Say Goodbye To Saturn, Pontiac GM will file its restructuring plan on Tuesday, and is expected to cut its brands down to four — Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick. [NYT]

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  1. Sndtrkman says:

    Just great….I guess this means that parts for the 08 Saturn VUE will be cheap now that GM is dropping the Saturn line.

    • failurate says:

      @Sndtrkman: Isn’t the Vue just a re-badged Equinox or other Chevy/GM vehicle?

      • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

        @failurate: that is why GM has too many lines

      • Sndtrkman says:

        @failurate: Not really, I think it was originally designed to be the Saturn’s first attempt at an SUV. Granted, the earlier models were crap but I did like how they streamlined the VUE’s to make them more unique in a way. I got mine last year and so far it is a huge step up from when I used to drive a 92 Jeep Cherokee.

      • rickhamilton620 says:

        @failurate: Yep, the Equinox was based on the VUE’s platform.

        The second gen VUE is now pretty much an Opel Antara/Daewoo Winstorm

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      @Sndtrkman: Actually, the spare parts will be fewer (due to no more models being put on the road), thus more expensive. Replacing a part on the short lived Chevy Aveo (a low priced car) is much more expensive than you’d expect for just such a reason.

  2. SinDex23 says:

    I worked in a Saturn shop late last year (Got laid off in the first round of auto shop lay offs in NJ) and this was the rumour floating around. It’s sad to see certain cars go (The SKY. My oh my I will miss that car. And no the Solstice isn’t a good replacement!).

    But this isn’t a surprise. If you look at the car model lines that they have had recently, namely the Astra, you can see that Saturn was becoming more about “Hey lets take crap from Europe, make it there and sell it for FAR too much here!” Sure the Astra was going to get made in Mexico starting in 09, but it was too little too late.

    • rpm773 says:

      @SinDex23: That’s pretty much what they did with Oldsmobile 10 years ago.

    • KyleOrton says:

      @SinDex23: Thank you for mentioning those cars. I couldn’t actually think of a single Saturn model. “Hmm, so there’s the one that’s a Chevy Malibu and then there’s the little one just like the Pontiac only with edges and then the one that’s the Opal in Europe and doesn’t do as well there as the Euro Focus…”

      It’s too bad people are losing jobs over this.

      • johnmc says:

        @KyleOrton: You mean the (at least) 2 that are rebadged Opels – Opel Vectra = Saturn Aura (which is pretty close to, if not the same as the Malibu) and Opel Astra = Saturn Astra.

      • SinDex23 says:

        @KyleOrton: It’s funny that you mention the new Malibu, because the new Malibu is nothing more than a rebranded Aura. There’s also the Outlook which got rebranded into the Acadia, Enclave and the Traverse. Saturn was often used as a test bed for other GM models. Quite a shame though.

        The ironic part is that the Aura sold better than the Malibu, at least in Northern NJ from what I’ve seen. I see more Auras around here than comparable year Malibus.

        • Jim Topoleski says:

          @SinDex23: Was going to say the new Malibu thats selling so well is simply a rebadged Aura minus the better tran/engine configuration and chevified (which is to say making a good import looking car look like garbage, though not nearly as bad as the previous model.)

          The only reason the Aura sold poor was GM was already killing Saturn with no advertising whatsoever come 2007 when it was released. Same with the Astra, no one even knows it exists because you will never see a commercial for it.

          From 94 on Saturn was dying. GM went out of its way to bring them back in from being a experiment once Saturn was their only brand in the black in 93, and raped them for all it was worth.

          • SinDex23 says:

            @Jim Topoleski: I think the real pisser was that the Aura won the 2007 Domestic car of the year and then in 2008 the Malibu won. So technically the Aura won two years in a row. Yet they never pushed it as hard as they should have.

            The Astra was just a mess to begin with. If it had been priced lower than a Civic, it would have sold. But the fact that they made it in Belgium and shipped it to the US really killed the price point.

            • mzs says:

              @SinDex23: Here is the thing though, during the employee pricing with 0% and $1K off deal that one week the Astra was priced competitively to the Golf and the Golf is priced competitively to the higher trim Civics. If I had needed a replacement for a hatchback at that moment I would have gotten one, but I would have needed to travel more than 30 miles to the nearest Saturn dealership with any Astras on the lot. There really never were many Astras around due to how much more GM made selling them in Europe than here. A used Astra might be in my future now, maybe they will depreciate rapidly now.

