• Oct 2, 2006


Bob Lutz confirmed at the Paris Motor Show last week that indeed the Opel Corsa would be sold in the U.S. Automotive News, however, is reporting that the Corsa sold here will not be the current model that was just introduced, but rather the next generation Corsa that is at least five years away. We already know the Corsa will be branded as a Saturn in the U.S., and GM hopes to move about 80,000 to 100,000 units in the U.S. annually. Those kinds of numbers mean the Corsa will have to be produced "locally", but none of the automaker's recently shuttered U.S. plants should get their hopes up. Because the profit margin on cars like the Corsa are so small, Mexico will likely be chosen as the Corsa's point of production due to its lower operating and labor costs. Either way, we're glad at least one domestic is more than willing to share its international lineup with us.

[Source: Automotive News – sub required]


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  • 31 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Jamie - Hold the phone sport! I've owned 20+ cars in my life - 3 have been Fords ('67 Mustang, Linc Mrk 7, Sable wagon), 1 Honda Accord ('82), and the rest have been GM (starting with a '50 Chevy), including a '73 Opel GT. I've watched all of the domestics piss away the small car market over the years because they weren't interested in it (outside of helping them make the CAFE requirements). I'm retired now, but when I was in mgmt I was expected to plan ahead for the unexpected and certainly not put everything on one number (trucks and SUVs). It's called diversification and it covers your ass when things change. I have always believed that upper mgmt lives in a vacuum and is out of touch with the real world. That said, I think the current crop of GM cars are among the best they've ever produced, but I simply cannot understand why they think the only cars suitable for US roads and they ones they specifically design for here. Furthermore, I cannot understand why it takes so long to make the necessary changes to an existing European design to make it compliant with US specs.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Alright my fault, I missed the line "We already know the Corsa will be branded as a Saturn in the U.S." Sorry folks.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Saturn: "Like always, like never before"

      Got that right, we are a rebadged car company and everything we stood for other than full list price selling to suckers stays the same.

      To hell with Saturn, get the entire Opel line here brand it as such and do it quick.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What I don't get is why they don't just slap Satrun badges on a few of 'em, and bring 'em over. Fine, they're not profitable to start. But they can easily test the waters that way until such time as they're confident enough and ready to invest the much dinero needed to launch a US built version.
      • 8 Years Ago
      They can't bring it here now because the current model does not meet US crash safety standards and the North American market wasn't in mind when they started developing it. They could fix the problem of the current car but it would cost way too much $$$ to do and would be a waste of time since they won't get huge returns on it and considering the next gen model will be made for all regions right from the gate.
      GM learned the hard way when importing the GTO. Not only with the new sub-compact platform be global, but Zeta, Epsilon, Delta, Kappa, etc.

      In the very near future, any vehicle made off of any of those platforms could be produced in any factory in the world that produces a car that runs on the same platform. Example, the next Astra could be built (to Euro specs) in a US (next-gen)cobalt factory without any significant retooling because they will share the same platform. The next Vectra could be built along side a Malibu or a G6 if there was demand for more in Europe.

      Toyota has perfected this and now GM has finally caught on.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Does Lutz realize the enormity of five years and actually how long a period of time it is? This guy is counting on updating this car for sale to th U.S. market in 2012. What does he think the rest of the auto industry is going to do? Sit on their hands? By that time , we will probably be driving lower priced, quality autos from China, India and who knows where else.Look how well the the Korean auto industry has improved lately. They are following the same basic trend set by Germany and Japan. They all have built and exported pretty decent vehicles to the U.S. then made improvements continually over the years. It has taken F/GM/DC too long to realize how serious the US consumer feels about quality.(or has it). Overall the emports are still superior especially in reliablity, fit,finish,endurance and longivity. But, we can expect a rehash of a 6 or 7 year old design in 5 years. Great long term thinking.
      • 8 Years Ago
      X2 on axing Saturn in favor of the Opel name.

      Looks like business as usual for American auto, 5 year business plan, which is what got them in the SUV pipe dream hole in the first place...lack of short term flexibility. I think even fiat will be over here before this thing makes it.

