Last post on Aug 01, 2013 at 6:53 AM
You are in the Saturn S-Series
What is this discussion about?
Saturn S-Series, Sedan
#241 of 1419 Saturn is on the up and up
Apr 25, 2000 (7:59 pm)
When's the last time anyone here got 1.5 billion?
April 25, 2000 - Saturn Corporation announced
today that it has received more than $1.5 billion
from parent General Motors to aggressively grow
their brand with new products, new styling, and
upgraded manufacturing facilities. Saturn will use
GM's capital investment and worldwide component
relationships to bring an expanded portfolio of
larger, innovative vehicles to market faster.
Saturnís plan calls for the potential of four new
products over the next four years, with more
expressive styling and customer-attentive vehicle
Future spring Hill vehicles include the 2002
all-wheel drive SUV, the next-generation coupe, the
next-generation sedan, and a fourth, unspecified
vehicle. Trudell reportedly said that the fourth
vehicle will use a high-tech V-6 engine developed
by Japan's No. 2 automaker, Honda. Using the Honda
engine will allow GM to bring the new vehicle to
market quicker than it could have normally been
able to, she said.
Reuters News reported that Wesley Brown, an
analyst at industry consultant Nextrend, said it
would likely be a nontraditional, lifestyle pickup
truck. "It will be a new interpretation of what a
pickup can be, something that plays more to one's
lifestyle and attitudes rather than its utility,"
he said. As for the SUV, Brown described it as a
crossover vehicle that melds minivan utility with
SUV looks. The SUV will be powered by both a GM V6
and Saturn's current L-Series 2.2l 4-cly engine.
Saturn Chairman and President Cynthia Trudell said
the new GM investment signals strong support from
the world's No. 1 automaker for its 11-year-old
While Saturn has set standards for customer
service and has earned high marks for its no-haggle
sales strategy, critics point out that it has
struggled to sustain sales in the sluggish small
car market. GM has been criticised for starving
Saturn of new products, causing it to miss out on
the light truck boom of the 1990s.
"Definitely, the investment that General Motors is
willing to put into the Saturn brand is a vote of
confidence that Saturn in the long-term has high
equity for General Motors," Trudell said. The
latest funds bring GM's total investment in Saturn
to $6.5 billion, she said.
"Saturn has established tremendous equity in its
first ten years, and General Motors recognizes our
ability to attract and satisfy new customers," said
Cynthia Trudell, Saturn chairman and president.
"Four out of five S-Series buyers and 68 percent of
L-Series buyers tell us they would have bought or
leased a non-GM vehicle had Saturn not been
available. Further, satisfaction with the Saturn
retail experience remains among the highest in the
"Our challenge now is to keep up with customer
demand for a wider variety of vehicles," said
Trudell. "We intend to continue our commitment to
small cars, but position Saturn as more than a
small car company. And to sustain our viability as
a unique car company, we need to deliver these new
products to market more quickly."
The strategic moves announced today include:
GM has approved Saturnís sport utility vehicle
(SUV), which will go into production later next
year at Saturn's Spring Hill, Tenn. facility. The
all-new SUV will join Saturn's redesigned small
cars and the new mid-size L-Series sedan and wagon
at Saturn retailers as a 2002 model.
GM is making a $1 billion capital investment in
Saturnís Spring Hill manufacturing facility through
2002. This includes new equipment and tooling for
the SUV and next generation small cars, paint shop
refurbishment, and building modifications to allow
both cars and trucks to be built on a split line.
The investment lays the foundation for potential
additional products to come on stream.
Saturnís SUV and next generation small cars will
include GMís new global four-cylinder engine.
Spring Hill will be awarded GMís third production
module for this engine, including strategic
machining and assembly. This represents an
additional $500 million investment for new
equipment and the construction of a 450,000 square
foot addition. The SUV also will be available with
a GM V6 engine.
One of Saturnís yet undisclosed future models will
include a high-tech V6 engine from GMís recent
agreement with Honda. This will shorten the time
frame for bringing this new product to market.
Saturn will seek additional GM powertrain
production business as it phases out the current
transmission family. Saturnís future products will
include a combination of technically-advanced
transmissions, such as an Aisin/Warner transmission
and a continuously variable transmission (CVT),
among other options.
Saturnís Sales, Service and Marketing (SSM)
organization will align more closely with GMís
North American Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing
(VSSM) team. This will allow both organizations to
explore synergies to reduce structural cost and
enable Saturnís new product investment.
"Saturnís retail approach and sales, service and
marketing team will remain intact," said Jill
Lajdziak, vice president of Saturn SSM. "But we
will share Saturnís experience with GM, and glean
from our parent companyís centers of expertise in
areas transparent to the customer."
Ron Hankins, president of UAW Local 1853, said,
"The Saturn UAW team worked hard to earn GMís
global four-cylinder engine business. We have a
commitment to producing high quality products, and
this decision provides job security for our UAW
members. Itís a win for GM, Saturn and the Spring
Hill community. We also look forward to building a
steady stream of new, competitive products for
Summarizing the investment and product plans,
Trudell said, "Weíre gearing up with GMís
commitment to grow the Saturn brand. Our S-Series
launch in the early 1990s was so successful that
Saturn became synonymous with small cars. We now
have a mid-size product to compete with the
imports, and weíll soon start building awareness
for our upcoming SUV. And thatís just the
"Overall, our strategy will expand Saturn, yet do
so in a way that improves our operational
performance and remains true to Saturn's core
values. Saturn was born from a commitment to
customer service and a partnership with our
retailers, UAW partners, team members and
suppliers," said Trudell. "These values will
continue as we strengthen our brand equity in
today's rapidly changing automotive marketplace."