              It is a shame because the current smallish Astra (not the larger upcoming European model) built in the US, Canada, or Mexico and sold as a Chevy would be a hit. Right now the only small 5 door that GM has is the Aveo, and that feels just like an American consumer expects a small cheap 5 door to feel, which is not good. Consumers are going to turn away from the SUVs and are going to have much more European sensibilities when making new car purchases. They will pick the value in a small sedan, 5-door, or wagon over the cheapness that GM has on offer. That does not bode well for GM.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @SinDex23: i agree. the sky (to me) looks a lot better than the solstice – it’s pretty much just a rebranded opel gt, but that’s what makes it so kick ass. the solstice just looks too…bubbly? i dunno. there’s something not right about that grill.

      i wish they’d maintain some of the product lines, but reserve them for specific purposes. like, when you want to roll out a high-performance beast coupe, break out the pontiac name. but if the choice is between selling these reskinned holdens & killing the brand, i’d have to say kill the brand.

      • SinDex23 says:

        @mac-phisto: Agreed. On both the Awesomeness of the Sky and the whole using the brands as specialty items. But even then you know GM would cock it up some how. Do the letters GTO mean anything to us?

    • B says:

      @SinDex23: You know the solstice is a Pontiac, right? So it’s gone to. The only car left from that line will be the Opel, and that’s Europe only.

      • failurate says:

        @B: Does anyone else bump their head/jam their neck exiting a new Malibu? Their door design, with the lip that makes the roof seem higher on inside and makes the window look sleeker on the outside, got me twice during a weekend rental.

      • SinDex23 says:

        @B: I realized that after I wrote my comment. I’d say good riddance, but they are such fun little cars to drive. I just never liked the front grill of the Solstice. Put the hard top on the Sky and now we are talking.

        I had more fun test driving a customer’s Sky Redline. Thankfully we had to put 100 miles on it to check to see if it’s injectors were fried along with a few other intermittent issues. Man those things take off like a rocket.

  3. pockygt says:

    Oh man, I liked Pontiac. Sure the last 30 or 40 years they were just rebadged Chevys, but for the most part they looked better

    • nataku8_e30 says:

      @pockygt: Their “performance” cars for the last 10 or 15 years have been seriously underrated. The G6 GTP was actually pretty quick, as were their other GXP / GTP cars with turbos / s/c’s. Hopefully the G8 will move over to Chevy as an Impala or something.

      • cynical_bastard says:

        @nataku83: i both love and hate my gtp…

      • mac-phisto says:

        @nataku83: where’s the “excitement”, though? the last time i was excited about a pontiac was when they unveiled the widetrack grand prix GTP coupe. even though the new GTO was sporting 400 horses under the hood, it was wrapped in an awful skin.

        • nataku8_e30 says:

          @mac-phisto: Yes, it’s a type of car called a “sleeper” which used to be very appreciated. The outward appearance, while attractive, does not bely the performance potential of the vehicle. Look up one of the best sleepers of all time, the Mercedes 300 SEL 6.3 ([en.wikipedia.org]).

          I guess American automotive design has decayed to a point where there are very few individuals left who can appreciate the subtlety of this particular type of car. By the way, this car did very well in Australia with the exact same body style and a similar front fascia.

          • David Brodbeck says:

            @nataku83: I think the problem is that subtlety has never been Pontiac’s strong suit. Anyone who appreciated it had long ago been turned off by the acres of plastic cladding Pontiac slathered on all their designs, and gone elsewhere.

          • mac-phisto says:

            @nataku83: see, i love sleepers (that’s why i mentioned the widetrack grand prix). but that design…ugh. i just found nothing appealing about it. & the fact that the GTO was a holden – there’s something very unamerican about that. the australians can keep it.

            the key to a good sleeper (imo) is it has to look just mean enough & it has to have a unique design so that when the guy in the sports car gets smoked by it, he’ll know enough next time he sees the car not to rev his engine. great sleeper out there today? jeep grand cherokee srt8. different enough, but not too different. stylized lines, but not overly sporty. & it pains me to say this, b/c i hate jeeps.

            that’s where the new GTO failed (imo). it doesn’t look mean (hood scoops =/= mean). it doesn’t look different. the first time i saw one, i thought it was a dodge intrepid. that’s pissing all over what the GTO is all about.

