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(CNN)   GM plant in Spring Hill TN (home to Saturn cars) to be revamped with $2 billion spent toward manufacture of EVs. A Different Kind of Car Company, indeed   (cnn.com) divider line
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408 clicks; posted to Business » on 20 Oct 2020 at 8:05 PM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-10-20 5:54:36 PM  
But Trump said car manufacturers don't have to.
 
2020-10-20 6:05:58 PM  
GM hated the very idea of Saturn so much that they killed it.  There's no way that GM can survive the transition to electric.  They're simply not built for that.
 
2020-10-20 6:43:21 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: GM hated the very idea of Saturn so much that they killed it.  There's no way that GM can survive the transition to electric.  They're simply not built for that.


We really miss our Saturn, totaled by a red light runner. Great car.

GM is the premier inside the box thinking company so I agree, they're probably going to make electric vehicles I don't want to buy to match their other stuff.
 
2020-10-20 7:00:18 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: GM hated the very idea of Saturn so much that they killed it.  There's no way that GM can survive the transition to electric.  They're simply not built for that.


Saturn could have been THE brand for EV. From a marketing standpoint, they were the perfect fit. But no, OldGM had to make them the US dumping ground for Opels, and NuGM didn't want excess brands.
 
2020-10-20 7:01:03 PM  
A different kind of car company. Altogether.
 
2020-10-20 7:44:39 PM  
I drove a Saturn four-door for about 5 years in the very early '00s, loved that car.
 
2020-10-20 8:17:12 PM  
As soon as the GM Beancounters noticed Saturn was succeeding by not doing things the GM way, they killed it.
 
2020-10-20 8:25:09 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: GM hated the very idea of Saturn so much that they killed it.  There's no way that GM can survive the transition to electric.  They're simply not built for that.


They've half assed all their EV stuff so far.  I don't expect them to stop now.
 
2020-10-20 8:28:15 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: There's no way that GM can survive the transition to electric.


Subby here.

GM is an incredible shrinking auto manufacturer. In 2017 they sold GM Europe (Opel/Vauxhall) after saying they lost money for 16 years straight. Sold to Groupe PSA (Peugeot, Citroën, DS) who promptly turned a profit in the first year of ownership, so you have to ask what was really going on there with management.

Anyways, GM has basically exited all markets other than North America (which means the USA, with Canada as a minor afterthought) and China. Any remaining sales in other countries/continents are negligible.
 
2020-10-20 8:46:22 PM  

mrmopar5287: Marcus Aurelius: There's no way that GM can survive the transition to electric.

Subby here.

GM is an incredible shrinking auto manufacturer. In 2017 they sold GM Europe (Opel/Vauxhall) after saying they lost money for 16 years straight. Sold to Groupe PSA (Peugeot, Citroën, DS) who promptly turned a profit in the first year of ownership, so you have to ask what was really going on there with management.

Anyways, GM has basically exited all markets other than North America (which means the USA, with Canada as a minor afterthought) and China. Any remaining sales in other countries/continents are negligible.


The former GM could lose two entire layers of management with nobody noticing but the affected families.
 
2020-10-20 8:55:33 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size


Miss me yet?
 
2020-10-20 8:57:14 PM  
GM brought back the "Hummer" brand to introduce a BEV into the most popular vehicle segment in the US. 

/Says a lot.
 
2020-10-20 9:01:37 PM  

dionysusaur: The former GM could lose two entire layers of management with nobody noticing but the affected families.


No kidding. I recall a business survey of GM some time ago where the assistant to a VP drove 40 miles each morning to retrieve the local newspaper to put on that VP's desk each morning. When asked why he did that, the reply was that some day he might work his way up to have an assistant he could have do that for him.
 
2020-10-20 9:02:40 PM  

Johnsnownw: GM brought back the "Hummer" brand to introduce a BEV into the most popular vehicle segment in the US. 

/Says a lot.


Only after Tesla and Rivian announced their vehicles. 3rd place is not a good position to be in.
 
2020-10-20 9:28:57 PM  
Here. We. Go. This will end in fireworks.
 
2020-10-20 9:33:08 PM  

mrmopar5287: Marcus Aurelius: There's no way that GM can survive the transition to electric.

Subby here.

GM is an incredible shrinking auto manufacturer. In 2017 they sold GM Europe (Opel/Vauxhall) after saying they lost money for 16 years straight. Sold to Groupe PSA (Peugeot, Citroën, DS) who promptly turned a profit in the first year of ownership, so you have to ask what was really going on there with management.

