Future Saturn Products Stem From European Opels

Saturn Zafira Rendering

We've applauded GM's decision to transform Saturn from a brand associated with basic transportation to one exhibiting European style.; If you're of the same mindset, you'll like what's in store for the brand.; We're told to expect more badge-engineered Opels straight from the Continent, and here's but a taste of what's in the pipeline.

2010 By this point, Saturn's Aura - the sedan whose design helped spark the brand's rejuvenation - will be five years old.; Hoping to keep the car from getting too long in the tooth, we're told designers will freshen the car for the 2010 model year.; Don't expect anything too grandiose; a new Aura will arrive by 2012. 2011 Saturn's only been importing the Opel Astra for a year, but the Astra itself was last redesigned in 2004.; An all-new Astra, sharing the new global Delta platform with the Chevrolet Cruze and Volt, will arrive in the U.S. in 2011.; In a move to cut costs and actually make money on the car, expect the new Saturn Astra to be built in Mexico, not Belgium. Automotive News claims another Opel product should debut in the same year.; Bolstered by the success of the Mazda 5 in the U.S. market, the next iteration of Opel's Zafira - also a "mini-minivan" - will cross the pond with Saturn badges.; Also sharing the Astra's Delta platform, the Zafira (should the name remain the same) will seat approximately six or seven, albeit third-row seating will be extremely tight. 2012 The refreshed Aura will last but two years, falling away in favor of an all-new car based off the shapely Opel Insignia, which arrives in European showrooms in late 2008.; Expect the Saturn form to arrive only in sedan form, abandoning the attractive wagon form introduced at the 2008 London motor show. A possible arrival is a crossover slotting in below the Vue SUV.; Should it be approved, the vehicle would ride on GM's new Gamma platform, which will also support the next Opel Corsa. 2013 Speaking of that car, there's some buzz about the Corsa arriving in Saturn's lineup.; Although Saturn executives are reportedly "on the fence" about importing the subcompact Opel Corsa, sources at GM tell us that the Gamma platform is a hot topic within the design studios.; If deemed worthy for our shores, the Corsa wouldn't debut until 2013. Source: Automotive News

RadioKang
Great points limeyj. That Kadett-as-Lemans mess may have worked out better if the cars hadn't been poorly built DaeWoo knock-offs of the 1984 Kadett, and a more appropriate name than Lemans might have helped...A similar example was the 1976-79 "Buick-Opel-Isuzu", an Isuzu-built version of the rear-drive 1973 Kadett C but with the same Isuzu engine and transmissions used in the Chevy Luv pickups. Already somewhat outdated when it arrived here, powered by a dependable but wheezy truck engine. Real German Opels (imported from 1963-75) had a pretty loyal following in this country but the Isuzu project squandered it.It would appear that any good idea ever hatched in a GM boardroom dies a slow death of a million cuts before it ever gets implemented. No big shock Toyota is eating GM's lunch these days.
limeyj
GM has always been behind the times with regards to bringing stuff over from Europe. Remember the late 80's/early 90's Pontiac LeMans? That was identical to the Opel Kadett I first saw in Europe in the EARLY 80's.BTW, who's bright idea was it to put a storied name like LeMans on a badge-engineered Opel econobox? Makes me want to upchuck my strudel.
NoNameDenton
I agree, that is why they are going to start building them in the US in the Spring Hill, Tennessee plant.
RadioKang
GM continues their strategy of always being at least five years behind the times. Wait five years to maybe import the Corsa? Good plan; GM must figure the small car craze will never last, and besides we don't want to cut into Mini Cooper and Smart Car sales. Hold off on a replacement of the Aura? Beautiful, who'd want a Saturn version of the gorgeous Opel Insignia until long after the Aura is totally stale and outdated but still a big hit in the rental fleets?The Opel-Saturn connection is brilliant but the time delay in getting the goods on the streets in the U.S. will continue to hurt the revival of Saturn.

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