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Old 09-30-2009, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default GM shutting down Saturn

Just heard it on the radio...

From CNN
Penske pulls out of Saturn deal - Sep. 30, 2009
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:39 PM   #2
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They should have let the big 3 fold. If a company can't pull its weight it deserves to die. Possibly would have made room for smaller auto companies to get started and fill the void.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:00 PM   #3
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assuming vehicle quality is the issue and not some convoluted financial parasite:
here's an idea...make your car reliable and people will buy it. Put the same thought and process from the Vette into the entire fleet and you might sell some cars.
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by hustler View Post
assuming vehicle quality is the issue and not some convoluted financial parasite:
here's an idea...make your car reliable and people will buy it. Put the same thought and process from the Vette into the entire fleet and you might sell some cars.
With the vette they can make you pay a premium for their thought processes. Otherwise it appears the interns make the cars
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mazda/nissan View Post
With the vette they can make you pay a premium for their thought processes.
There is much truth here.

The same is true, to a degree, with Cadillac. There is not much platform-sharing there, so the chassis are rather more purpose-built than the rest of the GM line.

Still, the Corvette is a very special case within GM, given its celebrity status within the company. With a semi-dedicated assembly plant (fully-dedicated, now that the XLR is dead), there is definitely a greater sense of purpose about it. I can't see GM getting nearly as excited about any other vehicle wearing the Chevy / Buick / GMC / Opel / Vauxhall badges.

It's just as well. The Solstice & Sky both passed into history this June with the closure of the Wilmington plant. With them gone and the Firebird long a memory, there's really no reason for either Pontiac or Saturn to be alive anymore.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:56 PM   #6
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Crap...I don't see a recovering economy for a good long while.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:52 PM   #7
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Let em' die. Let GM die as a whole actually.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:19 PM   #8
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The new GM commercials have me laughing. I remember the ones comparing a Malibu (I think it was a Malibu) to the 3 series. I don't care if I could buy 2 Malis for the price of one 3 series, the BMW just has overall better quality, build, and "awesomeness" (like rechargeable BMW glove box flash lights). Toyota used to be exactly what I wanted from a car company. They offered a sporty front engine front wheel drive coupe, the Celica. However they also had a lightweight mid-engine, rear wheel drive convertible, the MR2. At least Nissan still has a 2 door RWD sports car, and a sports coupe and sport sedan. But Nissan used to offer 2 RWD coupes at one time, one of them twin turbocharged. And wasn't there a rumor about the new Camaro coming with a twin turbo option? Just seems like the big 3 lacks original ideas. Other than those crafty Germans, car companies are getting weak.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:24 PM   #9
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Its about time. I have never seen how Saturn has lasted this long. I see like 2 or 3 Saturn's a day on the road out of thousands of cars.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:54 AM   #10
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The problem is that Saturn started off good - solid engineering, reliability, economy, etc. Then, when they should have taken Saturn and applied the processes, ideas, etc. to the rest of GM, they instead applied GM's processes and whatnot to Saturn, and turned it into another batch of badge-engineered cars in the fleet.

Personally I don't understand the downright hatred that some people have for GM. Yeah, they made mistakes- and the biggest mistake of all was the shortsighted improvement of profits now (well, in the past) by making promises of healthcare and massive pensions to employees in the future (well, now), and the resultant cost-cutting that was necessary to maintain profitability at the expense of quality. Of course this ties into national healthcare/social security debates- GM (and other large companies) have to absorb these costs and price them into their vehicles, whereas other countries that provide them via the government pass these costs onto taxpayers and don't have to price them into their cars.

You know what, though? GM cars have come a long way in the last few years. Yeah, they still have their hits and misses, but overall, they're worlds better than they were years ago, yet people still insist on holding against them their failings from decades past. For crying out loud, if Japanese cars were held to the same standard, we'd all be swearing off the rustbucket pieces of ****- because that's what they were in decades past. Same with Korean cars. And Chinese cars are going to go through the same cycle.