Anyways, GM has basically exited all markets other than North America (which means the USA, with Canada as a minor afterthought) and China. Any remaining sales in other countries/continents are negligible.


Ford and GM do not really want to make cars anymore. For about 30 years now, they have loved their profits and their cash cows, but they really would rather be doing something else. I can not think of any other explanation.

There ARE people in the world who want to make cars, and you know who they are. They wake up every damned day looking forward to tweaking this and rolling out that. Conceptualizing this. Testing that. They do not work at Ford or GM.
 
2020-10-20 9:45:52 PM  

WordsnCollision: [Fark user image 660x371]

Miss me yet?


It goes full circle. GM's EV-1 was serviced under the Saturn brand. The EV-1 gets killed. The Saturn brand gets killed. Now the former Saturn plant will be making EVs.
 
2020-10-20 9:53:09 PM  

mrmopar5287: Johnsnownw: GM brought back the "Hummer" brand to introduce a BEV into the most popular vehicle segment in the US. 

/Says a lot.

Only after Tesla and Rivian announced their vehicles. 3rd place is not a good position to be in.


I'd say GM dreams of being 3rd.  Their entire existence is built on internal combustion.  Their suppliers, their dealers, their repair shops.  Electric blows all of that right up.  Far fewer parts and far less to break.  Tens of thousands of jobs in engine plants are going to be lost in the next few years.
 
2020-10-20 10:48:20 PM  
Saturns were underpowered plastic pieces of crap.
 
2020-10-20 11:33:39 PM  

majestic: Saturns were underpowered plastic pieces of crap.


Eh, they were decent, for a while at least.

My mom's 1st-gen SC (essentially an SC2, but they hadn't yet split the coupe trim levels as such) was a nice car, roughly on-par in quality with a Mazda, Nissan, or Mitsubishi of the era. And it had approximately the same power and mileage as competing cars. (Only complaint I had was the headroom). It was a fun little car to drive.

Later, however, they did falter and start cutting back. GM bean-counters got in the way. Mom now has a 3rd-gen SL2. In reality, not too different than the 1st-gen. Same engine, drive train, and frame. But the fit and finish isn't near what the early models presented. It runs so much rougher, and damn the road noise it lets in. Only reason it's still around is that she'd rarely drive it (mostly just to work and back, local errands), kept putting off pulling the trigger on the CR-V she wanted, an then retired and now basically just never drives.

I have no idea about the LS (an Opel IIRC?), their SUV (probably the same platform as used by other GM divisions), or that roadster that was also a Pontiac. They certainly looked uninspiring, at least.
 
2020-10-20 11:39:33 PM  

spiralscratch: majestic: Saturns were underpowered plastic pieces of crap.

Eh, they were decent, for a while at least.

My mom's 1st-gen SC (essentially an SC2, but they hadn't yet split the coupe trim levels as such) was a nice car, roughly on-par in quality with a Mazda, Nissan, or Mitsubishi of the era. And it had approximately the same power and mileage as competing cars. (Only complaint I had was the headroom). It was a fun little car to drive.

Later, however, they did falter and start cutting back. GM bean-counters got in the way. Mom now has a 3rd-gen SL2. In reality, not too different than the 1st-gen. Same engine, drive train, and frame. But the fit and finish isn't near what the early models presented. It runs so much rougher, and damn the road noise it lets in. Only reason it's still around is that she'd rarely drive it (mostly just to work and back, local errands), kept putting off pulling the trigger on the CR-V she wanted, an then retired and now basically just never drives.

I have no idea about the LS (an Opel IIRC?), their SUV (probably the same platform as used by other GM divisions), or that roadster that was also a Pontiac. They certainly looked uninspiring, at least.


Saturn was never profitable.

Operating outside of the UAW contract was supposed to be more efficient, but it turned out it wasn't.
 
2020-10-20 11:39:58 PM  

spiralscratch: majestic: Saturns were underpowered plastic pieces of crap.

Eh, they were decent, for a while at least.

My mom's 1st-gen SC (essentially an SC2, but they hadn't yet split the coupe trim levels as such) was a nice car, roughly on-par in quality with a Mazda, Nissan, or Mitsubishi of the era. And it had approximately the same power and mileage as competing cars. (Only complaint I had was the headroom). It was a fun little car to drive.

