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70's Opeler, back 4 more!
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I came across an article in BusinessWeek, issue dated December 22, 2003, Page 46, the News Analysis & Commentary section by David Welch (I think that takes care of a the legalese?)

Seems GM has yet to learn the same mistake it made with the US version of the European cars as it made with the Opel GT(that is detuning.)

Here are a few excerps.

Can Opel Make Saturn Sparkle?
GM is turning to its European cars for salvation. It may be the last best hope

For Years now, General Motors Corp. has tried to drag its Saturn Div. into the black. While Saturn's sales have rebounded somewhat from the lows of the late 1990's, they aren't rip-roaring. With only three models, Saturn sales will drop 3% this year to about 273,000 vehicles roughly where they were a decade ago. Meanwhile, losses will hit roughly $1 billion. So why bother investing in Saturn if it doesn't make money? For one thing, Saturn remains one of the rare U.S. carmakers to attrack import buyers.

...the auto giant is turning to its European subsidiary, Adam Opel, for salvation. GM is already relying more on Opel, using the platform for its Vectra midsize sedan to build a replacement for Saturn's slow selling L-series in 2006. More importantly, starting in 2008, Opel will develop as many as three models it will sell under its brand at home and Saturns in North America.


And here is the good part GM also must avoid mistakes like those that doomed the current Saturn L-Series sedan, launched in 1999. Opel engineered the car using the underpinnings of its Vectra midsize car. While the Vectra was a solid seller in Europe, GM restyled it to look like the bland Saturn S-Series compact, GM also softened the ride, eliminating most of the sporty driving dynamics that draw buyers to German cars. Sounds just like the Opel GT story...

The complete article is at http://www.businessweek.com/@@Rv9A9oQQGf3LghQA/magazine/content/03_51/b3863066.htm

Also, I never had noticed the similarities between the Opel Blitz logo and the Saturn rings logo???
 

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boomerang opeler
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5,648 Posts
hope you get the european spec suspension as the vectra is a very good car
now if they just give you the engines to go with them its happy times
then you might get the tigra and speedster
after all dam-chry can do it this way with the neon and sell it here with a ride that matches a european car
 

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1450 Seeker...
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613 Posts
I am really glad that the manufacturers are starting to wise up and use "platform sharing" as a building block to penetrate other markets instead of a crutch to merely shave development dollars. I would love to see Opel, Holden, Vauxhall or Lotus in the American market, but that will never happen, so the least we can hope for is for the General to borrow some technology from those brands that are more advanced and dynamic.

Look at the success of the Cadillac CTS, and I look forward to the new Pontiac GTO.
 

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Opel Addict Since 73
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358 Posts
Opel Exposure

Regarding GM's use of Opel resources and platforms...I was pleased when I picked up a sales brochure recently for the new Chevy Malibu. The literature spoke glowingly of European technology shared with Germany and the Opel Vectra was prominently mentioned in the brochure. I know this isn't much but when was the last time you saw the Opel name mentioned in a US sales brochure. From my perspective, it does seem that GM is slowly trying to re-familiarize the US public with the Opel name. I'd love to see the Opel badge back on our shores. I say scrap Satuurn and replace it with Opel!!!
 

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Riding Low
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65 Posts
GM and OPEL

Has anyone noticed how one of the saturns has the front end styled like the GT,,and if the car comes up in your rearview mirror the headlight form looks like the GT also,,,,,I have had a saturn behind me and thought it was my friend in his GT......the sidemarkers are on the front and rap to the sides,the headlights are more in the center and up higher than the marker lights......
 

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Member
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299 Posts
opel is the heart and soul of gm
they are the oldest automobile manufacturer gm has fisrt car churned out in 1898 i believe
but in a few years like they said opel is going to be making both rwd and fwd
and not to mention they have good looking cars
 

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1450 Seeker...
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613 Posts
I just received my latest issue of Car and Driver, and now that I have stopped the flow of tears, I can recount my findings.

I first thought joy of joys when I read that GM will be building the Pontiac Solstice. And then my heart was ripped out and kicked around. I learned that instead of using the Opel Speedster chassis (which is also used on the Lotus Elise) as originally rumored, Bob Lutz asked the design team to build a new platform from the ground up. On paper this chassis sounds outstanding.

...a lower-dominant tube structure for the chassis with hydroformed frame rails running the length of the car and a central tunnel that houses the transmission and driveshaft and is enclosed at the bottom for strength. Unlike the concept, the production car is suspended by unequal-length control arms, coil springs, and monotube shocks at all four corners.
But soon we learn that all of these improvements put the total weight of the vehicle over 3,000 pounds. In a car that was designed to only ever hold a 4-cylinder, that is outright porky. Not even the rumored supercharger is enough to restore my enthusiasm. This new rear-drive "kappa" chassis has been earmarked for future cars such as Saturn's Curve and Chevy's Nomad concepts.

This is an example of 1980's style platform sharing. These cars are going to wallow in the world of modest sales, when they could have been booming on a lightweight, already developed chassis.

Crying shame. They should have stuck with the Opel chassis.
 

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Detritus Maximus
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3,095 Posts
Yeah, but this is Lutz we are talking about. If that car grows to 3000lbs,, I'd be pretty sure that with the demise or the F-body looming, they are thinking v-6 at least. Remember, they are trying to revive Pontiac as the performance arm of GM.

Saturn will never be anything but inexpensive, uninspiring, but solid little commuters. GM started a good thing and have been backing away from it ever since.

While I'm not a huge GM fan, they have made some very good cars in the past. Many of them are American icons. We are rapidly approaching a very odd time where some of the most "American" cars are made or originate from Australia and Europe.
 

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1450 Seeker...
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613 Posts
A V-6 would be another nail in the coffin for the dream that was originally spun on what the Solstice was supposed to be... an American version of the Opel Speedster and Lotus Elise. Those cars are light and agile with buzzy four-cylinders. Or more specifically a modern day OPEL GT for the American market.

On the other hand one of the other concepts that has been earmarked for the new Kappa platform, the Chevy Nomad is worthy of a V6, but has been doomed for a 4 cylinder. Shame too, that is a good looking concept car. Which would pretty much make it another PT Cruiser.

The F-body line has already been replaced with the GTO and the SSR. The SSR design hit its mark, but I fear will not sell as well as hoped. I think the GTO will be the opposite, where its final design has missed its mark, but will sell well regardless.
 
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