            • David Brodbeck says:

              @mac-phisto: I wouldn’t dig too hard on the Australians. There are two countries in the world where cheap cars that are fast in a straight line are prized, and those two are the U.S. and Australia. Cross pollination between the American and Australian auto markets is a good thing, IMHO, because there’s a strong “muscle car” culture in both places.

            • nataku8_e30 says:

              @mac-phisto: I thought the GTOs were pretty nice looking before they put the hood scoops on them – nice 2-dr sport coupe. IMO, the SRT8 Jeep went overboard with the very ricer looking front valance, skirts and ridiculous big chrome wheels. There isn’t a whole lot of subtlety there. Despite my defense of the GTO, though, I actually do hate them. I haven’t ever seen one on the road that wasn’t running some kind of horrible flowmaster exhaust – I guess the owners try to compensate for look with the sound!

    • Yossarian says:

      @pockygt: Pontiac can burn in hell for what they did or, more accurately, didn’t do with the revived GTO. A better engine and leather thrown into a Cavalier-looking rent-a-car wannabe doesn’t make it a GTO. A pox on them.

      • nataku8_e30 says:

        @Yossarian: The only mistake Pontiac made with the GTO was calling it a GTO, and then putting the hood scoop on once they upgraded to the LS2. I’d hardly call a small block, 400 hp, RWD sport coupe with a 6-spd stick that handled pretty nicely a rent-a-car wannabe. I guess when you’re recycling a classic name, people also expect you to recycle classic lines. If they had just called it the Pontiac Monaro, it probably would have been a big hit. Why doesn’t anyone appreciate the concept of a sleeper anymore??

        • Claytons says:

          @nataku83: I’ve had 2 Pontiacs and one Saturn. Both cars died completely in under 6 years with routine maintenance and a driving style that makes grandmothers look like teens. I’m sorry for the loss of jobs this move will cause, but I will not miss these brands.

        • Yossarian says:

          @nataku83: My issue was the lack of classic lines which, to me, go hand in hand with the name. The “rent-a-car wannabe” perspective was also based on the appearance, not the performance.

          Sleepers are fine. Monaros — Holden, Pontiac, or whatever — are fine. The car, apart from the name, was fine. It just wasn’t a GTO, it was a generic wrapper.

          Even a hint of the Coke-bottle curves from the late 60s GTOs and I would have camped at the dealership to get one. As it was, I didn’t even want one. The new Camaro screams “classic Camaro.” The GTO didn’t get the same treatment and I shake my fist in Pontiac’s general direction for that failure.

      • mzs says:

        @Yossarian: I don’t want a Pontiac to make my dick look bigger. I want one to punch me in the kidneys when lift my foot off the clutch. The GTO did this, splendidly, I was very sad to see it go.

    • Mary says:

      @pockygt: My husband is going to be unhappy at this news too. He’s driven nothing but Pontiacs and never wanted to change.

  4. IT-Chick says:

    No more Firebirds? Oh well, the 2nd gens were the best anyway.

    • acarr260 says:

      @IT-Chick: I think the fact that the new Camaro was put into production without a Firebird/TA sibling was foreshadowing of this.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      @IT-Chick: Since my 1979 Trans Am got totalled several years ago, I’ve been crossing my fingers for a next gen T/A. The mock ups looked pretty good, I felt the new Camaro body lent itself more to a Firebird style anyway.

      Oh well, no new Trans Am for me. I’m probably better off just getting a 1976 with a 455 HO. Certainly cheaper than any new Trans Am would be, plus I get better style.

  5. hellinmyeyes says:

    I’m OK with letting Pontiac and Saturn go; it makes good business sense. Buick is selling like mad in China, supposedly, and Cadillac has remade its image in the last few years pretty solidly. I do not see why they STILL insist on keeping GMC, perpetually rehashing the Chevrolet truck models. Unless GMC becomes the truck/SUV leader of their brands instead, they’re going to continue to hemorrhage money with that brand.

