brand, of all the crap names they're making. Saturn has a certain attitude, and my SL2 has been nothing but reliable. The dealership and service guys were great, and it was a brand with a culture.

I mean, couldn't we do without Pontiac and Oldsmobile? Blech...

Polycarp
10-27-2009, 08:56 PM
"If we let them get Saturn now, they'll be after Uranus next!" :D

mswas
10-27-2009, 09:23 PM
I received a letter from Jill Lajdziak, the GM of saturn. She thanked me for my support, and said that the brand would be closed down (due the the breakdown of the Penske deal).
A sad day-is there anyway that the brand could be saved?
I wish TESLA could take it over!:)

Funny you say that because their factories were just bought by an electric competitor called 'Fiskar'(sp?) I wonder if it's the scissor maker.

Squink
10-27-2009, 09:27 PM
Fiskar (http://www.fiskars.com/wps/wcm/connect/fiskars_landing/Fiskars/en/US) -scissors etc.
Fisker (http://karma.fiskerautomotive.com/) -electric vehicles.

TWDuke
10-27-2009, 09:28 PM
I mean, couldn't we do without Pontiac and Oldsmobile? Blech...We are. Oldsmobile is done and Pontiac is being phased out.

mswas
10-27-2009, 09:53 PM
Fiskar (http://www.fiskars.com/wps/wcm/connect/fiskars_landing/Fiskars/en/US) -scissors etc.
Fisker (http://karma.fiskerautomotive.com/) -electric vehicles.

Pretty cars.

Telemark
10-27-2009, 10:03 PM
I was wondering why they 86-ed the Saturn brand, of all the crap names they're making. Saturn has a certain attitude, and my SL2 has been nothing but reliable. The dealership and service guys were great, and it was a brand with a culture.
No, it was a brand with a cult. The brand was never profitable, and it never made a real impact in the popular consciousness other than as a cheap econobox. None of the current models are anything but rebadged GM products. There's really no point in keeping the line.

And this is from a former Saturn owner. :)

mswas
10-27-2009, 10:05 PM
It's funny, I never understood the love for Saturn's I always thought they were hideous.

Magiver
10-27-2009, 10:27 PM
It's funny, I never understood the love for Saturn's I always thought they were hideous. I have a 2000 Saturn SL1 and it gets 38 mpg with an automatic. The engine has a steel timing chain. The plugs and wires are easy to change. The car can be towed without a trailer which is why you see motor homes pulling them. The body is a space frame design that uses flexible body panels so it doesn't dent or rust.

In 125,000 miles I've replaced the battery and plugs/wires plus normal fluid changes. It has been a trouble free, economical car. Unfortunately, Saturn did away with their core cars and rebadged other cars which makes them expendable. If I had a barn I would buy a couple of them and rebuild the motors/transmissions.

mswas
10-27-2009, 10:32 PM
Hmm, it seems like there was this late millenial idea that practical cars had to be ugly. I'm glad that the electric car companies are not sticking with the notion.

dropzone
10-27-2009, 10:52 PM
Yeah, until Penske realized how beholden to GM he'd remain. Saturn was not just a sales model but it was also a group of products that started separate but grew closer to the standard as time went on. Had he wanted a car company Roger (after 45 years of following his star I claim a little familiarity) should've made his offer in the early 90s.

OTOH, he should take to his heart this truism: "To make a small fortune by owning a car company you start with a LARGE fortune." He beat the odds and should be happy.

dropzone
10-27-2009, 10:54 PM
Hmm, it seems like there was this late millenial idea that practical cars had to be ugly. I'm glad that the electric car companies are not sticking with the notion.Though it's a pleasant change! (I'm not wasting my time linking to ugly electrics of the past four decades. ;) )

DrDeth
10-27-2009, 11:48 PM
Well, Saturn hasn't made Saturns in a while. Last few years, they have retooled and re badged Opels. The plastic paneling, a great idea, went bye-bye.

I still own one of the last SC2's made, and it's a great car. But the Astra was meh.

Dag Otto
10-27-2009, 11:50 PM
We are. Oldsmobile is done and Pontiac is being phased out.

GM is toast. They should have kept Saturn and Pontiac and shitcanned Buick and GMC. Buick make people yawn, and GMC is useless if Chevy keeps the truck line. But Saturn had the Astra, and Pontiac had the G8 (not to mention the little roadster they both shared). What does Buick have that made it a keeper?

