If It Won't Sell at Saturn Prices, Try Selling It as a Buick

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
if it won t sell at saturn prices try selling it as a buick

Earlier today, Robert noted that “GM doesn’t have a fucking clue what it’s doing with its products or brands.” For more proof of this, consider this report from GMInsideNews which claims that a Buick-branded version of Opel’s Astra has been approved for the North American market. According to the GMI story, the 2012 Buick “Astra” will be built at either GM’s Lordstown, OH, assembly plant or at their new San Luis Potosi, Mexico, assembly plant starting in 2011. The crazy part? “At this point the car has NOT been approved for Buick in China, that decision will be up to Shanghai GM.”

Of course, to make it all work GM has to hang on to Opel. Which means getting an outside investor to pony up cash (in order to secure a further $4.4 billion in German government loans) without buying the whole concern out from under The General. This outcome is highly unlikely to say the least. But that’s probably good news for GM in the long term, since the Astra-as-Buick decision proves that GM desperately needs to be saved from itself. The Astra has been a singular sales flop for GM under the Saturn brand, with sales hitting noticeable numbers only after the model was canceled. At a higher price-point, and with an even more compromised brand’s badge on the hood, the Astra will be headed nowhere fast.

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4 of 42 comments
  • Dcdriver Dcdriver on May 07, 2009

    The Astra's sales are pathetic in part b/c of bad timing. It was released just as the car industry and the economy began to tank. New car purchases across the board have been terrible for over a year, and the ones that are purchased tend to be those that people are already comfortable with - The Accamrys etc. I think the G8 suffered the same fate regarding timing. I drive 300-400 miles a week, mostly highway and I've seen maybe 1 or 2 G8's on the road total, same with the Astra.

  • Dcdriver Dcdriver on May 07, 2009

    Yes, an affordable (35k) near-luxury, convertibe with a back seat comfortable for 2 adults wouldn't be a bad idea for Buick. The Lacrosse convertible. With Pontiac dead, GM needs something to repace the G6 convertible.

  • Redwood Redwood on May 07, 2009

    I'm glad I am not the only person that noticed something wrong with that idea.

  • Jahmmy Jahmmy on May 12, 2009

    This is funny!!! How are you going to recreate a failure... WOW!!!! They are really pulling them out of their butts now!!!! I appreciate GM's failure!!!!!