  6. shorty63136 says:

    I had a 2003 Saturn L300 that got totaled last year (some guy t-boned me) and I’m starting to think that it was a blessing – especially since I was having issues with it and since GM Goodwrench places can’t work on Saturns and Saturn dealerships can’t work on other GM cars.

    Kinda sad to see Pontiacs go though. My aunt’s ’95 Grand Am is still kickin!

  7. Closed captioning provided by Homerjay says:

    Hmm… My dad just drove his new Outlook off the lot 4 days ago. Hmm…

  8. ARP says:

    I thought Saturn was a good business model. (Relatively) well made cars for a reasonable and no haggle price. I think the problem was that they continued to cut corners and keep prices too high, until you could get a Civic or Corolla for about the same price.

    • TWinter says:

      @ARP: The problem is that Saturn discontinued their best models and replaced them with crap. The SL1 and SL2 were great for the price – I have a ten year old SL2 that I still drive every day. But there is nothing on the Saturn lot I would consider now. The next car is probably going to be a Honda or a Toyota.

      • Heresy_Fnord says:

        @TWinter: I had a an SL1 but it was long time to let that garbage go. Their cars now are amazing and it’s sad that GM has made this decision.

    • KyleOrton says:

      @ARP: I think your last line pinpoints the problem. Same with the poster above who knows his Pontiac performance lines. Some of these cars were ok, pretty good or even good. But they weren’t BETTER than their competition!

      Every make needs a car that is heads above the rest. Even if people don’t end up buying it, they come in and see the car that better fits their needs.

      • Heresy_Fnord says:

        @KyleOrton: My 2008 Saturn Sky Redline is in every way better than the competition. It has more horsepower and torque than any of the other four 2 seater roadsters and it costs less than all of them save the Mazda MX5, which it is barely more expensive than considering the MX5 is a $27k car.

        Which 4 cars am I talking about? The BMW Z4 (way more expensive.) The Honda s2000 (same ballpark in price, less performance). The Pontiac Solstice (same base specs, less attractive car), and the Mazda MX5 (nearly 100 horsepower less, nearly the same price).

        • psionix says:

          @Heresy_Fnord: An S2000 would run circles around you all day long. Just because your car has more HP doesn’t make it “in every way better than the competition”. With this logic, your car is also better than the NSX ever was. LOL

          • David Brodbeck says:

            @psionix: Keep in mind that most people never explore the upper rev range of their cars. If someone doesn’t like keeping their foot down until at least 8,000 RPM then an S2000 isn’t going to impress them.

            Hondas are just like that. My Civic Si seemed pretty doggy and sedate when short-shifted, but above 5,000 RPM it became a completely different car.

            • mac-phisto says:

              @David Brodbeck: aaah, that’s what i miss about my honda. :*( i used to take it up to 8000 revs A LOT. heel-&-toe into a sharp curve & rocket around – felt like the road was throwing me thru the turn. & that was with their 130-hp f22a i4.

              i drive a toyota now. comparable in size & features, but it whines like a f*&$ing baby when you take it over 3500rpms. i could get my accord to 60mph in 2nd gear & it loved it – my toyota sounds like the engine’s going to explode if i ride 2nd past 45mph.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @ARP: What GM should have done, if they gave a damn about shareholder value, is hand the whole enchilada to the original execs that created Saturn from scratch. They had the correct approach, before the other GM divisions ripped the division to shreds, out of jealously, probably.

      • ARP says:

        @Trai_Dep: Good point, but I think their time to do that passed a few years back. Like I said, it’s too bad because the business model was pretty solid, its when GM meddled with the execution that it started to go downhill.

        @Heresy_Fnord: I agree that the Saturn Sky Redline is a nice car, but it came too little, too late to save the brand.

    • mzs says:

      @ARP: Saturn was not a good business model. They had one of the highest overheads because the employees were paid so little on commission and bonus. They tried to make-up for that with the service dept and were ham strung by often not having anything but Saturns on their used car lots (Saturn dealerships were mostly satellite dealerships of larger GM dealerships).

