: GM will use Vauxhall model for Saturn



HotRodSaint
03-20-06, 09:10 AM
The future of General Motors' Saturn brand in the US looks a lot like the present-day status of GM's British subsidiary, Vauxhall. (http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060320/SUB/60317081/1003/newsletter07&refsect=newsletter07)

Vauxhall puts its badge on cars created by GM's German Opel subsidiary. That's what Saturn will do, at least in the heart of its car lineup, GM executives said in interviews at the Geneva auto show.

The move is meant to bring European design flair and sporty handling to Saturn. GM also is stripping regional and brand executives of authority to modify global decisions in engineering, design and manufacturing.

GM executives are not talking about importing and rebadging vehicles produced at Opel plants in Europe, but rather making the identical cars in the US.

But brand bosses would lose some control. Robert Lutz, GM vice chairman and head of global product development, said that in much of its lineup, "Saturn will be like Vauxhall."

He added: "Now Opel cars will be done for three brands instead of two."

HotRodSaint
03-20-06, 09:13 AM
Here are just a few of my complaints with this mindset. There's no global exchange here. What GM and Ford want to build are European cars with Euro platforms and European engineering. They just want American badges on them. The design freedom for the American versions is quite limited because they can only work off the Euro platforms. (http://www.thecarconnection.com/Auto_News/Driving_Forces/Flint_Does_Detroit_Hate_America.S192.A10163.html)

If this continues, it won't be long before Americans at GM and Ford won't be able to design and engineer a car. They'll just do pickups. Look at General Motors: GM forgot how to do a rear-drive car and had to borrow from GM Australia. No American car platforms get transferred for European production. It's a one-way street. Yet the American market, and GM and Ford's share in it, are much larger than the European vehicle market or the GM/Ford shares.

You even see some of this thinking with trucks. When GM wanted a small pickup, the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, they started with a truck they build in Thailand. That's the global approach. It's supposed to save money. Of course, they couldn't get a V-6 in that pickup, but who needs a V-6? Toyota decided to do a thoroughly American new small pickup truck, the Tacoma. They figured what appeals in Texas might be more important that what sells in Thailand.
Right now that Tacoma is outselling the combined GM models 2 to 1.

Jesda
03-20-06, 11:06 AM
So finally, "Eurosport" will actually mean something?

mccombie_5
03-20-06, 11:45 AM
If the American manufacturers were to bring an American platfrom here it would flop badly, no matter how much tuning, you cannot make an American car work on British or European roads, they are designed from the outset with different aims, in the "normal car" market at least.

America's roads are long, straight, and you have plenty of prior warning on the bends, in most cases, even our highways can have pretty bad corners on them, would you like to take a 45 degree angle at 70 in something the size of a yacht and suspension to match?

Our Vectra for instance, the size of a Chevy Malibu, maybe a little smaller, engines ranging from 1.8l to 3.2l V6, although most are 2.0l and under, for economic reasons, the American overuse of V8 engines is partically to do with this, you do not have the fuel cost issues we have here. How many Chevy Malibus have you seen with a 1.8 engine returning 38mpg, and still capable of 120mph with a decent amount of accelleration.

However, European cars work both ways, because they have more realistic suspension set ups that can be adapted for US use, they'd probably still be a bit firm, but no where near as bad as a US car on EU roads, this writer talks of the Cadillac Seville? We had one in 1998, it was a long term loan from a Vauxhall dealer's management, the reason it never sold here is because we dont want a ride like jelly, we want a driver's car, and as much as the Seville is a driver's car in the US, V8 and FWD dont go down too well here, and it didnt handle like the price might suggest, 50,000? You can get a Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7-Series for that money, and they handle like they were built for our roads, btut they CAN beadapted for the US, a US car is harder to adapt for EU roads.

[/QUOTE] Frankly, German GM, meaning Opel, has been flopping anyway and is just now trying to turn around. What makes anyone at GM think they can build a better car than we can? [/QUOTE]

German GM, what about Vauxhall? They have a plant and management set up in the UK too, and they make desicions aswell.

