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The Future of Saturn - Autoweek

Date: Aug 1, 2007


Author: Flybrian

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Original Article:

Future Saturns Stay European

Date: Jul 30, 2007


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Link to Original Article @ AutoWeek | Published 07/30/07, 11:56 am et

Future Saturns Stay European
Brand sticks with foreign flair for upcoming line-up

Astra debuts
Vue restyled, re-engineered

Astra redesign possible
Aura restyled, re-engineered
Outlook freshened

Sky likely restyled, re-engineered


It might be a slight exaggeration to say that Saturn is Opel's U.S. brand.

But GM is clearly sticking with its strategy to give Saturn a European flavor.

Astra: 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.

AURA: 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. The 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.

SKY: 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.

VUE: The restyled, re-engineered 2008 Vue went on sale this past spring.

OUTLOOK: A freshening is scheduled for the 2010 model year.

RELAY: Saturn drops its minivan during the 2008 model year

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