  9. MMD says:

    Saturn is the only brand I’d ever consider from that company. No matter…when we run our Honda Element into the ground 5+ years from now, we’ll just buy another Honda.

  10. nataku8_e30 says:

    shit

  11. Plates says:

    They really need to get rid of Buick and GMC Trucks, too. This is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  12. rpm773 says:

    Pontiac closing up shop? That’s going to hit the superfluous foglight and molded plastic industry hard.

  13. chrisgeleven says:

    Supposedly Saab is going to be spun off and become an independent company as well.

    I never understood having so many brands, often with overlapping cars that just have different fenders on them or something like that.

    • David Brodbeck says:

      @chrisgeleven: The original idea was to provide a progression of price points. You would start out with a Chevy, or maybe a Pontiac if you wanted something sportier and some day when you were making more money you’d trade up to a Buick or an Oldsmobile, depending on your tastes. (Buick used to make cars with radical, extroverted styling, believe it or not.) Eventually, when you were well off, you’d trade up to a Cadillac.

      Over the years, though, the brands kind of lost their distinctions as more and more badge engineering happened between the model lines. This really collapsed in the 1980s when you often had the same car with different trim being sold as a Chevy, Buick, Oldsmobile, and in at least one case even as a Cadillac.

    • Alex Duzik says:

      @chrisgeleven: Thank the gods. As I said in my own comment, I love Saab. Maybe as an independent company they’ll be able to work on some new models, which GM never let them do.

      • ARP says:

        @Alex Duzik: I agree, before GM starved them and meddled with their designs/engineering, Saabs were solid cars. Maybe they’ll get some of their mojo back as an independent company.

  14. balthisar says:

    Bummer about Pontiac. They made all of the GM cars I liked. Well, they did until they discontinued the Bonneville. Oh well.

    As for Saturn, wow, that should have died off a long time ago. It’d be nice to see GMC go away, too. Really, it’s not even badge engineering; it’s just a badge!

  15. Anonymous says:

    So…does this mean that there will be good deals to be had on Pontiacs?

    I was looking at the Vibe/Matrix as a nice fuel efficient car, but it’s a little too pricey for what it is (dressed up econo-hatchback). Any predictions?

  16. SabreDC says:

    Buick? Really? Somehow, Buick turned enough of a profit to edge out Saturn and Pontiac? That’s surprising.

  17. psionix says:

    Why are they keeping Buick? That brand hasn’t been relevant in YEARS.

  18. sirwired says:

    Saturn had to go… too little business selling overpriced badge-engineered cars. Any schmuck with a clue can get a no-haggle new-car deal these days, you just have to ask for a firm quote and call more than one dealer. (And Saturn still made you dicker around with a price for your trade-in, if you were so inclined.) After they went 100% badge engineered, Saturn became “You pay MSRP minus incentives, every time.” What a lousy deal.

    I would have dropped Buick before Pontiac though…

    SirWired

    • nataku8_e30 says:

      @sirwired: Every time I got a quote from the local Saturn dealership, it was a no haggle price, but if you added incentives back in, the starting point was still at least a grand under MSRP. In the current lineup, yes, the Aura, and Outlook are heavily badge engineered, the Vue and Sky less so (very distinguished exteriors, and I believe the Vue is pretty distinguished from the Equinox / Torrent, even if they are on the same or similar platforms). The Astra is only badge engineered with a car that isn’t available in the US, so that really doesn’t count. I think the major failing with the Astra was trying to meet enthusiast demands for a European hatch – it just doesn’t really work over here and you can’t get the price down low enough.

  19. Gaambit says:

    Crap. All I’ve ever had were Pontiacs (I’m on my second Sunfire, only after the first was totaled) and I was looking forward to getting another Vibe in the next few years. Suppose I could get nice used on. And oddly enough, my wife’s two most recent cars were Saturns.

    • majortom1029 says:

      @Gaambit: Well for the vibe you can always get a toyota matrix. The vibe uses all the same engine components its just the body thats diff.

  20. Snarkysnake says:

    The heartbreaking story of Saturn is the essence of why GM must fail.