This writer is anti-Europe, nothing more to it, he forgets to mention the Ford Focus, which was designed in Europe and is a big seller. American cars are not to European tastes, whereas European cars, to alot of extents are to American tastes, that's why so many people craved floor shifters and manual transmissions. That's not the American way, that's the European way. Tradition Americana has a column shift, two rows of bench seats and a steering wheel connected to a vat of treacle. A traditional European car has individual front seats, a centre console with gearstick (mostly manual, this is the standard option on almost all low range European cars) and a responsive steering, even an American "sports" car hasnt got the suspension set up or responsiveness we are used to. The Corvette with leaf springs? The last time I heard of leaf springs it was a 22 year old pick up truck my dad was talking about, a sports car shouldnt have those, I mean, where are we? The ark?

Don't take this out of context, I love most American cars, but when someone like this says that they dont want our cars, it iritates me, I dont think an American car can do well here, they arent designed for it, but a European car can be adapted.

I LIKE AMERICAN CARS

I like European ones too.

Blackout
03-20-06, 01:02 PM
I believe its called the Sky:thumbsup:

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
03-20-06, 02:56 PM
I don't quite agree with you Craig.

The STS failed due to the typical Brits attitude towards the US and the reviews given by the motoring press didn't help. However, I own an STS and I have since re-read the reviews and I have to say I don't agree with them in the sligtest.

The only 2 things I agree withg them on are the fact that FWD and 300BHP do not work and the soft suspension does kill the handling. However, the car rides far better than a BMW or Merc. Even the plain jane models from those brands ride far too hard for my liking. They don't suggest luxury which means (amongst other things) comfort. So as far as I'm concerned, that's 1-1. What you lose in comfort you gain in handling, and vice-versa.
If you're buying as luxury saloon why on earth is its handling aorund a rcae track the only benchmark that truly matters (because if it dsoes badly at that Top Gear will never think much of it, no matter how it may excel in other areas).

I also don't agree with their opinion that the interior is poorly made. It's about on par with it's rivals.

The price when new was 40,000.
That is cheaper than the BMW 545i (especially when you have specced one up) but the car has more power and it actually the size of a 7-series. So on price it easily had them beat.


It's only negative when comparing to its rivals is the FWD.
But in return it is far cheaper.

However, people spending 40K on a car won't think twice about spending 50K.
This is the problem american manufacturers have when they try and compete in Europe. People will pay a premium to get what they want. Competing on price is not the way to go when the buyers are so snobbish.


I do feel sorry for them though, no matter what car they ship over here they get slated by the small-minded UK motoring press who have something against America.


For those of us who can think gor ourselves it works out just fine though. Would I spend 23,000 on a Gold R32 or would I spend the same on importing my own Mustang GT? I'd have the Mustang and I wouldn't care what Top Gear said. If you drive like they do you'll lose your licence. In the actual real world, the american cars characteristics work far better imho. Plus, if the suspension is too soft just change the springs and dampers.



On the flip side, I think it's a good thing that the US is getting small European cars. The amount of money spent on the development of a single european model dwarfs the typical expenditure on a similar sized US one. The 4cyl cars we get over here are, quite simply, better.
I only hope they don't do theiur ussual cost-cutting excerise. The US Focus for example is a very different beast to the UK one. The suspension is softer, the brakes are made from cheaper materials and they've messed with the interior. End reuslt, it's not the car it was designed to be and its been subject to more recalls in the US than I care to count. The UK version only ever had one or two minor recalls.

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
03-20-06, 03:01 PM
Tradition Americana has a column shift, two rows of bench seats and a steering wheel connected to a vat of treacle. A traditional European car has individual front seats, a centre console with gearstick (mostly manual, this is the standard option on almost all low range European cars) and a responsive steering, even an American "sports" car hasnt got the suspension set up or responsiveness we are used to. The Corvette with leaf springs? The last time I heard of leaf springs it was a 22 year old pick up truck my dad was talking about, a sports car shouldnt have those, I mean, where are we? The ark?