Later, however, they did falter and start cutting back. GM bean-counters got in the way. Mom now has a 3rd-gen SL2. In reality, not too different than the 1st-gen. Same engine, drive train, and frame. But the fit and finish isn't near what the early models presented. It runs so much rougher, and damn the road noise it lets in. Only reason it's still around is that she'd rarely drive it (mostly just to work and back, local errands), kept putting off pulling the trigger on the CR-V she wanted, an then retired and now basically just never drives.

I have no idea about the LS (an Opel IIRC?), their SUV (probably the same platform as used by other GM divisions), or that roadster that was also a Pontiac. They certainly looked uninspiring, at least.


Friend of mine had a Saturn back in the day. The only thing that car was good for (better at) was not getting dents when we were out front throwing footballs/baseballs/beer cans.
 
2020-10-20 11:47:00 PM  

wingnut396: Marcus Aurelius: GM hated the very idea of Saturn so much that they killed it.  There's no way that GM can survive the transition to electric.  They're simply not built for that.

They've half assed all their EV stuff so far.  I don't expect them to stop now.


The Volt was pretty groundbreaking.
 
2020-10-20 11:53:18 PM  

paulleah: wingnut396: Marcus Aurelius: GM hated the very idea of Saturn so much that they killed it.  There's no way that GM can survive the transition to electric.  They're simply not built for that.

They've half assed all their EV stuff so far.  I don't expect them to stop now.

The Volt was pretty groundbreaking.


The Volt was too expensive when it was introduced. By the time GM figured that out it was too late.
 
2020-10-20 11:57:26 PM  

paulleah: wingnut396: Marcus Aurelius: GM hated the very idea of Saturn so much that they killed it.  There's no way that GM can survive the transition to electric.  They're simply not built for that.

They've half assed all their EV stuff so far.  I don't expect them to stop now.

The Volt was pretty groundbreaking.


The Volt was an awesome car, until GM killed it for not being an SUV.

/Fark you, car companies, there are people who don't want SUVs.
 
2020-10-21 1:13:56 AM  

majestic: Saturns were underpowered plastic pieces of crap.


But my 02 SL1 keeps chugging along. Maintenance has been little and what has been done I did, and parts are easy to find and the plastic sides look exactly the same. I don't drive much now, so it will de around for many years.
 
2020-10-21 2:05:04 AM  
I loved my Saturn. an SL1. the first one in California that was purple, but salespeople lie, but I still think that I was.
I could fit an 8 foot ladder inside the car with the back hatch shut, so I was able to do a lot of side gigs that involved me being up a ladder. It did not have an ass buster seat like most cheap cars, I got really good mileage, the heater and ac worked nice, the radio did not have a problem locking on to a frequency.

I learned to never lease a vehicle because of that car.

12 large after 3 years for that car ? Are you insane ?

Anyhow . Anyhow- I do miss that car to this day, and I have owned classic collectors volkswagon buses .
Did I mention it was  a deep purple ?
 
2020-10-21 5:38:55 AM  

dustman81: WordsnCollision: [Fark user image 660x371]

Miss me yet?

It goes full circle. GM's EV-1 was serviced under the Saturn brand. The EV-1 gets killed. The Saturn brand gets killed. Now the former Saturn plant will be making EVs.


More like circles within circles.

Toyota had an EV in the 80s. GM had an early EV too. Toyota and GM got together and made the NUMMI plant in California. GM bailed out and sold the plant to Toyota. GM went off to make the Volt. Toyota entered a venture with a little start up company, Tesla, to produce an EV RAV, which did not sell well. Toyota sold that plant to Tesla in exchange for stock and I think some cash. Tesla went on to produce all of its cars for many years at that plant before expanding to the Gigafactory.

And here we are. I remember years ago when I suggested that GM should just buy Tesla and double down on EVs producing Volts and Bolts and toys for rich people. Now Tesla does not really need GM anymore, but if it bought GM it could make a big production leap.

/ it wont happen.
 
2020-10-21 5:52:32 AM  

paulleah: wingnut396: Marcus Aurelius: GM hated the very idea of Saturn so much that they killed it.  There's no way that GM can survive the transition to electric.  They're simply not built for that.

They've half assed all their EV stuff so far.  I don't expect them to stop now.

The Volt was pretty groundbreaking.


It was a plug in hybrid. And not even the first. It is a nice car, but not groundbreaking.