Telemark
10-28-2009, 09:22 AM
Buick has great sales and reputation in China, plus it doesn't really overlap with the other GM brands.

Pontiacs can all be sold under the Chevy brand, as can the Astra if they want. The Saturn brand never made an impact so killing he dealer network isn't a big problem. If the cars are good, GM will still sell them no matter the brand.

ralph124c
10-28-2009, 09:32 AM
Well, Saturn hasn't made Saturns in a while. Last few years, they have retooled and re badged Opels. The plastic paneling, a great idea, went bye-bye.

I still own one of the last SC2's made, and it's a great car. But the Astra was meh.

I agree-I have a 1997 SC-2 great car! If you bought an ASTRA, I think you are SOL-there will be little factory support, and when Opel ceases to sell to GM, resale will plummet.
I wonder if you can buy them dirt cheap now? At a firesale price, they might be worth it!

smiling bandit
10-28-2009, 03:29 PM
dropzone, I have no idea what you're talking about. Penske quit the deal because Renault dropped out as his supplier: he had no intention of being anywhere or anything related to GM if he'd been able to take over Saturn. For some ungodly reason, Renault's Board nixed the deal, even though it basically had almost no downsides for them. (The CEO, who was all for it, reportedly responded by saying, "What. The. Fuck?" in a French accent.)

Really, Penske was buying a dealer network, not the Saturn brand, but the cars he wanted to import/make would have been fairly similar in concept: a solid midmarket car with high quality.

Saturn as a brand as it exists now was really shot in the foot by a lukewarm GM management and the hostile union. Actually, the UAW was working both sides of the aisle on this. One particular union chief lobbied hard for the Spring Hill plant and for Saturn to have a place in GM. It worked well, and Saturn was growing. Everybody gets old, though, and he retired eventually. This was not surprisingly followed by other union leaders slowly squeezing Saturn down to nothing. They did not like the idea of a plant where union workers were cross-trained in different roles and could do mroe than one job. (Horrors!) Actually, they probably were right in a way. They avoided losing any union jobs by killing it, as the Spring Hill plant model didn't need so many peeps, and then got Congress to bail them out.

Anyway, Saturn might still have stayed and grown into a strong brand had GM's management been competent, but wishes and horses and beggars and all.

Enright3
10-28-2009, 04:14 PM
I was wondering why they 86-ed the Saturn brand, of all the crap names they're making. Saturn has a certain attitude, and my SL2 has been nothing but reliable. The dealership and service guys were great, and it was a brand with a culture.

I mean, couldn't we do without Pontiac and Oldsmobile? Blech...

I think it's pretty understood what you say is true about Saturn (reliable car, loyal following, etc.), the problem is if you look at overall sales; the number of Saturns sold is way less that mainstream GM brands.

One website says Saturn sales
for 2008: 188,004
for 2007: 240,091

The number I found for Chevy Impala sales alone (for 2006) was: 289,868.

I realize I'm not comparing numbers from the same year, but I'm also comparing an entire product line of Saturn to a single model of Chevrolet. When I see that it's not surprising that the Saturn line is getting dropped. My wife's last 3 or 4 cars have been new Saturns. She's beyond disappointed.

Magiver
10-28-2009, 04:56 PM
GM could have gone back and produced a couple of the origial Saturn style cars under the Chevy banner and retained those customers. The space frame idea is still valid as is the ability to be towed without burning up the transmission. I don't know why all cars aren't built like Saturns but it just seems logical to use steel timing changes and make parts easy to get to. There is no reason to bury a heater core when it's nothing more than an an access panel and a good design location.

Telemark
10-28-2009, 06:01 PM
GM could have gone back and produced a couple of the origial Saturn style cars under the Chevy banner and retained those customers.
And lost money on every one they sold. The features that made Saturn special were the plastic panels and the dealer network. Timing chains are really overkill on a 4-banger and they're noisy. With a non-interference engine you're not gaining much of anything over the typical lifespan of the car. The plastic panels were nice, but I still managed to scratch mine a few times. The dealer network was nice, but it wasn't really tied to the brand. Any dealer network could be made to be like that.