You seriously need to actually have a ride in more American cars over here. That comparison is SO out of date. You're talking about cars form the sixties. And back then the cars over here were certainly nothing to write home about. Ford Anglia ring a bell?

A friend of mine just took delivery of his C6 Z06 and let me tell you, it goes round corners like its on rails, as does my friends Saleen Mustang. My other hot-hatch owning friends who were all taking the p*** were shocked into silence when they got a ride.
I will point out that the standard C6 (not even the track inspired Z06) with its leaf springs managed to lap the Top Gear test track in the same exact time as a 150,000 Ferrari which was equipped with the track handling pack. A point Top Gear decided not to mention when posting the Ferraris time the following week (above the Corvettes one I might add even though it was the same exact time)...

mccombie_5
03-20-06, 03:16 PM
You seriously need to actually have a ride in more American cars over here. That comparison is SO out of date. You're talking about cars form the sixties. And back then the cars over here were certainly nothing to write home about. Ford Anglia ring a bell?

A friend of mine just took delivery of his C6 Z06 and let me tell you, it goes round corners like its on rails, as does my friends Saleen Mustang. My other hot-hatch owning friends who were all taking the p*** were shocked into silence when they got a ride.
I will point out that the standard C6 (not even the track inspired Z06) with its leaf springs managed to lap the Top Gear test track in the same exact time as a 150,000 Ferrari which was equipped with the track handling pack. A point Top Gear decided not to mention when posting the Ferraris time the following week (above the Corvettes one I might add even though it was the same exact time)...


Thats on a track though, as you say, try driving a C6 Vette down a street in Newcastle, like a cobbled one, and you will have no teeth, they still arent really suited to the use you get in a European car, you can use them day to day, I dont htink I could live with an American sports car from day to day, it would kill me, and as for a Seville, my dad liked it, I liked being a passenger in it, but we always had trouble manouvering it, and my dad drives HGVs for a living, he hated parking in the Seville, it was nice, jsut not always that practical, plus when you venture into Seville prices youg et mor quality, the dash was always a bit suspect and cheap, although it did look nice, just not as nic as it could be for that price.

Another thing was size and performance.

A European V6 can get the same speed, performance, acceleration of an American V8, but it drinks more, European cars are always comparitive with US car with 2 more cylinders. Fuel economy is a massive factor in why European cars are smaller too, and more fuel efficient, and at that matter, lighter, and a lighter car is usually going to handle better.

One of my dad's collegues test drove a CTS when his company car was up for renewal, the compnay just buy the car outright and he drives it as a "pool car" IIRC, and he drove the CTS, E-Class, 535i, Saab 9-5, and Volvo S80. He said he wanted to like the CTS but it was too cheap feeling for the amount it cost, and that says alot too.

If America pushed itself a little further and did some development in Europe with European designers they might learn a few things as to why their cars are not selling so well.

Remember the Ford Cougar? Rebadged Mercury?

Joe public didnt know that car was American, it was RHD, it was a Ford, it looked like a Ford of the time, but few people bought it because the handling was vague and it had an engine that was too big and low powered. Considered sporty in America, considered fat and slow here.

I like American cars, I would like to see them do better, but until they improve enough to do better I can see why they wont sell well.

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
03-20-06, 03:42 PM
I think a Corvette is easier to live with on a day to day basis than the Ferrari whose performance it matched. No matter what TG says about the vette, Ferraris don't have compliant suspension either.

As for power:

1998 BMW 740i (4,398cc so a 4.4L) - 286BHP (65BHP/L)
1998 Seville STS (4.6L) - 300BHP (65BHP/L)

So they were in fact the same.
This is why, when the Northstar first came out (in 93) it produced more power per litre than all European V8 models.


As for the CTS, I'm not a fan of the interior, it looks more like a top of the line Vauxhall than Cadillac, imho.