There are batshiat crazy things going on in the world my friend. Do you know that there are huge numbers of natural gas passenger cars all over Asia? Diesel hybrids. There are many many hydrogen vehicles throughout the world already, but everyone thinks it is revolutionary or does not work, etc. Small vehicles of all kinds. Buses. Forklifts. China has production models of all kinds of wacky vehicles.

I have driven a Mirai several times. EVs have been in production for longer than Tesla has been selling them, for sure.

I guess I do not know what you mean by groundbreaking.

When I said that GM does not want to make cars anymore, this is a case in point. The Volt Bolt line is perfectly good. Everyone who has one seems to like it, but somehow, GM will just give up and shrug and assume that some better vehicle will come down the pike. GM smells like Sears.
 
2020-10-21 7:22:51 AM  

wingnut396: Marcus Aurelius: GM hated the very idea of Saturn so much that they killed it.  There's no way that GM can survive the transition to electric.  They're simply not built for that.

They've half assed all their EV stuff so far.  I don't expect them to stop now.


The Bolt is a great car
 
2020-10-21 7:24:22 AM  

mrmopar5287: Johnsnownw: GM brought back the "Hummer" brand to introduce a BEV into the most popular vehicle segment in the US. 

/Says a lot.

Only after Tesla and Rivian announced their vehicles. 3rd place is not a good position to be in.


They're also backing Lordstown, which has an amazing product (on paper, at least... we'll need to see the real thing). They're planning on getting their pickup out before Tesla or Rivian
 
2020-10-21 7:27:42 AM  

2fardownthread: hydrogen vehicles


farkin' cut it out. It's gross. What if someone was eating while reading this thread?!

Disgusting.
 
2020-10-21 8:03:38 AM  

2fardownthread: paulleah: wingnut396: Marcus Aurelius: GM hated the very idea of Saturn so much that they killed it.  There's no way that GM can survive the transition to electric.  They're simply not built for that.

They've half assed all their EV stuff so far.  I don't expect them to stop now.

The Volt was pretty groundbreaking.

It was a plug in hybrid. And not even the first. It is a nice car, but not groundbreaking.

There are batshiat crazy things going on in the world my friend. Do you know that there are huge numbers of natural gas passenger cars all over Asia? Diesel hybrids. There are many many hydrogen vehicles throughout the world already, but everyone thinks it is revolutionary or does not work, etc. Small vehicles of all kinds. Buses. Forklifts. China has production models of all kinds of wacky vehicles.

I have driven a Mirai several times. EVs have been in production for longer than Tesla has been selling them, for sure.

I guess I do not know what you mean by groundbreaking.

When I said that GM does not want to make cars anymore, this is a case in point. The Volt Bolt line is perfectly good. Everyone who has one seems to like it, but somehow, GM will just give up and shrug and assume that some better vehicle will come down the pike. GM smells like Sears.


Was there a plug-in hybrid (in US markets) prior to the Volt? I can't recall anything that was out there and available at the time (I know Toyota was already messing about with a plug-in Prius, but it wasn't available until a couple years after the Volt. Ford had the C-Max and Volvo had a plug in about the same time as the Prius Prime, I believe).

But to your point about GM's business interests, I agree. They seemed way more interested in being an auto finance company than an automaker for quite a while, but then GMAC got spun off to be independent in the bankruptcy (and still is doing well as Ally bank). Since then, they've been plodding along churning out "me too" cars/trucks.
 
2020-10-21 8:07:08 AM  

2fardownthread: Diesel hybrids


Why? That's a combination that doesn't make sense.

In the 1990s the Department of Energy embarked on the "Supercar" project with the Big 3 to make an 80 mpg car. The concept Chrysler built was a car based on the Dodge Intrepid but it featured a diesel engine and hybrid technology. That was back when diesel emissions were laughably non-existent, so you could easily build a 4-cylinder diesel engine without expensive technology.

Fast forward to today and diesel engines are expensive to build. Common-rail fuel systems with 35,000 psi injectors, piezoelectric injectors, particulate filters, urea catalysts, etc. The point of Toyota building the Prius (notably, after the US DOE barred them from participating in the "Supercar" project) was to pair the hybrid electric motor with a small, low-torque engine. The electric motor would pick up the torque where the gasoline engine could not, and the gasoline engine could be built to be very efficient but where you'd never want it alone in powering a car.