Apr 25, 2000 (8:17 pm)
Well I hope I never need 1.5 billion to stay afloat. I still don't see how Saturn is any different then any of GM's other satellite car brands. If they need money GM gives them money. If GM wants to give up on them, they go under. They are only an extension of the bigger picture that is called "GENERAL MOTORS". Saturn is no more a car company then Chevy, or Olds, or Buick.
#243 of 1419 saturns, et al.
Apr 25, 2000 (10:14 pm)
Well, I don't agree that a rebuild at 126K is something to be expected. There are people who frequently post on the saturn newsgroup and site that have a lot more mileage than that. It's not shocking that it happens to a particular car, though, and it's also not reasonable to try to infer that it's an endemic problem. Has anyone noticed the "volvo engine burned up at 44K miles" on here? Does anyone think that all volvos will do that? I don't.
As to saying that saturn=chevy because saturn got money from GM, well, that's just kind of silly. Saturn is more different than the other GM brands because:
1) Saturn has it's own designs; most of the other GM brands have essentially the same cars differentiated by bodywork and details. cavalier/sunfire, alero/grand am, intrigue/grand prix/buick regal, etc.
2) Saturn has negotiated a special contract with it's employees which had a high amount of incentives based on quality production, worker education, etc. Most union auto workers don't have this sort of contract.
3) Saturn places a special focus on sales satisfaction and service, rather than deep discounts, which is typical for other GM brands.
4) Unlike other GM brand which focus on a lot of doohickeys for not much money, the saturn focus on safety, economy after purchase, fuel economy, etc.
That's just off the top of my head, and it think it shows how saturn is different than the other GM brands. Now, there are a few disturbing similarities, in my opinion. There is the typical GM-ism of saving a few bucks here or there in silly places:
* Making all the rear brakes drums ( the used to be disk ). Drum brakes are inferior, and more costly to maintain.
* Not having folding side mirrors. This greatly increases the chances to damage this part.
* Taking away the performance switch on the automatic.
* The contract with the workers in the LS plant is much more a standard union contract than for the spring hill plant ehcih makes the S series.
Now, I have my own feelings about why some of this happened. I think saturn really did try to produce the car people needed ( economical, safe ) instead of what they wanted ( cheap, flashy ). Sales eventaully suffered as the industry moved on, So, they pinched pennies on some of the parts indicated above. This was a mistake, as the original point of saturn was to be an experiment to try things that might be carried over into the rest of GM. Instead I see the aforementioned cutting corners on the S series instead of upgrading it, and an L series, that, while quite nice, skimped on safety, had numerous rollout bugs, while having a lot of doohickeys per dollar. Then again, if this is what people want, are they foolish not to provide it? How many people look at safety, ownership costs, etc, before buying an economy car? Now they're going into the SUV and light "lifestyle" truck market, ie "vehicles for people with more money than sense."
All that being said, I still feel that saturn is very competitive in it's class with both the S and L series, but I don't feel that it's clearly best in category ( for me, anyways ), which I felt when I bought my car in '96. I recently helped some friends carshop for $10-15K cars, and while we of course looked at saturns, we also looked at the golf, focus, subaru, etc.
But it's not "just another GM division."
Apr 26, 2000 (1:03 am)
Actually, GM does owe Saturn that money. Saturn was a GM experiment to begin with. They were completely financed and supported by GM, who tried to keep their hands out of all important decisions. Saturn wanted a new car and an SUV a long time ago, but GM thought it would taint the vision and philosophy of the Saturn corporation. They owe them. Besides, its about time these cars were updated. Once they are, I'm sure they will be far superior to anything else on the road.
Apr 26, 2000 (5:22 pm)
by the time they update them, the next gen. Civic will be out and ahead of the curve again.
Apr 26, 2000 (8:08 pm)
Yeah, reg, you already know what's going to happen, don't you? As someone who admits a bias against saturn, why do you even read these topics? Masochism?
Actually, I never understood the love affair with civics, personally. Perfectly fine car, but nothing on them stands out to me and says "get me" to me.
Apr 26, 2000 (9:06 pm)
I agree, 127K miles isn't "high mileage" anymore. In the 70's maybe, but not today. So this isn't an adequate explanation for what you are having to deal with. I did a valve and ring job on my VW years ago, and it's not that big a deal. Buy a book, study it, ask around, pay attention as you take things apart and you'll save a small fortune.
RE: new Honda Civic. I hope they are putting the 127bhp engine as standard in everything, because the lower hp engine is just pathetic. BTW, have you seen the reliability info. for the 1999 Civics in Autopinion 2000 (a CAA publication)? Yikes!!!! A lot of disatisfied customers there boy.
Apr 26, 2000 (9:11 pm)
And the 1999 Accord isn't a far sight better. But "only" in the engine, fuel system, ignition and electrical areas. The only expensive part excluded is the transmission. One is (predominantly) made in Alliston, Ontario and one in Ohio, so it can't just be the manufacturing facility.
Apr 26, 2000 (11:26 pm)
Civic is just better.
Besides, it looks like Honda will start making motors for GM soon, so then you may see Saturns with Honda motors in them.
#250 of 1419 Burnt Valve/Rare !
Apr 27, 2000 (2:39 am)
In response to post 250, I strongly disagree with the opinion that 127,000 miles is too little for a burnt valve, in most cases this is extremely rare and I admit it shouldn't happen. However, as a ex Toyota Celica GT owner, my Celica leaked oil at around 57,000 miles. Was I pissed>? YES. Did I Bitch about it>? YES Did I go around complaining to all the faceless people on messege boards>? NO. I bought another car.
Sometimes machines break down and they shouldn't , but thats exactly what Saturns and every car is, a MACHINE. After having a trouble prone Nissan, and a aggravating Toyota, I decided never to keep a car past 100k again. Wheather its good at the time or not, when it reads 100,000 miles its history.