I don't like parking the Seville either, it's not fun.


Actually the Cougar was based on the Mondeo platform, and the US Ford Contour (and Mercury Mystique) are the US verisons. They both flopped in the US due to lack of rear legroom.
The problem the Cougar had in the UK was the price. It was expensive for the amount of power it had, and no-one will cough up that much money for a Ford unless it has a Cosworth badge on its bootlid.

mccombie_5
03-20-06, 03:52 PM
I think a Corvette is easier to live with on a day to day basis than the Ferrari whose performance it matched. No matter what TG says about the vette, Ferraris don't have compliant suspension either.

As for power:

1998 BMW 740i (4,398cc so a 4.4L) - 286BHP (65BHP/L)
1998 Seville STS (4.6L) - 300BHP (65BHP/L)

So they were in fact the same.
This is why, when the Northstar first came out (in 93) it produced more power per litre than all European V8 models.


As for the CTS, I'm not a fan of the interior, it looks more like a top of the line Vauxhall than Cadillac, imho.


I don't like parking the Seville either, it's not fun.


Actually the Cougar was based on the Mondeo platform, and the US Ford Contour (and Mercury Mystique) are the US verisons. They both flopped in the US due to lack of rear legroom.
The problem the Cougar had in the UK was the price. It was expensive for the amount of power it had, and no-one will cough up that much money for a Ford unless it has a Cosworth badge on its bootlid.


Northstar nevertheless of a greater capacity, that seems to be the American way, although i will admit it isnt much.

The Cougar may have been based on a Mondeo platform, but it was designed for America first....

Jesda
03-20-06, 04:00 PM
How does the STS compare with the XJ for ride and handling?

mccombie_5
03-20-06, 04:35 PM
How does the STS compare with the XJ for ride and handling?

Well, I have to compare them both with the Phaeton first ...http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c249/mccombie_5/coffee.gif

The XJ we had was a 1991 XJ12, and the STS we had was a 1998,and my dad always preferred to drive the Jag, it was more responsive for something that size, the STS was used for him to get to work in for a while.

Zorb750
03-20-06, 05:52 PM
I believe its called the Sky:thumbsup:

No not the sky. the Sky is a Pontiac Solstice.

Zorb750
03-20-06, 05:54 PM
http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c249/mccombie_5/coffee.gif


That is a good coffee icon.

:coffee:

This one is almost as good.

mccombie_5
03-20-06, 06:40 PM
That is a good coffee icon.

:coffee:

This one is almost as good.

I erm, stole them from another forum, I have these too

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c249/mccombie_5/slap.gif

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c249/mccombie_5/sekret.gif

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c249/mccombie_5/jump.gif

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c249/mccombie_5/fekr.gif

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c249/mccombie_5/1.gif


I love Tyresmoke!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
03-20-06, 08:39 PM
Do you have one for a Danza slap? Now that would be amusing!

I could use that like "I raced this Honda, and I danza slapped it!

Blackout
03-20-06, 10:16 PM
No not the sky. the Sky is a Pontiac Solstice.The Pontiac Solstice is the Sky. The car came out as a Vauxhall prototype and then they rebadged it and called it the Saturn Sky.

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
03-21-06, 02:28 AM
How does the STS compare with the XJ for ride and handling?

The XJ handles better (I've only been a passenger mind) due to the fact it's rwd as opposed to anytihng else.
The XJ is also rides better.

Even though the STS is very soft the ride seems very fidgety...
Don't get me wrong, it's a lot more supple than a BMW, far more comfortable ride in fact, but it doesn't ride as well as a Jag.
I think they needed to spend a lot more time on UK roads to get some usable data and tune the suspension accordingly.
It seems like they just got the US one, stiffened it by say 10-15% and figured that would work.

mccombie_5
03-21-06, 03:34 AM
Even though the STS is very soft the ride seems very fidgety...
Don't get me wrong, it's a lot more supple than a BMW, far more comfortable ride in fact, but it doesn't ride as well as a Jag.
I think they needed to spend a lot more time on UK roads to get some usable data and tune the suspension accordingly.
It seems like they just got the US one, stiffened it by say 10-15% and figured that would work.

