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Discussion Starter #1
Is it just me or are Saturns evolving into rebadged Opels? The newly released Aura seems to share design elements with the Signum, but with its own unique sheetmetal. But the Opel bloodline is obvious. Personally, I think this is good news for Saturn and those of us who've lusted for Opel's long-awaited return to the US:

Opel Signum


Saturn Aura


Opel GT


Saturn Sky
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Actually the Opel GT was created from the Saturn Sky.
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I guess that's true, but my point being does the Aura signal a new direction for Saturn? Will they be bringing future Opels rebadged as Saturns? I think a number of folks would like to see the Astra come here (get rid of the awful Ion):


 

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I think the GT has a more powerful engine than the Saturn which is somewhat of a slap in the face to us NAs...
 

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That Signum is awful. I actually looked at the Opel/Vauxhall websites, and it looks like the Signum is just a loaded Vectra with a really huge tail. Looks like they took a 5-door with a proper finish (Vectra) and mated it with a Renault Val Satis.

Much of the line (including that 3-door Astra) has a disturbing amount of Renault in its styling. Besides, aren't the ION and the Astra essentially similar?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Besides, aren't the ION and the Astra essentially similar?
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I confess to not knowing a lot about GM platforms, but apparently the ION and Astra are not similar:

GM Delta platform

Delta is General Motors' new compact front wheel drive automobile platform. The architecture was developed with the help of Opel in Germany and is all new. The platform debuted in the 2003 Saturn ION.

The Volkswagen Jetta is said to have been the target for the design group. Delta uses an independent suspension in front and torsion bar type in the rear. The Ecotec Family II engine is widely used, as are a 4-speed automatic and 5-speed manual transmission.

Control of the Delta platform has passed, as of 2005, to GM Europe. Headquartered with Opel in Rüsselsheim, Germany, GM Europe will be responsible for all future Delta product decisions. One of the first decisions of this group was to drop the "Delta" name for the platform.

Vehicles

Current vehicles based on this platform:

2003 Saturn ION
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt
2005 Pontiac Pursuit/G4 (Canada/Mexico only)
2006 Chevrolet HHR

Future vehicles based on Delta:

2007 Pontiac small car
2007/08 Saab Sonett IV
2008 Saturn ION

Cancelled vehicles which were to use this platform:

Saab 9-2 - Saab gets a 9-2X instead, based on the Subaru Impreza WRX
Opel Astra - Opel was to use the platform for the Astra, but they decided to use an updated chassis from the old Astra.

GM Delta Platform

My insticts were correct, however:

2009

The ION will be redesigned for 2009 with new styling by Opel, which will introduce the similar Opel Astra for 2010. Production will move from the Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee to GM's Lordstown, Ohio plant, where it will be built alongside the Chevrolet Cobalt, a fellow Delta car.

Saturn ION

Answers.com is a wonderful thing! According to them, the Aura sits on GM's Epsilon platform and is supposed to echo the current Vectra's styling. Apparently navigation will be offered on all trim levels and production will begin in summer 2006.

Saturn Aura
 

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I'm a GM fan so I keep up to date on some things. The Opel GT does have a more powerful engine then the Sky, but the Sky Redline gets the same 260hp 2.0L as the GT. The Astra is actually coming to North America, but it is being produced in Mexico for Mexico and the rest of Latin America. The Ion is supposed to end at the end of this year or beginning of next year and be on hiatus for a little bit and the European Astra is going to be imported as a stop gap until Delta 2.0 comes out in 09CY. That what I've gathered from what GM "insiders" say. Here's a pic of the Sky Redline:
[attachmentid=11768]
 

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I guess I had missed the part where the Astra did not move to the Delta platform as expected.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
GM has said for some time now that it wants to move Saturn up-market to a spot more closely associated with what Oldsmobile had, and made it clear that European designs, specifically Opel of course, would be a major part of that plan.
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Why not just drop the stupid Saturn moniker and just call them Opels? Opel was sold in the US before and I think would have more brand equity than Saturn. I mean, hell, if you want to compete effectively with the European brands being sold in the US, why not bring in your own existing European brand? Change the Saturn dealerships to Opel and give us Yanks a taste of genuine GM Europe, not the watered down crap they've attempted in the past.

For example, I bought a Saturn L-series because I knew that it shared the same platform as the Opel Vectra B. I expected this Saturn to drive and feel like a European car. It never delivered on that promise, and I was pretty much soured on Saturn. But I sure like the way this Aura looks. If it is much closer to its Opel brother than the L-series was, it is a car I would definitely consider. Saturn just needs to drop that "pay MSRP" philosophy and GM needs to allow redemption of GM Card earnings on Saturn for me to consider the Aura.
 

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I love Opel/Vauxhall vehicles. I hope they bring them to the states!
 

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GM believes that "Saturn" has more brand equity than than "Opel" in the United States. And that may well be the case, but is it the kind of brand equity that you would want in a $25K+ market?

Saturn's been hurting BAD lately. A brand that, 3 years ago, GM claimed would double sales by 2005 to over 500,000 vehicles a year, is selling a quarter fewer vehicles than it was. That's pretty piss-poor performance.

GM wants to recover that, and belives upmarket is the way to go, but there's certainly an argument to be made for just scrapping the moniker and starting over. But that's not cheap. Not even close. And GM doesn't have the money for a new brand. Doesn't have the money to recover Saturn effectively either, but that won't stop it from trying. Investors will buy into that WAY more than a whole new brand in a company that can't keep the ones its' already got afloat.
 

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Why not just drop the stupid Saturn moniker and just call them Opels? Opel was sold in the US before and I think would have more brand equity than Saturn. I mean, hell, if you want to compete effectively with the European brands being sold in the US, why not bring in your own existing European brand? Change the Saturn dealerships to Opel and give us Yanks a taste of genuine GM Europe, not the watered down crap they've attempted in the past.
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Right hand drive FTW! They could slap a Holden badge on there too. Top Gear teaches me a lot about the international spectrum of cars.

Edit: I guess I got too far ahead of myself there. I got a bit confused when the Astra was thrown in as a suggestion for replacement with the Saturn Ion, oops.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
its been proven that car companies named after planets fail. marketing should have learned that by now.
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Mercury has been in business since 1939. I'd hardly call them a failed car company. :nana:

As far as I know, no other car companies were named after planets, although Jowett offered a sports car called the Jupiter.

Right hand drive FTW! They could slap a Holden badge on there too. Top Gear teaches me a lot about the international spectrum of cars.

Edit: I guess I got too far ahead of myself there. I got a bit confused when the Astra was thrown in as a suggestion for replacement with the Saturn Ion, oops.[/b]
You weren't too far off the mark, though. Several of Holden's offerings are simply rebadged Opels (though some might argue that they're rebadged Vauxhalls. Vauxhalls are basically rebadged RHD Opels).

Holden Astra


Vauxhall Astra


By the way, this is the new Vectra which the Aura is based heavily upon (so sources say). The Signum is also part of that family:




Dig that central exhaust exit! Wonder if that'll make it to production? Btw, the Aura is supposed to have 3 engine choices, a 3.6 liter V6 w/250 hp, 3.5 liter V6 w/210 hp and a 2.4 liter 4 cyl w/170 hp.
 

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I guess that center exhaust exit is a love/hate thing. I think it looks stupid (even on Boxsters).
 

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Just bring the VXR's to the States, put a Opel badge on it, and I'll be happy!
 

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Just bring the VXR's to the States, put a Opel badge on it, and I'll be happy!
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If they offered the VXR's, I wouldn't care about the badge... maybe one with a nicer looking front end.
 
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