GM to Officially Kill Saturn

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GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby frezik » Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:22 pm UTC

http://money.cnn.com/2009/09/30/news/companies/penske_saturn/index.htm?postversion=2009093017

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Car dealership operator Penske Automotive Group announced on Wednesday that it has cancelled plans to acquire General Motors' Saturn unit. As a result, GM said it will wind down the brand and dealer network.

The announcement comes nearly four months after Penske agreed to buy the rights to the 19-year old brand from GM when the automaker was in bankruptcy.


Ding, dong, the wicked witch is dead!

Hummer is going to a Chinese company. Vauxhall/Opel (basically the European equivalent of Saturn) was just sold to the Canadians. Saab is set to be bought by Koenigsegg, a maker of insane supercars--one of them once tried to kill the Stig.

Holden is probably sticking around. Yay for Australian madness!
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby zug » Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:40 pm UTC

I opened this thread thinking that Saturn would have its planetary status revoked, like poor lil Pluto :(

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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby phillipsjk » Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:59 pm UTC

zug wrote:I opened this thread thinking that Saturn would have its planetary status revoked, like poor lil Pluto :(

REVOLT


I found the thread you are looking for in the Science section: Why Pluto shouldn't/should be a planet.

Now, I have to decide if the fact that Earth is no longer a planet is on-topic for that thread.
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby scrovak » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:04 pm UTC

It's about time. I could probably blame saturn, in it's entirety, for the downfall of GM. Shitty cars that cost more than the demographic they were marketted to could afford, don't last long, and didn't really stand out in any aspect.

Man, fuck Saturn.

On that note, I <3 the F150 XLT. I need one. Hard.
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:29 am UTC

Not at all surprising, and probably a wise move in the long run. Of all GMs brands, Saturn isn't one that stands out in value. If they can't sell it, I can't imagine what they can do with it except shut it down. GM needs to scale back, and while I'm sure they could use the revenue of selling Saturn, shutting it down is still going to help.

scrovak wrote:On that note, I <3 the F150 XLT. I need one. Hard.


This is also not surprising. I could have pegged you as a truck guy.
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby scrovak » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:49 am UTC

Haha thanks, I think.
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby netcrusher88 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:08 am UTC

Koenigseggzigzigzigzigzig for great justice take off every Stig

...sorry.

I can't say as I'm sorry to see Saturn go. I imagine the good designs will be assimilated into one of the other GM brands, saving them millions in advertising, and the rest are already done properly by Infiniti.
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby scrovak » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:10 am UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:good designs


Image
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby netcrusher88 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:22 am UTC

I was talking hypothetically. You know, assuming there are in fact good designs.

Good features, at any rate.
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby frezik » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:52 am UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:I can't say as I'm sorry to see Saturn go. I imagine the good designs will be assimilated into one of the other GM brands, saving them millions in advertising, and the rest are already done properly by Infiniti.


Probably not. Most of their designs right now are actually made by Opel, which is going to be its own company.
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby Velict » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:18 am UTC

Saturn didn't seem all that bad, to my mind. I rather liked the design of vehicles like the Sky and to a lesser extent the Outlook.

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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby scrovak » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:22 am UTC

Image
Aesthetics do not a good car make.
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby Woxor » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:30 am UTC

zug wrote:I opened this thread thinking that Saturn would have its planetary status revoked, like poor lil Pluto :(

REVOLT

My first thought was, "Okay, they'll have to feed him a stone to make him think he's swallowed Jupiter, then make him vomit up the other gods, then defeat him in a cosmic war, etc."

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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby Velict » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:39 am UTC

scrovak wrote:Aesthetics do not a good car make.


Aesthetics go a long way, though. There are a lot of competitors at any given price point in the auto industry, and the mechanical differences between the vehicles is often very slight (see the entry-level luxury sedan market, with CTS/3 series/C-Class/A4/G37/ES/IS). In these scenarios, choice in vehicle largely comes down to aesthetics and personal preference.

But yes, other things matter. Saturn's pretty bad at interiors and options, among other things, and that has hurt them quite a bit. It has the GM problem of using low-grade plastics that compete with diamonds for the status of world's hardest material.

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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby pseudoidiot » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:57 am UTC

I'm by no means a car guy but I don't understand all the Saturn hate. I've had my Ion for 2.5 years now and I love it. I haven't had any major issues with it.It gets me from point A to point B. Gets good gas mileage. And it was fairly cheap.

Now I have to decide if I want to get sell it soon to get what I can out of it, or keep it around and get even less later. Booo!
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby scrovak » Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:41 am UTC

2.5 you say? 2.5 more will probably be it's max road life. How many miles do you have on it?
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby Zamfir » Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:25 am UTC

Velict wrote:Saturn didn't seem all that bad, to my mind. I rather liked the design of vehicles like the Sky and to a lesser extent the Outlook.