That was what I was trying to get accross, you have to design it with this place in mind from the outset, not just alter your product to "what you think" will be adequate, and that is one of the biggest downfalls of the American motor industry, they complain because they cannot sell the US division cars in Europe, when all they really do is style it like a European car and stiffed the suspension. HRC is right in saying that the engineers need to work here to build cars for here.

You wouldn't design your new product for a different country without visiting it.

mccombie_5
03-21-06, 03:36 AM
Do you have one for a Danza slap? Now that would be amusing!

I could use that like "I raced this Honda, and I danza slapped it!

I', slowly working on stealing all of their smileys http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c249/mccombie_5/sekret.gif

STS al UK
03-21-06, 03:40 AM
I have an STS at the moment in england and I have to agree that V8 and front wheel drive is a bad idea and the handling is very bad for UK roads (I dont trust it at all in the wet).
However I love the car and I am selling it but will be getting a newer one because for some reason there is something overall that makes the STS special and a pleasure to drive (especially the northstar v8).
I have to say tho... refering to the above question I have owned many jaguar XJ's and they handle miles better and have also owned a 94 merc S500 and that was awsome and the handling was also awsome.
That said that was a 80,000 (approx $140,000) car when new. so for half the price in the uk the STS is still a great car.
XJ always wins all hands down tho. sorry guys.

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
03-21-06, 08:49 AM
The cornering I don't mind in the wet, it's the pulling onto a busy roundabout in the wet that's a scary proposition!

I'd love to drive one of the new RWD STS models...
If they could keep the ride quality and somehow make it handle better it'd be a right winner in my book. Every BMW or Audi or VW (erm, all German cares thinking about it) that I have made a long trip in (300miles +) have left me with slight pain in my lower back.

I'd prefer XJ but they are a lot more expensive. The £42,000 starting price of a new XJ gets you the 6cyl model and less toys. I'd (obviously) want a V8 and that ups the price quite a bit. In the end you're talking spending an extra 25% at which point I don't think it'ds a fair comparison. Cars should be compared by price.

I'd rather drive a new FWD STS for £40K than a poverty spec 6cyl XJ for the same money.

HotRodSaint
03-21-06, 09:52 AM
Interesting comments.

Coming back to Ford and GM European cars failing in the US, I don't think it's the European design and engineering of the car. It's the Americanization that the car is forced to go through before they offer it for sale here.

The Ford Escort got a bad name here in the states, so bad they had to change it to Focus on the redesign. What happened? They took every ounce of European design and engineering out before they offered it for sale here. We never got an XR3i or Cosworth version, nor did we ever see a convertable. Instead we saw the FWD abomination known as the Mercury Capri, which was another historic European Ford name dragged through the mud.

The Opel Cadet, which became the Cadillac Catera, was a decent car as an Opel. And it might have been a decent car as a Buick. But as a Cadillac?

If Saturn is going to succeed in selling Opels in the US. They need to sell Opels in the US, not Saturns loosely based on Opels.

I think the Astra is a decent looking compact. But if GM really wants this to succeed, then offer us at least 3 engines, one of which being a diesel and another being the turbo. And bring over all 4 body styles, not just 1 or 2.

I think selling Opels in the US could work, as long as they are Opels rebadged as Saturns and not Opels watered down to be Saturns. And maybe we can slowly drop the Saturn name and switch to Opel.

mccombie_5
03-21-06, 11:15 AM
The Opel Omega was a fantastic car in its original context, a bread and butter, reasonabely fast full size car, in Europe at least, in America they didnt offer Diesels or 4 cyl engines, and hiked the price up, but added softer suspension.

The US Ford Escort is a completely different beast to the one formerly sold in the UK, however they went for world car status with the Focus.

