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GM Might Kill Saturn, Pontiac, Saab Says Rumor Mill


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According to Bloomberg News on Wednesday, by way of Detroit News, GM is considering eliminating its Saturn, Pontiac, and Saab divisions. The move would ostensibly help it receive as much as $12 billion in federal assistance. As of late Wednesday, GM spokesman Steve Harris had no comment on the possible move.

Bloomberg's article quoted sources who came forth only under condition of anonymity. Axing divisions may be a part of GM's formal plan to be presented to Congress this coming Tuesday, December 2, as the Big Three return (hopefully on a commercial airline, or perhaps Greyhound) to make their case once more. After the first monetary request to Congress, Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders refused assistance to the Big Three and asked for fiscally responsible plans that show they will be good stewards of loaned monies, able eventually to pay it back.

Part of GM's enormous daily cash burn is supporting a behemoth dealer network--as well as vehicle R&D--for a grand total of eight brands. Paring down to five brands in all will conceivably make GM a leaner, meaner operation, bringing it closer to Ford (four brands) and Chrysler (three).

So what important vehicles might we lose in this scenario? Nothing that couldn't be shifted to another division or that isn't already just a rebadge. The most unique models that come to mind are the Saturn Astra (a rebadged Opel), Saturn Sky/Pontiac Solstice, Saab 9-3 and 9-5, and the Pontiac G8. I think the G8 would be the only significant loss, as it would leave GM without a rear-wheel-drive V-8 performance sedan, apart from the awesome (but twice-the-price) Cadillac CTS-V. Could the G8 be morphed into the next-gen Impala, which should always have a been a rear-driver anyway?--Colin Mathews
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Comments (18)
  1. The G8 is a rebadge of the Aussie Holden Commodore.
    The 9-5 is a rebadge of the Opel/Vauxhall Vectra.
    The Astra, as you mentioned, is a rebadge of the Opel/Vauxhall Astra (lots of creativity there, boys!).
    The Vue (you forgot to mention) is a rebadge of the Opel/Vauxhall Antara.
    Practically everything out of GM is a rebadge.
    The loss of the G8 is a HUGE loss, as GM loses its best counterpunch to the Chrysler 300.
    Watch GM axe these three divisions, then scramble (and burn more cash) rebadging these rebadges to their other divisions. A few months later, watch them cry uncle again, cut a couple more divisions, rebadge some more, lather, rinse, repeat.
    Why does GM keep making belated too-little-too-late decisions like this? They really don't deserve that taxpayer bailout money. Just Die Already(tm).
     
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  2. I fail to understand what is so wrong about rebadging overseas models if they work well in the market here? It's different when you take GMC Acadia and turn it into four different flavors but a G8, Astra, or a 9-3 (not a 9-5 as you stated) was NOT a bad idea.
    Why reivent the wheel; if anything use and apply what's already been done. Honda (and even Toyota) is the best example of rebadging and using just a couple of platforms across its lineup and it's served them well.
     
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  3. "Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies"
    Rebadging is a FRAUD. No wonder JKD has no clue as to what's wrong with it.
    And it is EXTREMELY Stupid. Instead of having ONE advertising budget, you will need SEVERAL, one for each re-badged brand. Idiotic. You lose 100s of millions unnecessarily. No wonder JKD likes it.
    Take the latest fraud, the so-called VW "Routan" minivan. it is merely a re-badged CHRYSLER van. And they paid Brook Shields an arm and a leg to advertise this POS to morons around the world, by that idiotic story that some dumb chicks get pregnant just in order to buy the POS!!!!
    LOL..
     
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  4. CLosing down Saab is no big deal, it was almost closed down already due to pitifully low sales, and its models have NOT been unique since the 80s, when the 9000 shared the same platform with some lame Lancias and the Opel Vectra. Pathetic and Idiotic.
    CLosing down Pontiac would be a pity, why not close down BUICK, which may do well in CHINA, but over here its buyers are dying one a minute, and the average age of them is 98?
    But closing SATURN betrays the Extreme mismanagement of the IDIOT CEOS at GM, it was THEM that built up the stupid Saturn division, maker of execrable cars or copier of Opels, at the EXPENSE of poor Oldsmobile, who died so that Saturn lived. Now they all go to hell. Nice job, MORONS!
     
