An ‘A’ For Effort, But A ‘D’ For Execution: Five Cars That Never Lived Up To Their Potential

Posted in auto industry, Cadillac, Car Buying, Cars, Chevrolet, Detroit, FAIL, Ford, General, Honda, Saturn by Kurt Ernst | September 28th, 2010 | 7 Responses |

An earlier example, not included here.

Let’s be honest: no manufacturer ever sets out to build a bad car, but sometimes the inevitable just happens. A lot can change in the time it takes to bring a car from concept through production, and sometimes too many accountants get involved with the design process. Other times, new models just have impossibly big shoes to fill, like the younger brother trying to match the success of his older sibling (the Manning family excluded, of course). And sometimes, what works in Berlin simply doesn’t work in New York.

Read More…

1.5 Million Vehicles Recalled by GM for Fire Risk.

Posted in Buick, Chevrolet, General, GM, GMC, Hummer, Recalls, Saturn by MrAngry | June 8th, 2010 | 1 Response |

I’m already having visions of another Toyota lynching, but this time the mob will be out to get GM. Beginning on June 14 GM will be recalling 1.5 million cars and trucks for an issue that was supposed to have been fixed two years ago. Vehicles with heated window washer-fluid systems run a risk of going up in flames due to a faulty circuit board. In 2008 GM recalled 858,000 cars and trucks when reports of fires surfaced. The fix was a fused link inserted by dealers to cure the problem. Interestingly enough GM is not really offering a fix for the problem since the supplier who created the part is no longer in business. With that being said GM’s solution is to simply the disconnect the heater system all together and rob customers of one of the cars options – nice right.

Read More…

Chevy To Pick Up Killed Brands’ Slack, Carry 70% Of GM Sales

Posted in auto industry, Camaro, Car Branding, Cars, Chevrolet, GM, Hummer, New Cars, Newsworthy, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn by Suzanne Denbow | October 12th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |


In an uncharacteristic admission of weakness General Motors has announced that in light of the spectacular failure of the majority of its brands, it must now rely on the staying power of Chevrolet to carry it through its “reinvention.” Well, we’re paraphrasing.

What has actually been confirmed is that Chevy is GM’s undisputed top performer and with The General’s once formidable line-up now trimmed to just four key brands, it’s on Chevy to shoulder the brunt of the load. 70% of the load, to be exact, at least according to new Chevy VP Brent Dewar. In an address made on Friday, Dewar explained that currently Chevy products account for a little less than 60% of GM’s North American sales and a little over 50% of global sales. When Saturn, Pontiac, Saab, and Hummer are official wiped from GM’s slate, the marginal percentages they contributed to GM’s bottom line will be transferred to Chevy. Read More…

Alliance Credit Union Offers Cool $5 Grand For Ugliest Car

Posted in Beater Cars, Cars, Cash for Clunkers, Ford, Newsworthy, Old Cars, Oldsmobile, Pictures, Saturn by Suzanne Denbow | October 7th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |


In Wilmington, North Carolina, Alliance Credit Union will be rewarding the egregious aesthetic taste of Mr. Saintard at the awards ceremony for the first Ugly Car Contest. Aimed at helping one lucky driver ditch his jalopy in the charitable spirit inspired by the Cash for Clunkers program, Alliance opted to bestow one lucky (or unlucky, depending on your perspective) winner to receive a $5,000 cash prize to be put towards the purchase of a new car or a gallon of Bondo and a few cans of spray paint.

While it doesn’t seem to be in miserable enough shape to warrant a five grand prize – especially not when compared to the other truly hideous contestants – Mr. Saintard’s scratched up Saturn apparently offended the senses of enough voters to earn him the crowd favorite and Alliance’s Grand Prize. Hit the jump to check out photos of few of the more, ah, deserving vehicles. Read More…

Would $250M Save Saturn? Should It?

