By on March 16, 2010

We knew that production of HUMMER H3 and H3Ts was continuing, as an unnamed fleet buyer has ordered the final batch of 849 units from GM’s Shreveport plant, but that’s not the only Zombie nameplate that GM just can’t seem to kill. Automotive News [sub] reports that 1,037 Saturn Outlooks were built last month “to utilize existing materials” according to GM spokesfolks. According to production stats published at GMI, about 3,000 Saturn Vues were also built in February at GM’s Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico. Is GM having brand separation anxiety, or are zombie car nameplates as hard to kill as their undead namesakes?

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38 Comments on “They Live!: GM Adds Saturn Outlook and Vue To Zombie Production Roster...”


  • avatar
    Tseug

    The Outlook was the best looking – inside and out – of the bunch (Enclave, Traverse, and Acadia), IMHO. I’ll be happy to see a few more on the road.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    I can easily see this happening. A union contract will require notice of a closure – for most companies about 60 days…. for a UAW location it could be decades…if ever (anybody know what will happen to the Saturn workers?)

    So you have a labor force that you are paying anyhow.

    Then you even with the best ‘just in time’ contracts, you’d have a commitment to your suppliers for some minimum order size that you’re paying for even if those parts were never delivered.

    Therefore the logical thing to do is to use the paid-for labor, and the paid-for parts and make something that you can sell to defray those expenses.

    So logical, it doesn’t seem very GM-like

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    The strategy of using up parts makes sense.

    Just don’t be surprised if we see vehicles similar to the final run of 1960 Edsels. Some had Edsel door sills on one side of the car, and Ford sills on the other.

  • avatar
    morbo

    Zombie bank (US Treasury) financing a zombie carmaker (GM) to build zombie cars (Vue) for a zombie brand (Saturn) that will undoubtedly fill orders for a zombie car group (Carmax, Avis) which will be offloaded via zombie auto financing (GMAC) for zombie consumers already overburdened with debt but too weak minded to resist the sweet taste of rendered brains… errs new cars.

    Last Halloween i was going to go as an undead banker, in a zombified flannel business suit, feasting on debt (mangled credit cards, bank statements, etc.). But it hit a little too close to home for me.

  • avatar
    Rusnak_322

    Semi off topic.
    I am shopping for a big SUV/CUV and I can not figure out why the Saturn and GMC version of the traverse costs so much more then a similarly equipped Chevy.
    The Saturn and GMC dealers couldn’t answer that either.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Hmmmmmmmm… why not just stock the parts so the body shops and repair shops have a resource to draw from for the next 20 years?

    • 0 avatar
      ASISEEIT

      Well you see DAN the general public will buy the foreign made repair part or body panel. These parts are non-union and specially produced with slave labor!!! You see DAN these foreign countries that produce these parts are ALL non-union and besides they own America!!! Isn’t that great?!!!! I’m sure these facts would make your father proud!, the old union man that you’ve told us he was!!!

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      Grandfather, but I get your point.

    • 0 avatar
      Christy Garwood

      educatordan, it is a standard practice to produce service repair parts at the start of a production run and store them. Actuaries determine how many parts to store based on history.

      Lokki, the Outlook, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and now the Chevy Traverse are all produced in the same plant in Lansing Delta Township in Michigan by the same people, GM-UAW workers.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Beyond using up the parts, they get to log those zombies as sales.

  • avatar

    To GM’s credit, they’ve been fairly consistent in saying only “core brand” sales matter since Chapter 11.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    If they’re making money on these I don’t see what’s wrong.

    Zombie brands and all.

  • avatar

    Are there any plans to revive the Sky?

  • avatar
    ffdr4

    I don’t know about the US, but here in the Toronto area a brand new Saturn Vue with all the incentives are going for cheap. My friend was cross shopping the CRV and Tucson when he came across a brand new fully loaded Vue. The price difference between a mid level 2wd CRV and a fully loaded new Vue is around $10k. The Vue handles tighter than a CRV and has much more comfortable seats.

  • avatar
    Lemmy-powered

    Wow. I am sure I’m not alone in saying that I had already completely forgotten that the Vue and Outlook ever existed.

  • avatar
    Liger

    There is a company in Houston that builds “new” Deloreans from all the leftover parts when Delorean went bankrupt in the 80’s.

  • avatar
    210delray

    I am assuming that all of these H3s, Outlooks and Vues will have VINs showing them as 2010 models. Does anyone know for sure?

  • avatar

    See how Saturn stacks up to its competition in Consumer Reports’ new April Autos Issue, just out. Besides its zombie brands, see if any other models were on our best/worst list or in our top picks of 2010. You can access the free article from Consumer Reports here: http://www.2010AnnualAutoIssue.com.

  • avatar

    Hey, that’s my photo. What an honor to have it used on TTAC.

    The building in this photo was originally the home of Joe Bullard Hummer in Mobile, Alabama. When Hummer sales dried up in 2008 Bullard moved Hummer to his Cadillac store and put his Saturn dealership in the Hummer building. I rarely go to Mobile anymore and I don’t know what is in this building now that Saturn is gone.