The Sky was the Opel GT, so I think its design will pass to the new Opel company. If GM's plans with Saturn were to make it the American sales channel for Opels, like the Astra and the Aura, then it makes sense to kill the brand now that Opel is splitting off.

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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby Ryom » Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:48 am UTC

scrovak wrote:2.5 you say? 2.5 more will probably be it's max road life. How many miles do you have on it?


Also a Saturn owner here. On the Saturn forum I frequent there are a number of posters that have posted their 100,000 mile marks. All original equipment save for brake pads, oil, tires, and such. My Ion is a 2004 and I haven't had any major issues with it. The biggest common problem with the Ion is squeeky bushings. It's a reliable, reasonably efficient car. And it's available as a souped up Redline as well if you like a little grunt.

The trunk is enormous, the fold down passenger seat is fantastic for either a single driver or just hauling long objects. The polymer body panels were fairly unique at that price point as well, resisting dents and rust... normally you don't see polymer on economy cars. The center instrument cluster was nice because you got a clearer view across the dash. The plastic they use on the dash could be nicer, but that's really a minor issue. Electric power steering means you get a beefy alternator to help power an aftermarket sound system well.

The only thing I would have liked to have seen would have been a diesel engine based Ion. Saturn made some decent cars for reasonable prices. GM is worse off for not having it anymore.

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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby scrovak » Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:18 am UTC

Now do they post their odo's in accomplishment? Because my corolla (which I bought used for $2k back in 06) is closing on 200k miles, and the only *major* work it needed was the replacement of it's starter, a $300 fix, if that. Granted it IS a Toyota, but realize that in the cost category, they're about the same as Saturns, but they get a bit better mileage, last a lot longer, and honestly the newer ones look hella more cool.
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby Hawknc » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:57 am UTC

Eh, branding is a customer deception exercise anyway. You could re-badge the same car and it wouldn't sell half as well. I'm not sad to see the consolidation of brands in the industry, there were simply too many. Besides, without Opel, Saturn wasn't a brand worth keeping.

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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby frezik » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:46 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:Eh, branding is a customer deception exercise anyway. You could re-badge the same car and it wouldn't sell half as well. I'm not sad to see the consolidation of brands in the industry, there were simply too many. Besides, without Opel, Saturn wasn't a brand worth keeping.


There is some cause for it. The reason Vauxhall's aren't sold as Opels, like the rest of Europe, is because UK fleet buyers (police, taxi cabs, etc.) have a huge affinity for the brand. Also, it amuses me to see the equivalent of a crummy FWD Saturn used as a police car. The Brits must have really polite criminals who stop on command.

pseudoidiot wrote:I'm by no means a car guy but I don't understand all the Saturn hate. I've had my Ion for 2.5 years now and I love it. I haven't had any major issues with it.It gets me from point A to point B. Gets good gas mileage. And it was fairly cheap.


In my experience, the really bad Saturns were the ones that were badge-engineered Opels. The Ion was designed within Saturn itself, like the SLs before it. If you can ignore the badge, they're not that bad as cars.
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby Alexius » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:23 pm UTC

frezik wrote: Also, it amuses me to see the equivalent of a crummy FWD Saturn used as a police car. The Brits must have really polite criminals who stop on command.

It's the "beat car", used for just cruising around neighbourhoods or responding to callouts. For car chases, they tend to have faster cars- BMW 535d is standard in London, other forces sometimes use fast Volvos or even Mitsubishi Evos. There are several different sorts of police car, from the patrol "panda cars" some of which don't even have sirens, to unmarked Jaguars used for ministerial escort.

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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:01 pm UTC

scrovak wrote:
netcrusher88 wrote:good designs
Image

Car of the Year. Beat out Toyota and Honda. They're good, reliable cars. I've never met an unhappy Saturn owner.

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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby frezik » Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:45 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:I've never met an unhappy Saturn owner.


The thing with Saturn is that they have a certain way of marketing (such as making the company and customers feel like part of a family) that appeals to certain people. That's quite a separate question of whether the cars are any good from a mechanical and design perspective.

Plus, it seems like Kia is better at essentially the same sort of marketing. Which still has nothing to do with engineering.
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby phonon266737 » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:11 pm UTC

Really, most entry-level cars suck, be it a Mercedes, Honda, or Saturn. But that shouldn't prevent them from reaching 200k miles, especially with advances in engine oil (really! that new synthetic stuff is **amazing**) Having an entire brand for your entry level because the Cavalier got a bad reputation always seemed silly from the begining. Then they renamed the Cavalier to the Cobalt and like whoa..we don't need Saturn anymore!