Sam Stone
10-28-2009, 10:30 PM
What Smiling Bandit said. Saturn has always been the red-headed stepchild of GM, opposed by a lot of GM management and opposed by the UAW. The UAW didn't like the Saturn Union's compliant culture, their flexible rules, etc. They saw it as a threat to the UAW's bargaining position, and eventually forced Saturn's workers into rejoining the UAW main contract. But the animosity remained, from what I can tell.

The sad thing is that after decades of mediocre product, Saturn finally had some good cars. The Aura is an excellent vehicle. Saturn's new lineup was very competitive in terms of quality and features. But once GM knew it had to kill off some brands, Saturn was in everyone's crosshairs.

Magiver
10-28-2009, 11:10 PM
And lost money on every one they sold. The features that made Saturn special were the plastic panels and the dealer network. Timing chains are really overkill on a 4-banger and they're noisy. With a non-interference engine you're not gaining much of anything over the typical lifespan of the car. The plastic panels were nice, but I still managed to scratch mine a few times. The dealer network was nice, but it wasn't really tied to the brand. Any dealer network could be made to be like that.A steel timing chain is not noisy and not having to replace it is hardly overkill. It's one less expense that won't leave you on the side of the road to boot.

And I think you misunderstood my original suggestion was to sell them under the chevy banner. The Saturn dealerships would be gone.

What made the Saturns different (to me) was that they were designed to be sturdy and easy to work on. What a concept.

Telemark
10-29-2009, 12:24 AM
A steel timing chain is not noisy and not having to replace it is hardly overkill. It's one less expense that won't leave you on the side of the road to boot.
My Saturn SW2 timing chain was noisy. The engine also burned oil, thrashed under load, and really didn't have much power. It never left me stranded on the side of the road (a broken transmission did that) but neither did my two cars with timing belts. In the 130,000 miles I put on my Honda I had to replace the timing belt once, which cost about $600 I think.

Look, I liked my Saturn, but it was a sturdy economy car that didn't have the refinement of some other cars offered at the same price. It was solid transportation, but mostly uninspired. If they had continually improved the car after the initial release it would have been one thing, but the car basically stood still while others improved.

Magiver
10-29-2009, 12:38 AM
Look, I liked my Saturn, but it was a sturdy economy car that didn't have the refinement of some other cars offered at the same price. It was solid transportation, but mostly uninspired. If they had continually improved the car after the initial release it would have been one thing, but the car basically stood still while others improved. Fair enough assessment. They weren't refining their cars. They were headed in the right direction with a suicide door and other niche items (like the towable transmission). They should have been the first to introduce a turbo-diesel as part of their niche status.

R. P. McMurphy
10-29-2009, 01:08 AM
GM is toast. They should have kept Saturn and Pontiac and shitcanned Buick and GMC. Buick make people yawn, and GMC is useless if Chevy keeps the truck line. But Saturn had the Astra, and Pontiac had the G8 (not to mention the little roadster they both shared). What does Buick have that made it a keeper?

Buick has Tiger Woods and I wonder if that fact alone killed Pontiac. The Pontiac label, for all its mistakes, still has more panache. But Buick has Tiger.

Back in the haydays, Pontiac and Oldsmobile were doing some interesting things. Delorian with the muscle cars, John Beltz with the front wheel drive Toronodo. GM let them put those cars out there as teasers but never let them extend the technology to turn them into cutting edge cars. They just got wattered down.

Now Pontiac and Olds are both gone and we are left with Chevy bilge. "Do you want the Impala, the Bel-Air or the Del-Ray? Back to the Future. It's available in Neptune Green Poly or white.

Telemark
10-29-2009, 09:50 AM
Buick has Tiger Woods and I wonder if that fact alone killed Pontiac.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/golf/pga/2008-11-25-tiger-gm-part-ways_N.htm
Not since 2008.

Dag Otto
10-29-2009, 01:53 PM
Buick has great sales and reputation in China, plus it doesn't really overlap with the other GM brands.

Do you know if the Buicks sold in China are the same cars that are sold in the US? Or different cars with a Buick badge?


edit:
Found an answer: http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2008/04/2009-buick-excelle-this-ones-for-china.html

At least the Excelle is a rebadged Chevrolet / Daewoo Lacetti. They could keep the Buick brand in China even if they killed Buick in the US.