GM May Build Astra in America– Probably Won't

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
gm may build astra in america probably won t

What's with Bloomberg (and The Detroit News for carrying this story)? As GM prepares to unleash the imported Saturn Astra on the American hinterland [see: TTAC review], the financial news organization suggests that the model could be built stateside. Ostensibly, this is not new news. Unlike the case of the Australian Pontiac G8, GM has not backed away from its plan to test the American waters with the Astra, and then decide if sales volumes justify re-planting production in an American (Mexican?) plant. And in fact, it's not new news either. "We have to look at the volume and what prices are realistic," said Hans Demant, who heads GM's Adam Opel division, at a Handelsblatt automotive conference Tuesday in Frankfurt." So, is Bloomberg/Detroit News shilling for GM? (Perish the thought.) If there's anything else to be gleaned from this "news" report, it's that Demant put a number to the "let's do it stateside!" threshold: 250k U.S. Astras per annum. That would be 4807 per week, or 119 per day (with no time off for holidays). What are the chances?

Join the conversation
4 of 7 comments
  • Redbarchetta Redbarchetta on Dec 12, 2007

    I give it 2 years and a lot of cash on the hood before they cancel this experiment. They will be lucky to sell a quarter of that target unless they are giving the cars away at an even bigger loss. Does anything in the Saturn line up sell that many units a year?

  • Virages Virages on Dec 12, 2007

    Hey, what's up with the hate on this car? Here in europe the C-segment cars are top sellers and are a reasonable compromise on size and utility. When I lived in the USA, to me, there was a complete lack of choice of small (for usa standards) cars. 5 door hatches with 5 speeds models can still be counted on your fingertips (Mazda3, Impreza...) Any extra choice is welcome! The only worry that I would have in building Astra models in the USA is what happened to the Ford Focus. Europe is a full cycle ahead, and the US gets the cheapified version.

  • Redbarchetta Redbarchetta on Dec 12, 2007
    Europe is a full cycle ahead, and the US gets the cheapified version. You answered your own question. There is a market for cars like this, I personally like the small hatches, but not in the numbers they "hope" to sell and eventually start production here. If the car was given time to garner a following over a few generations and constant improvements, in time it could be a success. But GM is short sighted and only thinks instant profits, so when the car doesn't sell in the numbers they hope they will kill it and move on to the next big thing.
  • EJ_San_Fran EJ_San_Fran on Dec 12, 2007

    Who is willing to bet a 6-pack that Astra will sell 250K per year?