    Today I was in Pensacola, Florida and noticed that the Saturn dealership there has closed and the property is for sale. During the 1970’s and 1980’s this location was occupied by an AMC-Jeep dealer.

  • avatar
    Loser

    I wish GM would have done this with the G8. My plan was to buy a 2010 G8 GXP…..that plan didn’t work out so well.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      Im sure some sorry dealership SOMEWHERE has one sitting on the lots.

      They can do an easy trade…

      Go check on the Pontiac Buick dealer in Elton Maryland… theyve got a few in trade.

  • avatar
    Rusnak_322

    What is a Saturn’s value going to look like in 5 years? How did the Oldsmobile’s hold up compared to Buick and Chevy resale of similar cars?

  • avatar
    Accazdatch

    These god damn things (Lambdas) are a scourge on the landscape, its not bad enough to have the Burban, but the Tahoe. Now to confuse all of the little GM brand conscious consumers…, lets produce 4 of the filthy things to really screw with value and brand definition. They were a BRAND and badge DISASTER from the moment each of these little bastard children were hatched.

    Just the concept that GM can fuck over the tax payer to allow these bastards to be produced.. is just another nail in the coffin of GM ever caring what the TAX payer has done for them.. — SAVE THEIR SORRY GOD DAMN ASS

    And the H3.. shouldn’t have ever been produced, but its a ploy for people who are woefully inadequate.. to buy a smaller albeit cheaper POS.

    Now…
    The Lambdas have their own frame.

    The Hummer – H3 is on the same frame as the Colorado / Canyon (another failed experiment.)

    Id like to know…
    What is the purpose of producing the Outlook against the Traverse, or the Acadia or Enclave?

    Isn’t Saturn being shown the door.. with a foot wedged deep in its ass. = Get lost.

    What is the point for these two to continue to be built, or to turn the factories back on to produce them?! And why couldn’t GM just offer the rest of the Lambdas at a discount (haha, no one buys a GM car at full price.)

    • 0 avatar
      Rusnak_322

      Seriously, calm down.

      GM designed and produced these long before they accepted Gov. bailout. And they are doing well in the sales dept from what I can tell.

      They are the same size as a tahoe, but they are different. We are probably going to buy a used one (Chevy or GMC) this weekend, but we don’t want a tahoe. The Lambdas, from what I understand, are not body on frame trucks, but more like a car. They ride like a big car, are basically front wheel drive and the inside is more mini van like then truck like.

      I have a F150 and have had full size pickups for the last 20 years. We will not use it for towing, good thing since they are not real trucks and have a lot lower towing capacity then a tahoe.

      These things are just tall mini vans with out the sliding doors.

      Granted, I have no clue why they have 4 of them. Who really sees GMC as a prestige brand above chevy? They are going to have a Denali version for GMC.

    • 0 avatar
      Christy Garwood

      Rusnak_322, thanks for the calm response. And you are absolutely correct, this family of vehicles was designed long ago. GMC and Saturn started selling in late 2006, with the Buick in 2Q 2007, with the Chevy Traverse in 3Q 2008.

      As an employee, I had the opportunity to briefly put a Tahoe and an Outlook in my garage – the Outlook is longer, like a Suburban.

      You are right, these vehicles do not have separate frames for the underbody like full size trucks. The frame is incorporated into the body like a car unibody design.

      These vehicles are not really minivans, though, but the versatility is awesome! My niece bought a Traverse eight months ago and loves it. A friend just bought a Traverse yesterday. I would recommend the Traverse if you want a more car-like driving experience.

      The reason GMC designs and builds versions of vehicles that are similar to Chevrolet is because that is what the customer wants and they sell. Same for the Denali version, they sell.

      As much grief as GM gets on this site from commentators, I would think that people would figure out that GMC sells!

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    Hey GM, while you’re at it, could you make me a few Corvair Corsas? Also a ’72 Riviera. And a ’75 Fleetwood Brougham, preferably with a Monticello Velour interior. kthxbye!

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    A friend of mine bought a loaded up 2008 Saturn Vue with 18,000 miles the other day. Leather, sunroof, all the options and trimmings including an RV hookup on the front bumper.

    Price? $13,300

    It’s one of the best deals I’ve seen these last several years…. and it took place during tax season. Unbelievable…

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      SO I have to ask…

      You dont seem to be a brand whore…

      But I still must ask.

      Do you think its a good deal, caue the vehicle isnt made anymore, and the brand will go down in flames, cause GM sent it out to do battle with no weapons?

      Or is it just a loaded vehicle with a bad rep… and its cheap.

      But does cheap and loaded mean a good vehicle.. or is it just cheap?

      I often have this quandry:

      Is a vehicle good cause its cheap?
      Is there such thing as a good cheap car?
      Or are you only buying the cheapness..and the features / options don’t matter?

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Aaahhh… what question was the one you asked me?

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