    When the car was introduced with a clean sheet design and no haggle pricing,customers did what had once been unthinkable : They began to consider a GM entry level car as a real alternative to Japanese rivals. Add into the buying experience a dealer network that consistently blew away the other GM makes (to say nothing of Ford and Chrysler) and it seems like the corporate overlords at GM were onto something big.

    Alas,these stupid,greedy,arrogant assholes blew it.You had to look awfully hard to see the GM influence in the early days of Saturn. (There was no large GM logos stuck on the early cars),and of course,with success,the dark forces at GM just had to get their incompetent hands on the thing.

    First,some drone in accounting decided that they needed a mid size car (bigger car = bigger profits) Disaster soon followed. GM just about couldn’t give the last ones away.Then the Saturn ION redefined what a bad small car could be. Later, GM and the UAW signed a murder/suicide pact that let the UAW into the Saturn plant. Uh Oh,bad move.Then,the powers that be in the bowels of GM decided that they needed an SUV (even though previous Saturn buyers are the LAST people on earth that would drive the things) and suddenly nobody could quite tell you what a Saturn was anymore.

    Naturally,GM being GM, things got worse.Now,Saturns are just rebadged Opels with all kinds of Euroquirks that make them unsuitable for here.Sales are almost non existent.

    The point is,any “rescue” plan for GM MUST broom the current management. They have destroyed the whole company and now the same people that wrecked the ship are being asked how to right it.

    • nataku8_e30 says:

      @Snarkysnake: I really like my L-series – the only car it’s similar to in the US is the Saab 9-5. It gets very good gas mileage for a mid-size wagon, and with it’s tiny 4-pot in the 9-5 size body you can pretty much step into the engine compartment. Still, most people in the world don’t share my taste…

    • mac-phisto says:

      @Snarkysnake: yeah, that’s unfortunate. reminds me of the tucker story.

      only thing…i remember studying the saturn concept in college as part of an engineering/labor-management principles course & i remember reading that they were trying to sell GM on an SUV back then (late 90’s). had they been given the go-ahead, i think it could have succeeded during the SUV boom, but by the time they entered the marketplace, it was saturated with competition in the “mini-suv” niche (hyundai santa fe, ford escape, jeep liberty, to name a few).

      think of how revolutionary a mid-sized suv would have been 5 years before…the only comparable i can think of at the time would be the jeep cherokee.

      important to note that while the GM-saturn relationship wasn’t very apparent until recently, the leash afforded to saturn was awfully short. they didn’t have independence in management, which made realizing their dream impossible.

    • Jim Topoleski says:

      @Snarkysnake: Um the UAW contract existed from the getgo. The UAW originally had a huge stake in Saturn as did the workers who had full control to stop the line if they noticed a design flaw that was overlooked by managers.

      What ended up happening is after Saturn was the only GM brand in 93 to make a profit, GM went in and renegotiated the contract into exactly like all their other ones, plus brought Saturn into the GM nest as opposed to it being its own thing.

      Thats when things took a turn for the worst.

    • ryan_h says:

      @Snarkysnake:

      how did the ion redefine bad small cars? I have a 2004 ion quad coupe, and so far besides oil changes, I have only spent $200 on it. about 80,000 miles on it.

      not my ideal choice of a car, but the dealer was hurting, and i got it for way cheap new.

      • Jim Topoleski says:

        @ryan_h: It didn’t, and in truth even Car and Driver went back and changed its opinion of it after using it as a long term test for a number of years.

        The center dash though is what people get peeved about. Interesting they gave a pass to the Toyota Echo but Saturn got badmouthed.

  21. majortom1029 says:

    IF they close pontiac what will happen to that plant that pontiac and toyota run that create the matrix and pontiac vibe?

  22. Claytons says:

    I wonder what will happen to the Saturn plant? I grew up one town over, and there used to be nothing but cow pastures in Spring Hill, TN, and it’s been a boom-town for more than a decade. If they don’t shift some manufacturing to the plant in Spring Hill that place will become a ghost town in a matter of seconds.

    • Kavatar says:

      @Claytons: Actually they already retooled the plant, I think now it produces the Chevy Traverse.

      • Claytons says:

        @Kavatar: That’s good to hear. Hopefully they can do the same for other Pontiac and Saturn plants.

