Saturn article in USA Today

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by C. E. White, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. C. E. White

    C. E. White Guest

  2. C. E. White

    chris Guest

    Its really sad. My wife's 1996 SL1 was dying. Previous owner abused
    the car. Looked at the Ion first but couldn't buy it. Whoever
    designed that car should be shot. Bought a 2003 Honda Civic EX
    instead. Made in Canada or Ohio with 65% American parts. I still
    have my 1995 SL going strong though at 110,000 miles.

    My parents have two Saturns, my grandparents have two Saturns and my
    sister and brother-in-law have two Saturns. Since GM took control,
    none them like where Saturn is heading and will probably by foreign
    instead. My dad always called Saturn "The last American hope." It
    really is sad :(
    chris, Dec 7, 2003
  3. C. E. White

    marx404 Guest

    I Just saw on TechTV that CHevy is redesigning the Cavalier and also coming
    out with a newer mod-styled design compact car. Looks like GM is investing
    it's efforts elsewhere than Saturn.

    << scene fades in to a Satun dealership somewhere in Casablaca, Bogey says:
    "We'll always have 1st generations" end scene >>

    marx404, Dec 8, 2003
  4. The 05 Cavalier is built on the same platform as the ION - it will be
    renamed COBALT. GM will utilize Saturn in one form or another is my best,
    unprofessional guess. It's not going anywhere soon.
    Jonnie Santos, Dec 8, 2003
  5. C. E. White

    Dan Duncan Guest

    Saturn is dying because they've lost sight of their goal.

    They used to be a different kind of car company, but
    they've fucked it up.

    I wanted to buy another Saturn. I really did. They wouldn't
    sell me the most important option in the model I wanted:
    You know, the base transmission that was standard on EVERY
    model they made back when they used to actually sell a lot
    of cars.

    Saturn jumped the shark several years back.

    Their new stuff is crap. I continue to drive my 1998 SW2 at 104k miles
    with NO major repairs. I've only replaced wear items (third set
    of tires, second set of brake pads, and lots of oil and filter changes)
    and a couple of windows and a windshield due to thieves, thieves, and
    a flying rock. I'm still on the original alternator and clutch.

    I'd love to buy another one, but they stopped making it.

    Way to run a company into the ground, GM.

    My new car? A Subaru. With a manual transmission. Sorry, Saturn.

    Dan Duncan, Dec 9, 2003
  6. Blame the EPA for it. They're the ones trying to get rid of letting the
    driver actually chose what gear a car's in. Automatics today have
    lockup, get darn near the same mileage, and can be tied to the computer
    for emissions stuff.

    That, and most drivers are too stupid to learn stick shift. Heck, I
    took my road test on a '93 saturn with stick. I think just doing that
    got me past... (ending up on the curb when parking wasn't helping, I
    STILL can't park the saturn for shit. The wagon was easy, the van's
    easy, go figure)

    Speaking of automatics, my dad's Honda minivan is nice, except the
    $#^$%^ transmission can't decide on a gear. It upshifts and downshifts
    often. Take away the top two gears, it makes up it's mind. I've driven
    other Japanese cars with this 'feature', and a few other bad habits,
    which makes me wonder if they know how to build an automatic. So much
    for superior Japanese design :/
    Philip Nasadowski, Dec 10, 2003
  7. The EPA, in its yearly Fuel Economy Trends documents, lists the manual
    transmission as one of a number of technologies that improves fuel
    economy. However, it is easier to control emissions with an automatic
    transmission (which is why some of the vehicles that meet the lowest
    emission regulation levels only come with automatic transmissions).
    Timothy J. Lee, Dec 12, 2003
  8. C. E. White

    Alan King Guest

    Periodic statements like this fascinate me. Since Saturn didn't exist before
    GM chose to invest 3+ billion dollars creating it and since Saturn has never
    not been "under GM's control", I wonder what it means.

    Alan King
    Alan King, Dec 13, 2003
  9. No Saturn has been quite different. In the plant where I came from
    management made all the decisions and all engineering changes came from
    Detroit. Also all marketing for GM comes from one big department.

    Saturn in the beginning had their own marketing department, their own
    engineers to design the car, had UAW members working alongside the engineers
    to design the car and build process, and had UAW members making decisions
    with management on how the business runs.

