Brand sticks with foreign flair for upcoming line-up
AT A GLANCE:
FUTURE PRODUCT PLANS
Vue restyled, re-engineered
Astra redesign possible
Aura restyled, re-engineered
Sky likely restyled, re-engineered
It might be a slight exaggeration to say that Saturn is Opel's U.S.
But GM is clearly sticking with its strategy to give Saturn a
GM will replace the Ion with an imported model, a rebadged Opel
Astra. Essentially, most Opels and Saturns are identical vehicles.
The 2008 Saturn Astra will go on sale at the end of the year for
about $16,000. That's a $3,500 jump from the 2007 Saturn Ion 2
sedan, the base model. Three- and five-door models are expected and
possibly a four-door sedan.
GM wants to assemble the next-generation Astra in Lordstown,
Ohio. GM wants to begin producion in 2009 for the 2010 model year.
Executives hope a hybrid Aura debuting for the 2008 model year
stimulates sales. Saturn sold only 27,229 Auras from January through
June. It is supposed to be one of Saturn's core vehicles.
But other than a hybrid, no significant changes are planned until
the next-generation Aura arrives for the 2010 model year
car will be restyled and developed on GM's re-engineered Epsilon
2 front-wheel-drive architecture
. The 2010 Aura will be
longer and wider
than today's car.
Despite the high praise that journalists gave the Opel GTC concept
unveiled this year at the Geneva auto show, GM has no plans to
offer an Aura coupe based on the concept
. Some journalists
viewed a potential Saturn version as a serious competitor to the
Nissan Altima and possibly the Infiniti G37 coupes. An Aura wagon
aimed at the Subaru Legacy Outback is no longer planned, either
While the Pontiac Solstice adds a fastback coupe, the Sky will
continue with one model, a two-passenger convertible. GM will likely
re-engineer and reskin or restyle the Sky for the 2011 model year
The restyled, re-engineered 2008 Vue went on sale this past spring.
A freshening is scheduled for the 2010 model year
Saturn drops its minivan during the 2008 model year