        • Jim Topoleski says:

          @Claytons: There are no Saturn plants anymore (the Astra is built with the Opal versions and imported from Germany, the Vue is Mexican on the same line as a few Chevys, and the others American but same story as the Vue, built on lines with other cars.)

          But GM is already saying they are axing a TON of plants and workers by March.

  23. Limecrete says:

    So how does this news affect service, upkeep, repair, and maintenance of pre-existing cars of the discontinued lines?

    • Jim Topoleski says:

      @Limecrete: GM by law has to honor the warrantees on them.

    • Maegan Anderman says:

      @Limecrete: My question exactly. My only issue with my Saturn is that I have to take it an hour away to get work done. I always get a free loaner from the dealership, but a lot of places in my town give me the “oh we can’t work on Saturns” runaround.

      I know I sound like an idiot, but what do I do?

      • Jim Topoleski says:

        @Maegan Anderman: As of I think Dec, all GM dealers with service departments had to cover Saturns now. So you can pretty much go to any GM service department to get work done, and if they say no, call GM on them for violating their service department contract.

  24. mtarget says:

    I was hoping to replace my 96 Saturn SL2 with a new model when it finally wears out. Looks like its managed to outlast the company. My second choice would have been a Pontiac.

  25. David Brodbeck says:

    What I remember most about Saturn are the humongous door gaps they had to use to keep the plastic body panels from swelling shut in hot weather. It made for some truly cheap-looking cars.

    • Jim Topoleski says:

      @David Brodbeck: Cheap maybe, but they lasted.

      Neither of my SL2s I got rid of looked used. They still looked as good as the day I got them used, and with my first one being my fathers, as good as the day he got it.

      Say what you will about the plastic body panels, but you could kick the living crap out of them and not even see a spider mark. I only hope my Aura lasts as long.

  26. drjayphd says:

    ‘Tis a shame about Saturn… my 1998 SL1 managed to survive a good 10 years, six of which were spent getting driven into the ground by me. Over 100,000 miles in those six years, surprised just about everyone involved.

  27. Alex Duzik says:

    So the four brands they’re cutting would appear to include Hummer and Saab in addition to Pontiac and Saturn. That makes me very sad, since I looooooove my Saab — it’s one of the few things GM has managed not to screw up, although they haven’t done much with the line, either. I hope Saab isn’t going away. Really, GM, in a coupla years I’ll buy a new one!

    • ARP says:

      @Alex Duzik: I hope they sell the line rather than let it die. With a fresh perspective, dropping some of that GM crap-engineering, and adding some new designs, Saab might actually be an audi competitor again (remember that?).

  28. erytheis says:

    I love my ’95 Saturn SC1. I don’t know what I’ll do when I have to replace it, but at the rate its going it should be good for another 100,000. It’s the most reliable car I’ve ever had and the gas mileage is great!!! Hopefully, they will be bought by someone who will bring them back to their roots!

  29. Skankingmike says:

    Who didn’t see something like this coming?

    They still have too many brands that suck. Who would keep Buick?

    Toyota is getting dangerously close to that trap of over branding as well.

    • Jim Topoleski says:

      @Skankingmike: Here is the interesting twist.

      1) Buick actually sells really well in China DESPITE doing worse than Saturn in the US yet more dealers selling their cars (Saturn averages 450 cars a dealer sold, Buick something like 120). Problem is GM went out of its way to include Buicks with Pontiacs a while back so unlike Saturn where they can just shut down the 400 dealers they have, they would have to give major incentives to the Pontiac/Buick dealers.

      2) GM is already turning Buick into Saturn. The new LaCrosse for 2010? That was Saturns Aura replacement, and is basically a Opal Insight. They have also converted their Saturn/Opal partnership into a Buick/Opal one (kinda of going back into time here, since thats how it was 30 years ago)

      3) Despite calls from just about EVERYONE they are keeping GMC…. which is the WORST offender of badge engineering on GMs lot. They claim commercial sales, the only problem being they have a Chevy commercial line as well that sells the SAME cars just with new names slightly different interior, and a big bowtie on the front.

      • David Brodbeck says:

        @Jim Topoleski: I’ve heard GMC has an absurd level of brand loyalty. That’s probably why they’re keeping it.