I will say that there are a number of advantages to sharing lots of components- GM parts are dirt cheap. Even the dumb stuff- like relays and fuses- are all the same. If you lose a main EFI relay in a Miata, you're fucked, because it's a dealer part and nobody else has it- happened to me a hundred miles from home. If you lose a main EFI relay in a GM car, you just pull out the AC relay, or the horn relay, or the whatever other relay, swap places and be on your way- and almost every auto parts store will have replacement relays for next to nothing.

And anybody who says GM didn't hit a home run with the small block V8 is a freakin' imbecile.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:03 PM   #11
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good, i ******* hate saturn
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_man View Post
(nice things about GM)
I agree, to a point.

GM was the **** back in the 1940s - 1960s. They were innovative, they built good product, they helped win the war, and unfortunately, they set into motion a series of deals that would lead to their ultimate ruination, handing de-facto control of the company to the unions and creating an unsustainable pension / benefit program. Then, in the 1970s and 1980s, they started to feel the crunch, so they stopped innovating, cut costs by eliminating factory modernizations and (apparently) slashing R&D, and were ultimately surpassed by young, agile competitors.

Sounds pretty much like IBM. And RCA. And Raytheon. And Western Electric. etc etc. When was the last time that you, as an end-user, purchased a product made by any of those companies? Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, builds TV sets or washing machines or telephones or microprocessors in the USA anymore.

Is it not the natural order of things that the same become true of the auto industry?

Oh, sure, there will always be a market for niche products. Just like McIntosh still builds a select few of its products here in the US (using foreign-sourced components), I'm sure that the Corvette will continue to be produced in Bowling Green long after the entire US economy is purchased outright by 中国工商银行.


But I see no reason why the washing-machine class of vehicles (everything in the <$40k range) still need to be built here. Dissolve the company, spin off the profitable bits into independent entities managed by domestic holding corporations, and sell the badge to investors who can outsource design to Taiwan and production to Malaysia and The Philippines.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by hustler View Post
Put the same thought and process from the Vette into the entire fleet and you might sell some cars.
Vettes are junk. I had an '84 (yep, first year of the C4) and my mother had a '94. The '84 was a piece of **** and we spent a ton of money keeping it up. We sold it and a few years later I my mother was selling her '94. They didn't have a digital camera so I was taking a few pictures of it for the ad. After looking it over I found that she was having the same problems with her car that I did. The leather was cracking, plastic parts in the dash were cracked, windows leaking so badly that the screws in the doors were rusted making stains on the carpet, etc. TEN YEARS after the initial C4 and they still hadn't attempted to fix the glaring engineering defects that they had put in the car. I'll never buy another GM product. NEVER.

FWIW, both cars were taken care of EXTREMELY well. I think ours had about 4K miles a year on it when we sold it and my mother's probably had less than that. The cars simply fell apart. My mother bought a bad *** fire breathing '99 Vette after that but I haven't seen it enough to know if it has problems. Damn fast car though. My parents have always owned at least one Vette and I can remember riding in the cubby hole behind the seats when I was a kid. I grew up in them and have been around them all my life. They look bad as hell and a few of them are pretty powerful but they never were put together that well.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:20 PM   #14
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Personally, I don't think you can single out a manufacturer as having an entire fleet of shitty cars these days. They all have lemons, trust me, all of them. (Mitsubishi, might be an exception, all of their cars are ****...) I have owned a lot of cars, and every company has their issues. They simply try too hard to put out a new model every other year.

