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Old 05-06-2009, 03:13 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Buick Astra approved for 2011 as a 2012 model year



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Sometime last week, I was discussing the future of Saturn and the death of Pontiac with a friend. He mentioned how it broke his heart that the Saturn Astra, which just came to the stateside, will most likely be forced out of production. Of course, it is widely known that if Saturn lived to see the future, it would have eventually become the Opel for North America, featuring products from GMs German division.

It seems like there may be still hope out there for the Astra to stay in the stateside. According to sources at GM Inside News the Astra is going to be rebadged as a Buick. Sources said that the Astra has been approved by the GM Product Board to become a part of the North American Buick lineup.
However, the Astra has not been approved for Buick in China, which enjoyed a 63.6 percent growth in the month of April.
Sources say that the Buick Astra will be built at GMs Lordstown, OH plant or at its new San Luis Potosi, Mexico facility. Production will start in December of 2011 for the 2012 model year.
No word on whether Buick will keep the Astra name or which variants of the Astra Buick will get.
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:45 AM   #2
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Wow, goods new from GM.

In the next few years the American car market will be very heavily influenced by the European Market.

Fiesta, Focus, Kuga, Astra, Polo, 500, Punto, Mito, Panda..etc

It should be very interesting.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:33 AM   #3
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If Fiat buy Opel ... including all of Opel's car range - how exactly will GM bring over the Astra; unless they do a deal over it with Fiat (but then again, surely Fiat would want to use Opel cars for Chrysler?)
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:35 AM   #4
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now we need the G8
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:58 AM   #5
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It's good that it's coming here, but it's unfortunately that it will take till 2011 to get there.

Of course by then, it's gonna be the next-gen Astra, so it might be worth the wait.

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Old 05-06-2009, 09:13 AM   #6
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Yeah, but a Buick. I mean, how much of the cars sporty nature is going to be lobotomized
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:15 AM   #7
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^^^ relax Buick is trying to push toward a younger buyer, the current line up even reflects this move.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:36 AM   #8
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hopefully, it works, but there will be a stigma attached to Buick for at least 5 years regardless of what they produce. It will take a Cadillac level of design commitment to change that.

And with that being said, do they really want to go toward a younger crowd? I mean Cadillac has dramatically moved down to the younger demographic with the CTS capturing a more youthful market, and the Escalade capturing the drug dealer wanna be rap star market.

Chevy is the entry level car, do they not need a brand for the blue haired old lady and the retired golfer.
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:24 AM   #9
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The fact Buick lived and Pontiac is dead considering Pontiac almost sold three times as many cars last year still makes my head spin. Everyone keeps citing China, do we actually know how many cars Buick sold there, and how stable the market is? It was my understanding they were building Buicks over in China that differed from the US product, thus why not keep Buick there and Pontiac here?

Heres another question. With Buick and Pontiac being grouped at single dealerships, how much money is dumping Pontiac really going to save?

Back on topic, clearly GM has learned nothing. They are already badge engineering what is a Saturn now for Buick in the future. Sad...
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:42 PM   #10
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Badge engineering keeps less people from being unemployed, from suppliers to assembly line workers to (unfortunately) bean counters.
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:47 PM   #11
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Cool idea - but they'll F it up when they slap Buick tags - fake plastic hood vents - soft lazyboy chairs, slush box - and a trunk on all the sharp hatch models.

Should have just said - its a fing Buick - I'd be more open to buying an Opel badge. Buick no thanks.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubaruFan View Post
Cool idea - but they'll F it up when they slap Buick tags - fake plastic hood vents - soft lazyboy chairs, slush box - and a trunk on all the sharp hatch models.
Maybe you should familiarize yourself with what kind of cars Buick is coming out with now-a-days and not rely on cliches from the 80s and 90s.

2010 LaCrosse:










Enclave:






I don't care what name is on the hood, these are great looking cars.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:05 PM   #13
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I have - drove both those that you posted. It takes more than one year or so of halfway decent design to get my money. Liked Enclave - coworker bought one has had recent issues that all mirror classic GM products - sad to say its going to take a couple years before I'll put my money on any GM product. Coworker had a BMW before the Enclave - he said if the classic GM quality stuff keeps cropping up he'll sell and find a used Lexus.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:19 PM   #14
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Good news indeed, probably won't be a high-performance version though...again.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:27 PM   #15
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^^ I don't believe the new Lacrosse has entered production yet. I believe it is set up for June, depending on if GM has to file Ch 11.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristar Racing View Post
The fact Buick lived and Pontiac is dead considering Pontiac almost sold three times as many cars last year still makes my head spin. Everyone keeps citing China, do we actually know how many cars Buick sold there, and how stable the market is? It was my understanding they were building Buicks over in China that differed from the US product, thus why not keep Buick there and Pontiac here?

Heres another question. With Buick and Pontiac being grouped at single dealerships, how much money is dumping Pontiac really going to save?

Back on topic, clearly GM has learned nothing. They are already badge engineering what is a Saturn now for Buick in the future. Sad...
Buick sold more cars worldwide last year than Pontiac, Saturn, Saab, and Hummer combined.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:29 PM   #17
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Good to see.