      Maybe they're trying to match the introduction with that of the euro focus, whenever ford brings that thing here......
      • 7 Years Ago
      The corsa is currently the safest car in its class in europe, it has 5 stars (along with all the renaults) and if I were paranoid I would assume that american safety standards were designed specifically to be different from NCAP (which is an independent organization) to discourage manufacturers of small cars to import in the US in order to protect the companies that manufacture cars on US soil. Which now backfires badly and will probably cost GM (even more) losses in market share to korean and japanese cars

      http://www.automotoportal.com/article/New_Opel_Corsa_Five_Euro_NCAP_Stars_For_Safety
      • 8 Years Ago
      GM must think the average American consumer is dumber than a rock! They could pull this crap in the past because it wasn't as easy as it is today to find out what cars they build in the other parts of the world, and what we have to settle for. They must think the American consumer will buy anthing they try to shove down our throat. They gave away the small car market to the Jpanese over the past 40 years by doing this; you would think they would have learned something by now! Apparently not!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      16. Hyundai/Kia cars in this class are laughable and sold only BECAUSE OF THEIR STUPID WARRANTIES, WHICH 42%
      OWNERS HAVE TO USE TO REPLACE THE ENGINE OR TRANSMISSION WITHIN 6 YEARS!

      GO LOOK AT THE BODYWORK ON A 5-YEAR OLD HYUNDAI/KIA. RAPIDLY WITHERING TRASH! READY FOR THE JUNKYARD!

      GO TO THE JUNKYARD! YOU WILL SEE AN AVALANCHE OF HYUNDAI'S AND KIA'S GUARANTEE! Look on the street. Where are all the 8-12 year old cars? They rusted out, burned, and killed their owners in average crashes!Meanwhile, THER ARE Chevies EVERYWHERE WITH 200,000 MILES ON THEM. ASK YOUR NEIGHBOR.

      A COBALT IS A LUXURY CAR COMPARED TO THAT KIA GARBAGE!
      spectra! Come on! Even the Sonata is so foolish it's steering wheel vibrates badly when you go over a common
      road joint or bump! Until 2010, I'll not even consider these brands!

      So GM Europe didn't engineer for the US this time. So what? Every GM car from here on out will be global-ready!
      • 8 Years Ago
      25. Jamie - Hold the phone sport! I've owned 20+ cars in my life - 3 have been Fords ('67 Mustang, Linc Mrk 7, Sable wagon), 1 Honda Accord ('82), and the rest have been GM (starting with a '50 Chevy), including a '73 Opel GT. I've watched all of the domestics piss away the small car market over the years because they weren't interested in it (outside of helping them make the CAFE requirements). I'm retired now, but when I was in mgmt I was expected to plan ahead for the unexpected and certainly not put everything on one number (trucks and SUVs). It's called diversification and it covers your ass when things change. I have always believed that upper mgmt lives in a vacuum and is out of touch with the real world. That said, I think the current crop of GM cars are among the best they've ever produced, but I simply cannot understand why they think the only cars suitable for US roads and they ones they specifically design for here. Furthermore, I cannot understand why it takes so long to make the necessary changes to an existing European design to make it compliant with US specs.

      Posted at 7:48PM on Oct 2nd 2006 by ron 0 stars
      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      Therein lies the problem. You have no clue what goes into the production and development of cars. Products that you see now were thought about four to five years ago.

      I challenge you to tell me what the automotive climate will be like five years from now.
      It's no different for car companies. Sometimes they miss and sometimes not; especially GM--which has only just gotten its bearings 5 years ago when Lutz came aboard and the despised (and likely clueless) Ron Zarella left.

      GM has problems for sure, but just because something "seems obvious" doesn't mean it can happen "next year". Even Mercedes-Benz is struggling to fix diesels to sell here; so it's on inconceivable that re-engineering an entire car would take too long to be economically feasible on its present platform.
      GM will make do with the Aveo until then.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yup, just rename Saturn to Opel and be done with it.

      Cute car, btw.
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