Posted in auto industry, Car Branding, Detroit, General, GM, Politics, Saturn by Alex Kierstein | October 5th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |


As you might expect, Saturn dealers are none too happy that Penske backed out of buying Saturn after being unable to secure a commitment from an unnamed foreign manufacturer to provide cars for rebadging. That means unless new money is thrown down the hole into the marquee, 350 Saturn dealerships and (according to a Saturn dealer group) 13,000 jobs will be lost. All they need, according to those same Saturn dealers, is a $250 million cash infusion from Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (better known as “the Bailout”).

Read More…

Penske Backs Out Of Saturn Deal, Leaves GM In The Lurch

Posted in auto industry, Car Deals, Cars, GM, Newsworthy, Saturn by Suzanne Denbow | September 30th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |


Today, GM CEO Fritz Henderson announced that after months of talks and what seemed like a done deal, Penske Automotive Group has backed out of their tentative agreement to buy Saturn. Saturn, which was one of the first ill-fated brands to be trimmed from GM’s line-up during their bankruptcy proceedings, was rescued from the scrap heap in June when Penske put in an offer to buy the 24-year-old brand. Like a similar distribution agreement Penske currently has with Daimler AG and the smart brand, Penske planned to relieve The General of its responsibility as a distributor, leaving the individually-owned Saturn dealerships to continue to operate independently.

With Penske’s interest officially withdrawn, the Saturn brand will phased out. Read More…

Will the Government Mandate Plastic Cars?

Posted in auto industry, Car Tech, Design, Fuel-efficient, Materials, Newsworthy, Oil Industry, Politics, Saturn, Science by Alex Kierstein | September 17th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |


The House has passed a bill, the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009, that might just lead to future new cars being made out of plastic. It still has to go through the Senate, but are we contemplating a future where we’re all driving polycarbonate cares with panel gaps larger than the federal deficit? Possibly … the bill calls for nearly $550 million per year in research into fuel-efficient cars and trucks that reduce dependence on petroleum. One of the funded projects is to have the Department of Energy demonstrate the production of “cost-effective lightweight materials such as advanced metal alloys, polymeric composites, and carbon fiber;” that is, plastics. Is the government going to require that your next Ford be an oversized Power Wheels car? More after the jump.

Read More…

Six Budget-Friendly Convertible Options

Posted in Cars, Compact Cars, Cooper, Favorite Cars, Ford, General, GM, Luxury Cars, Mazda, Mini, Mitsubishi, muscle cars, Mustang, New Cars, Pontiac, Roadster, Saab, Saturn, Sports Cars by Geoff | September 10th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |


With few exceptions, when given a choice between convertibles and hardtops we usually default to the latter as their performance tends to trump their topless brethren. Not to mention that wind buffeting tends to wreak havoc on our ear-to-ear comb over. Nevertheless, as summer fades to fall, it would be a shame not to single out some affordable convertible options that could convince even the most follicly-challenged among us to lay down an extra layer of hair spray and drop our tops. Read More…

New Saturn to be Third World Refugee Renault?

Posted in auto industry, Car Branding, Compact Cars, Foreign Cars, New Cars, Renault, Saturn by Alex Kierstein | August 31st, 2009 | 1 Response |


Unless you live in Russia, Romania, or Turkey, the most interesting thing about the announcement that Renault will launch a new low-cost large (for Europe) sedan is the wild, mostly baseless rumor and innuendo that the new Renault Fluence will be the next small Saturn sedan. Roger Penske currently owns the Saturn brand, and those in the know speculate that he’ll look to a European car company that doesn’t currently sell cars in the US to provide the basis for a new Saturn lineup. Meanwhile, the Fluence is currently only to be sold in the three countries mentioned earlier, but should Renault want to increase production by selling it in the US … could the Fluence be a new Saturn?

Read More…

Celebrating Pontiac’s Last New Model: 2009 Solstice Coupe

2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe

2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe

While we applaud even the slightest chance that the G8 will survive as a Chevy, there is one other car at Pontiac that when gone, simply is not represented domestically by any other car maker: the Solstice/Sky. There are rumors that perhaps the Solstice and Sky may live on with private ownership since the factory in Delaware where they are produced could be sold as a package to some Steve Saleen/Jack Roush-type. But that probably won’t happen. Instead, we are left with only one year to enjoy the Pontiac Solstice coupe. Read More…