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  5. Sell Saab instead of killing it, Keep Pontiac but akso kill Saturn. The Saturn concept never worked and GM should of killed it before it killed Oldsmobile. Pontiac is a historic name and they do make some very good cars but killing a big name like Pontiac is just stupid. Sell Saab, nobody ever thought them as part of GM anyways. And sell Hummer fast or just kill it altogether if it dont sell. Pontiac has a very strong customer base and you would anger those people and loose them forever. There is nothing wrong with Pontiac selling rebadged Holdens since they are not sold here. This is the correct thing to do but as we all know Rick Wagoner does not do the correct thing (step down).
     
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  6. Accordsforall (Ed) - Please spill your venom somewhere else. No wonder your BF left you.
     
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  7. According to Accordsforall's (Ed's) "wisdom", GM would only have one advertising budget (sharing it with the Aussies and the Germans I guess?) if they brought over Opel Astra or Holden Commodore without rebadging.
    The same way he can't tell a difference between gas and diesel cars, he can't tell the difference between rebadging GM Acadia as a Chevy and Holden as a Pontiac (or euro Honda Accord as Acura TSX) either.
    Your "business" expertise is at the level of the 8th grader (which happens to be exactly when you dropped out)
     
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  8. Re badging is wasteful especially when you are selling 2 similar cars on the same markets with different brands. People can still see the similarities. Pontiac G5 and Cobalt? Plus if they are selling the Cobalt why sell a Saturn compact as well? There is no use to compete against products the company is selling. You don't see Honda or Toyota selling another car rivaling for the same market as their existing products.
    What GM should do is sell Saab and Buick to China and give Hummer for free as well in the deal. Kill off Pontiac, GMC and Saturn. So all in all it should only have two main brands in the US Chevrolet and Cadillac to go with Opel, Holden and Daewoo. GM should have not started Saturn in the first place, they could have brought the Opel brand instead.
    GM with its high cost in product development for different brands around the world should learn on amalgamating the r&d of all its brands. Opel, Daewoo, Holden and Chevy should build the same compact car with Opel concentrating in Europe only, Daewoo in Asia, Holden in Australia and Chevy in North America. With that the cost cutting will be massive on its own.
     
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  9. I think that rebadging a vehicle from another market to sell here is a very good idea. It does give the automaker other options and they don't have to engineer from the ground up. However, I do agree that badge engineering in the same market is a waste. Honestly do we need a Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan/Lincoln MKX? Or do we need the Arcadia/Outlook/Enclave/Traverse? How about the exciting Aveo/G3 or the Cobalt/G5. I think the biggest problem is that GM has become GM's biggest competition. It has gotten a little out of hand.
     
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  10. "Your “business” expertise is at the level of the 8th grader (which happens to be exactly when you dropped out)"
    JerkD:Do not judge others by your own pitiful performance, Village Idiot!
    and are you THAT stupid, OR do you dishonestly misinterpret what I write?
    What I wrote was 100% CLEAR and it is NOT necessary for village idiots like YOU pitiful creature to misinterpret them!
    Idiot!
     
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  11. It is a sad day but one that GM has been heading to for some time.
    GM did nothing with SAAB, it could and should have a long time a go either killed it off or sold it on or done soemthing with it. It just kept pumping out another 9-3. Problem with selling it is that it is now all based on GM product anyway so who would buy it? It should have developed smaller cars and more than just the the 9-3. Sad also as seemed to be heading in a nice design direction.
    Saturn, again bad management, Saturn could have been turned into small car division but wasn't instead became just another badge engineered crap (apart from Sky, badge engineered but not crap). Time to Axe it.
    Pontiac, why Axe it? Either sell it or just keep going but at small rate.
    SAAB and Saturn I think just kill them off, any value they might have had is gone. Pontiac just park until hoped for better days.
    In the end though it isn't going to solve the problem. VW does ok with around 8 brands (if you include Porsche, VW, Audi, Skoda, SEAT, Lambo, Bugatti and Bentley) so it can be done if done properly. GM just needs better management.
    I'd do as VW and split into two Divisions with two dealer networks in the US; Chevrolet Division (everyday cars Chevy, Pontiac, & GMC) and Cadillac (upmarket- Caddy, Buick and Hummer). As an upmarket only brand I think Hummer still makes some sense.
    I'd keep Pontiac small, maybe 4 vehicle lines built off of other GM products but with unique styling, also would return to names eg Bonneville (for G8), GTO (using Camero parts), Tempest (G6) and Solstice
     