Nick
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mh_WRX View Post
Buick sold more cars worldwide last year than Pontiac, Saturn, Saab, and Hummer combined.
And Opel sold close to half of GMs total sales number ... and yet Opel are still potentially going to be let go but Buick kept.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:44 PM   #19
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my understanding was that Opel was to remain as a EU brand unless a very good offer came along.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverlegacy View Post
^^ I don't believe the new Lacrosse has entered production yet. I believe it is set up for June, depending on if GM has to file Ch 11.
Sorry they all look the same to me. Drove the Buick 4dr similar to the lacross or whatever it was. I'll take a Lexus IS over that tank any day. Seriously doubt stamping Buick on GM vehicles is going to change much regarding - handling - interior quality - ball joints etc.

Lets face it GM makes cheap transportation for the masses and no matter how hard they try cheaper parts from a Malibu - or whatever their Rental Car models are will be found in Buick's - and Caddies. If your paying 30+K for a vehicle why not just buy a 30+K vehicle thats built like one? Thats the part GM fails to understand - you can gadget out cars - slap fancy crome on them but in the end if its rolling on parts that came from a cheap parts bin its still a cheap car and should be priced as such.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:45 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mh_WRX View Post
Buick sold more cars worldwide last year than Pontiac, Saturn, Saab, and Hummer combined.
Are Pontiac vehicles available outside of North America? Do we have published figures?

My point is I dont necessarily doubt you. I just see everyone saying Buick sold so well over seas, but have seen no figures to back it up.

Personally, I feel different markets need different vehicles. Hence my suggestion of keeping Pontiac in the US (which sold over 300,000 vehicles last yearin the US) and letting the Buick nameplate represent GM in China. (Which sold a bit over 100,000 vehicles last year in the US)

It blows my mind GM is pulling the plug on a division that sold over a quarter million cars last year in the US, all because Buick does better over seas. I do believe GM has remote locations in Asia to build Buicks, so why not just let that cash cow feed itself. Buick might have nicer cars, but I still think they are out of step with "young luxury," the very market they are trying to hit. One look at the interior on any of their cars would not sway me from my next purchase of an Audi/Acura/Lexus/BMW.

Last edited by Tristar Racing; 05-06-2009 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:57 PM   #22
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If you ask me, I also don't understand why they would want to keep Buick and Cadillac again in the same market.

Let each brand be distinctive as day and night to the buyer, and all will be good.

Cadillac and Buick will eventually end up stepping on each others toes if you ask me.

I do have to admit also that keeping Pontiac would also have meant a brand stepping on Chevrolet's toes also..

Ultimately I think they still have one too many brands...
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:23 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristar Racing View Post
Are Pontiac vehicles available outside of North America? Do we have published figures?

My point is I dont necessarily doubt you. I just see everyone saying Buick sold so well over seas, but have seen no figures to back it up.

Personally, I feel different markets need different vehicles. Hence my suggestion of keeping Pontiac in the US (which sold over 300,000 vehicles last yearin the US) and letting the Buick nameplate represent GM in China. (Which sold a bit over 100,000 vehicles last year in the US)

It blows my mind GM is pulling the plug on a division that sold over a quarter million cars last year in the US, all because Buick does better over seas. I do believe GM has remote locations in Asia to build Buicks, so why not just let that cash cow feed itself. Buick might have nicer cars, but I still think they are out of step with "young luxury," the very market they are trying to hit. One look at the interior on any of their cars would not sway me from my next purchase of an Audi/Acura/Lexus/BMW.

yes, I was looking for the published figures I had posted earlier with now luck. Pontiac is sold outside of the US, but in very limited numbers. While the US sales between Buick and Pontiac were something like 52K/100K units, total global sales were 380K/720K in favor of Buick. Both China and Russian sales boosted Buick to the Number 4 spot in GM Behind Chevy, Opel, and GMC.
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:59 PM   #24
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These don't look bad actually.
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Old 05-06-2009, 04:27 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by SubaruFan View Post
Sorry they all look the same to me. Drove the Buick 4dr similar to the lacross or whatever it was. I'll take a Lexus IS over that tank any day. Seriously doubt stamping Buick on GM vehicles is going to change much regarding - handling - interior quality - ball joints etc.

Lets face it GM makes cheap transportation for the masses and no matter how hard they try cheaper parts from a Malibu - or whatever their Rental Car models are will be found in Buick's - and Caddies. If your paying 30+K for a vehicle why not just buy a 30+K vehicle thats built like one? Thats the part GM fails to understand - you can gadget out cars - slap fancy crome on them but in the end if its rolling on parts that came from a cheap parts bin its still a cheap car and should be priced as such.

GM is really trying to change Buick. The new Lacrosse is way, way different than the model that you might be thinking of. They aren't even in the same realm. People said the same thing 10 years ago when GM was trying to do the same thing to Cadillac. Now the CTS is considered to be on an even playing field when it comes to BMW and MB. Something that would have been laughed at 10 years ago.

Also, GM quality is much better than you might expect. They don't produce the same cars they did during the 90s. Now GM doesn't top the list (they sit in the middle of the pack), but by most quality standards GM surpasses Nissan, Volkswagen, Subaru, BMW, among others.

One last thing, GM isn't they only company that badge engineers vehicles to be more upscale than they really are. In fact, I wouldn't even say they are the worst at it, Lexus and Toyota have plenty of shared chassis that the Lexus version isn't really any nicer than the Toyota version, yet you pay 5-10k more.
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