        • Jim Topoleski says:

          @David Brodbeck: No its the same reason that they are keeping Buick. GMC dealers are usually Buick and Pontiac dealers.

          The dealer chains these days except for a couple hundred dealers here or there go

          Pontiac > Buick > GMC

          Chevy > Caddie

          Saab > Hummer

          Saturn.

          Thats part of why its so easy to kill the last three, for the most part they have no connection to the brands that where GMs name plus they have dealer contracts that are much looser than the core brand ones which basically penalize GM if they close the brand.

          The only brand GM actually has that really had serious loyalty (ie if they couldnt get this they would not buy GM period) was Saturn. Even GMC buyers would buy Chevys if they couldn’t buy a GMC based on internal surveys.

      • mzs says:

        @Jim Topoleski: Ah so once more I will be able to buy a new Opel from a Buick dealership. Let’s hope for GM’s sake it won’t go as badly as it did before.

    • ARP says:

      @Skankingmike: I’m sure an economist can correct me, but I never understood how having such a diluted product line could work. It would seem that they need to have 1-2 models for each category (small SUV, Mid-sized sedan, etc.)

      • Jim Topoleski says:

        @ARP: Your forgetting when this model was made.

        There WAS no dilution. There was no such things as SUV, minivans, and more important… foreign cars.

        Gm never grew up. They took a model they turned themselves into in the 80’s and kept going with it till it killed them. Worse the few times they tried to change the model (ie Saturn which was originally not badge engineered at all) They went in and killed it for more profit in the short term.

  30. valthun says:

    Well so long Saturn Sky, it was so much better looking than the Solstice. I guess that one will go too.

  31. Sollus says:

    Goddamnit. I drive Pontiacs and now they’re going to kill them. The fact that they are keeping GMC is beyond ridiculous. They are rebranded Chevy’s! The G6 and G8 are their best cars next the the Malibu. Well at least I can get a good used Pontiac still.

    • Jim Topoleski says:

      @Sollus: beg to differ. While the G8s are wonderful, the G6s is the worst of the three (Aura G6 Malibu)

      Nothing against the 6, but its the oldest and doesnt have the better transmissions or engines.

  32. f3rg says:

    GMCs are re-badged Chevys. Might as well get rid of that brand, too.

  33. econobiker says:

    Saturn: how to toss millions of dollars of brand loyalty down the toilet.

    “A Different Kind of Car Company.” circa 1990. Apparently it was too different so GM killed it…

    R.I.P. Saturn: the US company small car that could have been a contender against the imports…

  34. econobiker says:

    They should have hacked this years ago. I even posted on Lutz’s blog about it.

    Kill Buick and Oldsmobile along with Chevy Trucks and all the SUVs branded other than GMC

    Keep:
    Saturn- small cars, uptrim/performance under a “Saturn Performance Group” trim level

    Chevy- midsized level cars only- uptrim or performance to a “Pontiac” trim level- no trucks or SUVs

    GMC- trucks and SUVs only, and include Hummer under the umbrella. Premium SUVs or Trucks under a separate trim level name

    Cadillac- premium large cars only, ultra performance/trim levels under a “LaSalle” trim level

    Corvette- make it its own brand for Gm’s sports cars

    Sadly no one listened…

  35. fatcop says:

    So no Pontiac El Camino than eh? lol

  36. turtledude558 says:

    You know what GM? You can JUST GO BANKRUPT.

    You got rid of 1 out of 2 brands that I actually LIKED.

    First you RUINED IT by desecrating the GTO name and giving it a rebranded HOLDEN, then you crap on it even more by giving it a REBRANDED AVEO which is ultimately a REBRANDED DAEWOO.

    Now, after RUINING THE BRAND, you go off and KILL IT. It had a chance with the G8 and the Solstice, but you do what you always do and RUIN THINGS.

    Remember Oldsmobile? They were finally getting things right with cars like the Aurora, but instead you decide to KILL IT and keep a crap brand like BUICK around.

    I will NEVER buy a GM product again. You’ve killed nearly ALL of your good brands. The only one left worth considering is Cadillac, and knowing the way you do things, it’ll probably be killed off too sooner or later.

    GO DIE GM. WE DON’T WANT YOU ANYMORE.