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  12. I totally agree. Saturn is ready to go I believe. Ditch Saab, I've never seen someone drive a new one anyway, so just do what should've been done along time ago, get rid of it. DO NOT kill Pontiac. Pontiac is just about the only hope left for performance fans such as myself. Of course they won't get rid of Chevy, which they shouldn't. But man do NOT get rid of Pontiac. I could see Hummer leaving though. Maybe even Buick, but Pontiac seems to be doing very well with the G6 and G8, but I agree give it a real name. Not these stupid letters and numbers. That's unidentifiable to me.
     
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  13. I think GM should keep SATURN and kill both PONTIAC & BUICK. They could probably sell the HUMMER & SAAB brands to some foolish group of venture capitalists.
    This would leave GM with three brands to build upon; CHEVY, SATURN & CADILLAC. This makes sense but they need to file for bankruptcy protection as well.
    Ford should eliminate the MERCURY line. When did you last see a Mercury on the road that didn't have a Hertz or Budget bar code in the back window?
     
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  14. Selling off brand or doing away with them all together will not solve the problem. If the US can not build a better and more affordable car than the foreign car companies they will still be in the same shape they are in now.They need to cut the fat at the top of the companies. Each white collar worker who is not needed could save four or five blue collar workers job. The unions need to open their eyes up as well and renegotiate with car companies to save jobs instead of being stubborn and maybe having thousands lose their jobs.
     
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  15. Kill Pontiac/Saturn. Sell SAAB. Kill GMC. Keep Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac. Make the G8 an Impala. Make the Impala a 2dr 4dr and Wagon (Just like it used to be!). Quit building duplicate and triplicate models under different names...this was never smart. Go back to the basics of the 50's and 60's, building fewer/better models with retro designs that will sell to Americans. We like retro...ie, Mustangs, Challenger, HHR, Camaro... Then, reorganize the UAW (b.s.) and find a cheaper health insurance agent. Quit spending millions on ads that don't work and find someone that will make ads for the Big 3 to compete with the foreign Big 3 (Honda/Nissan/Toyota). As far as Ford is concerned, get rid of Mercury and keep Ford/Lincoln brands only. Chrysler has already begun to eliminate cars that don't sell.
    GOD BLESS THE US AUTOMOBILE!
     
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  16. "GM Cant Sell Out"

    Im sorry But i honest think this is a buncha bs gm can sell out pontiac i dunno bout you but where i live every where i look theres a pontiac veichle driven around just cause the markets crashing doesnt mean they should sell out there what i call big seller i garentee ya theres more pontiac's so from gm then chevy it self i honestly thing this would be walking on thin ice for gm if they did that i dont think selling of saturn or PONTIAC! would be the greatest idea essecially with ford kicking with 4 brands of veichles and chrystler kicking with 3 its be bad for gms bisnesss added one meny pissed off gm driver that are driven saturn and pontiac! Worst Mistake gm would ever do is selling those brands off
     
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  17. "GM News"

    hey does anyone know that Whats happening with Gm Holden Austalia We make the new pontiac here and export to you guys. will we be impacted
     
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  18. "Mr"

    I think this is a huge joke! GM needs to look into what consumers are buying. Dump Cadilac,Satarn,Hummer and Saab. I am pissed off with the crap GM keeps pulling. I love my 09 G8 GT and would like to keep buing Pontiacs. If GM dumps Pontiac I will sadly start buying FORDS and say the hell with GM. It is time these jack asses start getting things right.
    Proud driver of a Pontiac.
     
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