The Astra is a good car, good competitor to the VW Golf GTI, although the Turbo could do with AWD because 240bhp coming through the front wheels makes it a torque steer demon.

Googling Mercury Capri, the late 70s early 80s models, were I think the same as UK models, in 1987 the production of the Ford Capri ended, but it was abotu 1985 for the US model, I'm not sure what they tried to replace it with in the states, but they tried in Europe with the Probe (based on a Mazda) and that failed, so they replaced the Probe with the Cougar, a nice looker, but with FWD it was based on the Mondeo/Contour, for the US market as the Mercury Cougar, but brought here as the Ford Cougar.

HotRodSaint
03-21-06, 12:00 PM
Yeah Omega was the Catera. The Kadet was once sold here in the '70's too as an Oepl, through Buick dealers.

Here's the last Capri
http://www.midcomustang.com/pjvxr2.jpg

When the Capri first was sold here in the States, it was an actual imported German Ford. Then it became a Mustang clone in the late '80's before it went away for a awhile. It came back as a Mazda 323 based 2-seat chick car. But the chicks didn't want it either.

The original Capri was pretty stylish. Ford tried the German import again with the Merkur (German for Mercury) XR4Ti and Scorpio. I liked the XR4 Ti, but the Scorpio's butt ugly teutonic styling killed Merkur.

mccombie_5
03-21-06, 12:01 PM
Yeah Omega was the Catera. The Kadet was once sold here in the '70's too as an Oepl, through Buick dealers.

Here's the last Capri
http://www.midcomustang.com/pjvxr2.jpg

When the Capri first was sold here in the States, it was an actual imported German Ford. Then it became a Mustang clone in the late '80's before it went away for a awhile. It came back as a Mazda 323 based 2-seat chick car. But the chicks didn't want it either.

The original Capri was pretty stylish. Ford tried the German import again with the Merkur (German for Mercury) XR4Ti and Scorpio. I liked the XR4 Ti, but the Scorpio's butt ugly teutonic styling killed Merkur.

German and British Ford all come under the Ford Europe banner

The Capri was only ever sold as the "German" model you had, the Opel Kadet was also sold as a Pontiac Lemans, and a Vauxhall Astra

HotRodSaint
03-21-06, 02:49 PM
...the Opel Kadet was also sold as a Pontiac Lemans...

The Daewoo built Pontiac Le Mans based on the Opel Kadet came much later.

But in the mid '60's to early '70's, GM imported Opel Kadets and GT's from Germany and marketed them through Buick dealers.

mccombie_5
03-21-06, 03:35 PM
The Daewoo built Pontiac Le Mans based on the Opel Kadet came much later.

But in the mid '60's to early '70's, GM imported Opel Kadets and GT's from Germany and marketed them through Buick dealers.

The early Kadett and Mata GT's yes, the Lemans style Kadett was a direct copy of the Vauxhall Astra / Opel Kadett from the 80s and early 90s, Deawoo built these on behalf of GM, the Deawoo models got a restyle and were called the Deawoo Nexia, but essentially the same car.

What about the Cavalier?

The early (81-88) Cavaliers were Vauxhall Cavaliers and Opel Asconas. More Model sharing from Europe has been going on than once believed, the Chevy Cavalier, Pontiac Sunbird and Cadillac Cimmaron were all based off the same model sold in Europe.

Until it was replaced by the 89-96 Cavalier in 1989. Although I believe it continued in America

Jesda
03-21-06, 06:59 PM
I'd be happy to replace the Saturn name with Opel, mostly to spurn Roger Smith.

Rolex
03-21-06, 08:57 PM
That is a good coffee icon.

:coffee: http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c249/mccombie_5/coffee.gif

This one is almost as good.

http://www.ar15.com/images/smilies/anim_coffee.gifhttp://www.liquidninjas.com/bbs/images/smilies/klan/koffie.gif http://www.liquidninjas.com/bbs/images/smilies/general/new_gmorning.gif

The official coffee-drinking smilie comparo! ;)