    Now our marketing is lumped in with GM, the engineers are GM standard
    engineers who sit in Detroit and only design one part of a car that is put
    in to many cars and never come down to the plant level to try to fix build
    or quality problems with their parts, and managers make most all the
    decisions or await decisions to be handed down to them from Detroit. Not to
    mention we had to abandon build processes that we proved were safer and
    saved money by decreasing in-plant repairs. Why?...Because we had to go
    back to GM common builds & platforms, and had to abandon the build process
    innovated at Spring Hill.

    So is there a difference in GM control from the past to the present....Very
    much so...

    Seamus' Stuff, Dec 13, 2003
  10. Yeah, Saturn's working with the UAW *really* helped. I spent 25 min
    again last night trying to put on the fan belt because some clown
    decided that the side of the engine needs no clearance. And don't get
    me started on the pain in the ass the water pump is to replace, or
    plenty of other wonderful design features....
    Philip Nasadowski, Dec 13, 2003
  11. There's something elegant about functional simplicity of which seems to
    elude automakers.

    The no clearance issues give me this visual of a meeting with marketing and
    engineering where marketing is telling engineering to put everything really
    close together because obviously only high quality import makers can build
    to such tolerances and the buying pubic would perceive a Saturn with these
    same tolerances as comparable - but I digress...

    Of course I was hoping they would have turned the engine in the right
    direction (front to back of course), put the transaxle in the tail, and gave
    me another 100 ponies before putting the S series out to pasture. Yeah,
    right... (good meds, eh?)
    Jonnie Santos, Dec 13, 2003
  12. No kidding. It's not just GM - witness iDrive.
    I think a lot of it is the "Well, it'll never be changed" attitude too.
    Explains having the drop the engine to change the rack on my old
    Celebrity. Well, the rack NEVER goes bad, right? Especially on an 80's
    GM car, right? If they had shifted the engine on the Saturn to the
    right (standing looking at it from the front) by only 2 inches, the car
    would be a boatload easier to work on. Tools and HANDS would be able to
    get in there easier...

    The Japanese build things small because Japanese hands are small...
    Chrysler's putting their money in RWD,too bad their current
    transmissions all suck hard. I still love how Pontiac, GM's 'excitment
    division', can't seem to build a decent car with a V8 in it. Heck, the
    new GTO is Australian in origin. I blame lack of cheap high performance
    cars on the Nader crowd, though. At least the V6 is starting to become
    the norm as opposed to the god awful inline 4s everything had until the
    late 90's...
    Philip Nasadowski, Dec 14, 2003
  13. C. E. White

    Alan King Guest

    The major difference between Saturn and other GM divisions (Chevrolet, Pontiac,
    Buick, Oldsmobile, & Cadillac) is the older divisions existed prior to GM.
    They were purchased and put together to create GM where GM created Saturn.
    So did the other five divisions.
    who were GM engineers.
    which is a good thing and is being used in other plants as many years of fear
    and distrust between management and the union are slowly being overcome.
    Two things, 1) GM hasn't had an engineering department located in Detroit since
    1993 and 2) If you haven't been able to figure out that GM isn't going to be
    able to compete with Toyota, Honda, et al by engineering unique parts for every
    car, then I am sorry for you.
    As a GM engineer who frequently goes to plants to understand and correct
    problems, I know this is just an ignorant rabble rousing rant. I have a
    co-worker who is going through a start-up of a new product in a plant in a
    distant state and he has spent so much time on airplanes that when we see
    luggage in his cubicle we have to ask "dirty or clean?" to see if he is coming
    or going.
    Actually, times have changed for all of us and they will continue to change.

    Alan King
    Alan King, Dec 14, 2003
  14. ....had to do a search on iDrive as I was unfamiliar - found a rant on
    cheersandgears and was surprised BMW would take that approach. Technology
    is cool (to me) when it's initially invisible and user intuitiveness is
    scaleable. I heard a story recently where a new Toyota Prius was coming out
    of a automated carwash and the guys who normally drive the car to a drying
    station could not determine how to start the car and had to push it.
    Jonnie Santos, Dec 14, 2003
  15. But the reason that GM forced the common platforms is because there was no
    way to have a positive ROI because development and tooling costs are so
    high. You can't make a profit (a real profit, not an operating profit) on a
    platform that sells only 200K units per year. The only way Saturn could
    increase volume significantly is to sell in other regions, but they tried
    this, and it failed miserably (Japan and Taiwan).

    GM is a business. They can't keep pouring money into a bottomless pit, with
    no hope of ever getting a return on it.
    Steven M. Scharf, Dec 14, 2003
  16. C. E. White

    Guest Guest

    Maybe so, but their return on this change is that it is less likely that
    I'll be buying any GM.
    Guest, Dec 14, 2003
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