Future Saturns May Adopt French Accent

Posted in auto industry, Concept Cars, Design, Electric Vehicles, General, GM, New Cars, Newsworthy, Nissan, Opel, Renault, Saturn, Smart, Sports Cars by Geoff | June 26th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |
Renault Megane Trophy Concept

Renault Megane Trophy Concept

Is a stateside Renault built for Saturn a complete pipe-dream? Following up on a report from Bloomberg over future Saturn production, the new/future owners of the former GM brand are addressing rumors of possible replacement models coming from Renault or Nissan. At the same time Roger Penske has thankfully taken Smart cars out of the mix for Saturn dealers…sort of.

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GM Tender Offer Fails. Translation: Bankruptcy or Bust!

Posted in auto industry, Detroit, GM, Newsworthy, Opel by Alex Kierstein | May 27th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |


GM announced today that it fell short of the 90% bondholder participation in the proposed debt exchange needed to stay out of bankruptcy. Essentially, far fewer than 90% of bondholders felt like trading in $27 billion in debt for a small amount of stock was a wise investment. This leaves the General with few options other than a bankruptcy filing, which sources say should occur in the next few days as the company gets its ducks in a row. Read More…

The Decline and Fall of SAAB

Posted in auto industry, Car Branding, Car Tech, Classic, Design, GM, Old Cars, Opel, Rally, Saab by Alex Kierstein | May 7th, 2009 | 1 Response |


With Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne eying SAAB, and SAAB denying it, and others reporting China’s Geely being interested, it seemed appropriate to explore the history of this famous but slow-selling marque. SAAB, or Svenska Aeroplan AktieBolaget, is currently just another GM nameplate to shill their other cars through (mostly derived from Opel and Chevy platforms, at the moment). When formed in the late 1940s, however, SAAB was one of the most unique and innovative automakers in the world. Having been primarily an airplane manufacturer, they brought an outsider perspective to a landscape of conservative auto manufacturing with such wild features as front-wheel-drive and a two-stroke engine (which is small and makes a lot of power at the expense of emissions and noise). It was also much smaller than the aircraft-carrier-sized Buicks most Americans were used to.

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Fiat to Buy Opel, Saab, and Vauxhall?

Posted in Alfa Romeo, auto industry, Car Branding, Chrysler, Ferrari, Fiat, Foreign Cars, Maserati, Newsworthy, Opel, Saab, Vauxhall by Alex Kierstein | May 4th, 2009 | 2 Responses |

150px-fiat_group_logoFiat Group SpA, the corporate parent of the Fiat, Ferrari, and Maserati brands (among others), released a statement on Sunday detailing that the group is in talks with GM’s European operations about purchasing the whole shebang. In addition, the Fiat Group may spin-off Fiat Automotive, combine them with the GM Europe units, and also with the newly acquired stake in Chrysler to create a new corporate entity, which at least one source reports would have a potential revenue stream topping $100 billion. Read More…

Private Firm In Talks To buy Saturn

Posted in auto industry, Cars, Chevrolet, General, GM, Opel, Saturn by Geoff | April 19th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

Possible Sale for Sky and Saturn?
Possible Sale for Sky and Saturn?

Up to this point, there has been relatively little interest in any of the three of the brands GM says it definitely needs to sell or eliminate in order to survive.  Hummer has been for sale for almost a year and Saab is sure to follow.  However, this past week a private equity firm, Black Oak Partners, has come forward as potential new owner of GM’s Saturn, offering to keep the brand and its dealership network intact.

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GM Goes Global, Grovels For Gov.’t Handout In Europe

Posted in auto industry, Auto Show, Cars, Foreign Cars, GM, Newsworthy, Opel, Politics, Saab by Suzanne Denbow | March 3rd, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

CEO of General Motors Europe Carl-Peter Forster attends a press conference during the first media day of the 79th Geneva Car Show at the Palexpo in Geneva March 3, 2009.