GM always had the problem with too many brands that all sold the same car. Ford is borderline there. Nissan/Infinity and Toyota/Lexus aren't quite as bad. Why do you have to start a whole new company!?! Just offer the car with 2 different bodystyles. They used to do it, in the 60s and 70s.

BTW, I heart the F150 too. Mine is..uhh..17 years old and still hauls like a champ. If there's one thing ford did right, it was their 92-98 trucks. And the new Fusion.

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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby frezik » Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:39 pm UTC

phonon266737 wrote:Really, most entry-level cars suck, be it a Mercedes, Honda, or Saturn.


Nah, a lot of the smaller, everyday cars these days look fantastic. See Mazda3, Mazda6, Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Altima (especially 2-door), or the European Honda Civic.

There's something in common with that list, but I can't quite put my finger on it . . .

GM always had the problem with too many brands that all sold the same car. Ford is borderline there. Nissan/Infinity and Toyota/Lexus aren't quite as bad. Why do you have to start a whole new company!?!


To a point, it's justifiable with marketing. That's why Nissan/Infinity makes sense. But Olds/Buick/Cadillac? Why do you need three luxury brands, some selling almost exactly the same thing?

For that matter, the Chevy Silverato's sales figures would actually beat the F-series, except that a lot of them are sold as GMC Sierra's.
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby Armadillo Al » Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:22 pm UTC

pseudoidiot wrote:I'm by no means a car guy but I don't understand all the Saturn hate. I've had my Ion for 2.5 years now and I love it. I haven't had any major issues with it.It gets me from point A to point B. Gets good gas mileage. And it was fairly cheap.

Same here. The ION's exactly what I wanted from a car, and I believe the ION, like the SL-series before it, was a great value for the money, at least in my family's eyes.

Of course, then GM killed the ION in favor of European models that nobody on this side of the pond would be caught dead in, even if they could afford them. That's the move that killed Saturn...what, three years ago? Yesterday's announcement did nothing more than make it official.
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby mosc » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:41 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
scrovak wrote:
netcrusher88 wrote:good designs

Car of the Year. Beat out Toyota and Honda. They're good, reliable cars. I've never met an unhappy Saturn owner.

It was car of the year in 07 because they liked the interior. That had NOTHING to do with reliability.
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby Not A Raptor » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:02 pm UTC

Whenever I read this thread title, I think "Game master officially killing Saturn (the planet)? What's going on, here?"

... And then I remember that it's General Motors and a car.
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:06 pm UTC

mosc wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:
scrovak wrote:
netcrusher88 wrote:good designs

Car of the Year. Beat out Toyota and Honda. They're good, reliable cars. I've never met an unhappy Saturn owner.

It was car of the year in 07 because they liked the interior. That had NOTHING to do with reliability.

Yes, I'm sure you're wisdom exceeds that of the 50 automotive journalists who voted otherwise. Consider my mind changed, oh random guy on the internets. Your conventional wisdom about how reliable japanese cars were in the 80s clearly trumps everything I've ever read.

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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby mosc » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:22 pm UTC

Oh, you want like an actual citation as opposed to your mindless bullshit? 2009 BTW:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars ... ndings.htm

"But a quarter of GM models are still well below average in reliability. Some that didn't fare well are fairly new designs that did well in our testing, such as the Cadillac CTS and the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Saturn Outlook SUV triplets."
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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:53 pm UTC

First, the article is from 2008, about 2009 cars. Second, the article puts GM as average in reliability. Third, while their limited data shows one Saturn model below average in terms of reliability, that model is brand new and decidedly not the model which won Car of the Year.

And hey look, Saturn sedans, which have always been the mainstay of the Saturn line, are still critically acclaimed.

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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:14 pm UTC

mosc wrote:Saturn Outlook SUV triplets."

Cool. So what does the Saturn Outlook SUV have to do with the Saturn Aura sedan other than brand? Considering the problem is extended across multiple vehicles on the platform, it's a platform issue, not a Saturn issue. This is like me posting the rust concerns with the Toyota Tundra and saying all Toyotas are rustbuckets.

I don't really have any problems getting rid of Saturn since they're ultimately a redundant brand for GM at this point.

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Re: GM to Officially Kill Saturn

Postby Zamfir » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:01 am UTC

Endless Mike wrote:This is like me posting the rust concerns with the Toyota Tundra and saying all Toyotas are rustbuckets.

I have always been amused by the Tundra. It's as if people at the Toyota marketing department thought "Hey, there is an American demographic that likes gas-guzzling rustbuckets", and then Toyota's engineers worked extra hard to make a rusting and gas-guzzling design.


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