People have a short attention span and engineering and design try ot keep up...it's just not possible. Healthcare and pensions is what killed the american car (well that and the ****** at Car & Driver) The quality has come a long way in american cars, and at the same time the quality in foreign cars has gone down. I am not going to get into a big pissing match, but a lot of this quality bullshit is just pure brainwashing. Back in the 80s and 90s, yes...but it's simply not the case anymore.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:26 PM   #15
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But saturn makes cars people want to buy! Theyve been doing right since day 1 !?!?!
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hustler View Post
Put the same thought and process from the 1987 Buick Regal GNX into the entire fleet and you might sell some cars.
corrected
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:56 PM   #17
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I don't understand why Saturn is getting the boot. They are one of the few domestic cars I would consider buying if I ever did. Rccote is right, they make cars you want to buy instead of some of the other GM brands just making a car to fit a category! The Corvette and Camro are about the only GM cars that make you go DAMN! Malibu, Cobolt, Aveo, .... Most of those cars just look so damn boring and then you get in and its even worse on the inside. Now the chevy trucks might be a little better, but I have to say when you get in a nice crew cab 40k+ truck I would like to see some better buttons and controls than the cheap plastic crap found in most GM's.
They just do not seem to listen to what the buyers want. I am a very picky buyer when it comes to cars though.
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I agree, to a point.

GM was the **** back in the 1940s - 1960s. They were innovative, they built good product, they helped win the war, and unfortunately, they set into motion a series of deals that would lead to their ultimate ruination, handing de-facto control of the company to the unions and creating an unsustainable pension / benefit program. Then, in the 1970s and 1980s, they started to feel the crunch, so they stopped innovating, cut costs by eliminating factory modernizations and (apparently) slashing R&D, and were ultimately surpassed by young, agile competitors.

Sounds pretty much like IBM. And RCA. And Raytheon. And Western Electric. etc etc. When was the last time that you, as an end-user, purchased a product made by any of those companies? Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, builds TV sets or washing machines or telephones or microprocessors in the USA anymore.

Is it not the natural order of things that the same become true of the auto industry?

Oh, sure, there will always be a market for niche products. Just like McIntosh still builds a select few of its products here in the US (using foreign-sourced components), I'm sure that the Corvette will continue to be produced in Bowling Green long after the entire US economy is purchased outright by 中国工商银行.


But I see no reason why the washing-machine class of vehicles (everything in the <$40k range) still need to be built here. Dissolve the company, spin off the profitable bits into independent entities managed by domestic holding corporations, and sell the badge to investors who can outsource design to Taiwan and production to Malaysia and The Philippines.

Believe me, I don't disagree with you. I mostly feel the need to come out in favor of GM just to balance the sheer hatred that seems to permeate every corner of the internet.

I certainly agree that GM has certainly fallen into the traditional business cycle and appears to now be in the "decline" stage of it. I also certainly agree that vehicles should be designed and built where it is most cost effective to do so- not built here (or wherever) simply because it's "tradition" or anything else. I'm a big believer in markets.

One day, maybe, I'll understand the whole "I want GM to die and burn and they're terrible and every one of their cars should be summarily crushed on sight" attitudes that I see. I guess I just can't muster that level of hatred for, well, anything. Especially not an inanimate object like a car, or a non-human entity like a corporation. I just don't see how it's productive- it's right there, on productivity levels, with the union-management-board circle jerks that went around- got nowhere fast but everybody seemed to like it when it was going on.

The Corvette is an interesting example. There are a lot of things about it that are amazingly awesome (performance per dollar) and a lot of things that people have complained about for years (although many say that the C6 was worlds better than previous models in these areas) like the seats, fit and finish, build quality, etc. There are some things on the car that I just don't get- going back decades- like why they retained drum brakes for so long, why they retained vacuum-actuated flip-up headlights for so long, and why, oh why they still retain the transverse leaf springs. I mean, I get the advantages of the transverse leaf springs- packaging, weight, the fact that they are essentially their own sway bar, etc.- but the C6Rs are running with coilovers- that should say something.

And I doubt I'll buy any truck that's not made by GM.
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlogan View Post
quality in foreign cars has gone down
I don't think they have, I think an '89 240sx and '07 Z are both very well built and put together. But there are those foreign cars which were never all that high quality in the first place

And the reason that everyone here hates GM is because they make shitty cars, end of discussion. It was there shitty cars that got them into this mess and it will be there shitty cars that end them.
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:16 PM   #20
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And I doubt I'll buy any truck that's not made by GM.
Care to compare it to my Toyota Tacoma?

Didn't think so...
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