According to grave reports, General Motors Europe will be forced to completely shutdown during the second quarter of 2009 unless immediate financial assistance in rendered. In a live address from the Opel booth at the Geneva Motor Show, GM Europe President Carl Peter Forster made a desperate plea with European politicians to grant GM’s request for emergency aid. Specifically, GM wants the European government to fork over €3.3 billion EUR (approximately $4.14 billion USD) to keep the company afloat through 2011. By that time, Forster predicts GM will once again be turning a profit. Read More…

Volt-Based Opel Ampera Debuts At Geneva Motor Show

Posted in Alt Fuels, Auto Show, Cars, Electric Cars, Foreign Cars, Geneva Motor Show, GM, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, New Cars, Newsworthy, Opel, Pictures by Suzanne Denbow | March 2nd, 2009 | 1 Response |


Scheduled to officially hit the market in 2011, the Opel Ampera has made its world debut today at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. Essentially the European-derivitive of the Chevy Volt, the Opel Ampera is a 5-door, 4-seater extended-range electric vehicle powered by GM’s Voltec electric-propulsion system. For journeys up to 60 km (MVEG), the Ampera is powered solely by a zero-emissions 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the battery is drained, the Ampera switches powersources to an engine-generator that extends the Ampera’s range to more than 500 km. Rechargable via any standard household (230v) outlet, the Opel Ampera’s astounding range capablitiy coupled with its segment-topping performance numbers are poised to turn the hybrid vehicle market on its ear. “Driving electrically is not only about ecology,” said global vehicle line executive and chief engineer, Frank Weber. “Driving electrically is also great fun. Instantaneous, silent torque of 370 Newton meters under your right foot feels like flying!” Read More…

Opel Ampera Electric Car Set To Debut At Geneva Motor Show

Posted in Alt Fuels, Auto Show, Car Photography, Car Tech, Cars, Electric Cars, Foreign Cars, Geneva Motor Show, GM, Hybrid, Newsworthy, Opel by Suzanne Denbow | January 27th, 2009 | 1 Response |

GM’s European subsidiary, Opel, has announced they will be pulling the covers off of their newest hybrid creation, the Opel Amepera Electric Car, at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show in March. Drawing heavy inspiration from its North American counterpart, the Chevy Volt, the Opel Ampera is not only underpinned by the same Delta II platform as the Volt, but also shares the Volt’s electric-hybrid drivetrain as well. Utilizing GM’s new Voltec technology, the Opel Ampera is powered by both an advanced lithium ion battery and a small internal combustion, the former which can be recharged via any standard 230v outlet.

Touted as Europe’s first extended-range electric production vehicles, further information on the Ampera’s performance will be revealed during it’s initial unveiling to the automotive media at the Geneva Motor Show on March 3, 2009. Read More…

GM’s Bailout Hops The Pond, Meets With German Chancellery

Posted in auto industry, Foreign Cars, GM, Newsworthy, Opel, Politics, Press Release by Suzanne Denbow | November 17th, 2008 | Leave a Reply |

GM Europe President Carl-Peter Forster, 2008 Paris Auto Show. Photo ©GM Media

While General Motors North America is in the midst of conducting an aggressive campaign to secure emergency funding from the U.S. government, General Motors Europe and GM’s European subsidiary, Adam Opel GmbH, are preparing for the worst case scenario. Possessing a foresight their American counterparts noticeably lacked, although GM Europe is not in any immediate danger of depleting their cash reserves, they are concerned with the possible repercussions if GM North America is not able receive federal assistance.

Seeking to secure a safety net of sorts in the event that the cash flow from their parent company is shut off, representatives from Opel paid a visit to the German Chancellery today to discuss the possibility of a government “guarantee.” Meeting with both Economics Minister Michael Glos (CSU) and Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück (SPD), GM Europe President and Opel Supervisory Board President Carl Forester explained, “Opel does not have a short-term liquidity problem…We are not talking about subsidies, rather a protective umbrella of available liquidity in the worst case.” Read More…