Pairing hybrids with diesel engines makes no sense. The diesel engine is already expensive and they can handle powering a car just fine with all the torque they make. Adding hybrid technology just makes it even more expensive. There is no sales or efficiency case for a diesel hybrid.
 
2020-10-21 8:13:15 AM  

eKonk: Was there a plug-in hybrid (in US markets) prior to the Volt? I can't recall anything that was out there and available at the time (I know Toyota was already messing about with a plug-in Prius, but it wasn't available until a couple years after the Volt.


The market case for the Volt was based upon 40 miles BEV range and then alleviating range anxiety. GM studies showed that something like 75% of people commuted less than 40 miles in their average driving day. They pitched the Volt as achieving that to be the ideal car for the majority of drivers. Then, the gasoline engine functioned as a range extender for the people who needed to drive more than 40 miles, even up to and including across the USA on long trips.

The Prius plug-in was built with a battery just large enough to qualify for a tax credit ($2,500 federal and then $1,500 in California; other states might have had a little credit too). The market reason was to give people maybe 15 miles on battery power (if you didn't goose it hard) but that battery then got you a tax credit.
 
2020-10-21 8:32:53 AM  

majestic: Saturns were underpowered plastic pieces of crap.


Yeah, they're awesome. Goes, stops, has heat/ac/cruise control, gets 36mpg.  My wife's is approaching 190k, and cost $1,000 ten years ago. Turning off the AC is like hitting the turbo button on an old 386 tower.
 
2020-10-21 8:51:31 AM  
My first car was a '91 Saturn SL2.  I loved it.
 
2020-10-21 11:15:39 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: GM hated the very idea of Saturn so much that they killed it.  There's no way that GM can survive the transition to electric.  They're simply not built for that.


The fact that it lost several billion dollars is a factor too.
 
2020-10-21 11:22:48 AM  

mcreadyblue: spiralscratch: majestic: Saturns were underpowered plastic pieces of crap.

Eh, they were decent, for a while at least.

My mom's 1st-gen SC (essentially an SC2, but they hadn't yet split the coupe trim levels as such) was a nice car, roughly on-par in quality with a Mazda, Nissan, or Mitsubishi of the era. And it had approximately the same power and mileage as competing cars. (Only complaint I had was the headroom). It was a fun little car to drive.

Later, however, they did falter and start cutting back. GM bean-counters got in the way. Mom now has a 3rd-gen SL2. In reality, not too different than the 1st-gen. Same engine, drive train, and frame. But the fit and finish isn't near what the early models presented. It runs so much rougher, and damn the road noise it lets in. Only reason it's still around is that she'd rarely drive it (mostly just to work and back, local errands), kept putting off pulling the trigger on the CR-V she wanted, an then retired and now basically just never drives.

I have no idea about the LS (an Opel IIRC?), their SUV (probably the same platform as used by other GM divisions), or that roadster that was also a Pontiac. They certainly looked uninspiring, at least.

Saturn was never profitable.

Operating outside of the UAW contract was supposed to be more efficient, but it turned out it wasn't.


The main problem was that building an entire separate dealer network to sell a single low profit small car was a bad idea from a profit/loss standpoint.  If it was merely a sub brand to Oldsmobile (as once was proposed) it might have worked (and might have saved Oldsmobile too).
 
2020-10-21 1:44:53 PM  

edmo: Marcus Aurelius: GM hated the very idea of Saturn so much that they killed it.  There's no way that GM can survive the transition to electric.  They're simply not built for that.

We really miss our Saturn, totaled by a red light runner. Great car.

GM is the premier inside the box thinking company so I agree, they're probably going to make electric vehicles I don't want to buy to match their other stuff.


Look at the Chevy Bolt. Complete sleeper design, Looks like a ugly duck, goes like stink.
 
2020-10-21 7:03:35 PM  

2fardownthread: It was a plug in hybrid. And not even the first. It is a nice car, but not groundbreaking.


The gen 2 Volts having 52 mile electric range is actually still pretty great for a PHEV.  Plugin hybrids are really a great type of transitional vehicle, too, for the United States, until sufficient charging infrastructure exists where buying a pure EV isn't restrictive.  98% of my trips can be done on electricity with the Volt, but the gas engine means I have an answer for the last 2% as well.

Also, the gas engine is nice if you live as far north as I do, because when it's 20 below zero outside, the Volt can run the gas engine which produces a lot more heat than electric heating would do, and it doesn't take your entire battery just to keep the car warm.
 
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