• Jun 9, 2007
Bloomberg's Greg Bensinger penned an article Friday that's getting some play on the web. In it, he spoke to Saturn's product development director, Lisa Hutchinson, who said that the Saturn division is indeed considering the addition of the Corsa subcompact to the lineup. Hutchinson doesn't attach a timeframe to anything, but states that the American consumer's concern over fuel economy is what's driving this. Later in the day, the Detroit News' Autos Insider column picked up on Bensinger's story. Speculation about a quality American-marque subcompact will do that when gas costs three bucks and change.

We want to see the Corsa here as badly as anyone else, but if you think back to October '06 during the Paris Motor Show, you'll remember that none other than Bob Lutz himself confirmed then that the Corsa will be sold as a Saturn. In fact, the exact words he used, according to Automotive News, were that the Corsa "will very definitely go to the United States." The thing is, the Corsa we'll get will be the next-generation model, not the one shown above. Last October, the timeframe surrounding this, as relayed by the Automotive News' David Sedgwick, was reportedly five years -- meaning 2011, probably as a 2012 model, if we had to guess. AN also reported that the US version of the car would likely be built in Mexico.

We're sure that Jill Lajdziak would like nothing more than to hop out of a Corsa on stage during one of next season's US auto shows and announce that it'll be on sale in the near future, but based on what Lutz already said -- and he of all people would know -- it's probably not happening anytime soon. Bummer.

[Source: Bloomberg News]


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  • 22 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am disappointed in GM's Product Planners where they didn't foresee the need to fill Saturn's line-up with the Opel Corsa. If the Vectra-based Aura and the actual Astra were in the product plan, did they think they could rely solely on the Daewoo based Aveo as GM's only economy sedan/hatch? Someone in GM's Product Planning department should have been demoted after deciding on the Corsa for 2011 launch in North America.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Perhaps GM may bite the bullet, implement costly engineering changes to the body/powertrain that will meet North American standards (crash worthiness/emissions). They may end-up loosing money for every current generation Corsa they sell, but at least they will have a product available to steer away people from Honda's Fit, Toyota's Yaris, and Nissan's Versa. And if they could sell a diesel version of the Corsa, let alone the Astra... this will make a huge impact to Saturn sales. We'll see how it goes...

      • 7 Years Ago
      That's an attractive car. Make mine a 2 door hatch and don't dumb it down with a torsion beam suspension or weak engine, and I'll consider one.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Great, another cool euro car that Saturn will screw up by dumbing it down. Goodbye sweet rims and low profile tires, hello bubble boys!
      • 7 Years Ago
      sweet and polished little car!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Instead of discussing global warming at these G8 summits -- why not more practical world economic issues -- like standardizing global car safety and emissions standards? For most electric consumer products the only worldwide modification that needs to be made is to make sure the voltage is correct (110V v. 220V). With automobiles, you not only have regulations governing safety features, but also emissions, minimum fuel octane (95 for Europe, not even available in the US), and other ridiculous things like headlights, pedestrain safety regs, windshields, license plate sizes, etc. etc. etc. One automobile should be able to be designed for the world market -- however, how many UK automotive jobs are saved by right-hand drive. How many "safety" regs are actually protectionist economic measures, rather than motivated by safety and the environment?

      That said, the Corsa is a sweet car. The Astra, although really neat as well, is not going to break the 35mpg combined barrier even with its paltry 1.8L gas engine. GM obviously needs to think 3-4 years ahead. Toyota / Honda got their small cars here in a micro-second.
      • 7 Years Ago
      #9

      I had no idea unbelted occupants had to be catered for. This suggests it is legal to drive without seatbelts on?
      Oh well. Thanks for the info though.

      Fiat has just designed and tooled a whole new car, the Bravo, in less than two years. It seems to work fine. If one manufacturer can manage a whole car, why cannot another manage a fuel system and some internal protection? And why did they not design-in the US market requirements in the first place? I would have thought they'd have wanted to maximise sales everywhere, especially as entering the US market with small cars would have given them a lead over other home manufacturers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      i was thinking the corsa would be built in spring hill as the new cossover based off this will be at the plant.
      why not take the current corsa from mexico and rework it to US regs and call it Pontiac ?
      in a few years bring out the improved aveo (chevy)and new corsa (saturn).that would give gm a car to compete in the growing segment and also brand integrity.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "I can't see why it takes so long to a get this car to market? The regs are not that difficult to meet."

      Yes they are. Anyone who works in the auto industry and has been involved in modifying a Euro/Aussie vehicle to be sold in the US knows this. The biggest hurdle to clear is crash protection for unbelted occupants (don't have to do this outside of US), and fuel system integrity (much more stringent here). The changes needed to meet these requirements adds at least 1-2 years because of tooling changes.

      GM could take the easy way and engineer the bare minimum to be legal, but they would get SLAMMED in the press for not getting safety ratings as high as the competition. This is not something GM is willing to do, nor should they.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The regs for unbelted occupants should be dropped. Anyone who doesn't wear a seatbelt at this point is too dumb for words and shouldn't be considered.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why don't they just engineer the cars to highest standard? An auto company's goal should be to be able to build any car on any line, Maximum modular flexibility.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wait, is this not the Saturn Astra? That is already on thier website http://www.saturn.com/saturn/vehicles/futurevehicles/index.jsp
      It is only slightly different and coming out later this year.
        • 7 Years Ago
        No, Noah. This is the Corsa, and it is smaller than Astra. Think Honda Fit.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I like GM.I really do... but I must say this to them. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE SECOND PLACE !!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Quite.

      I can't see why it takes so long to a get this car to market? The regs are not that difficult to meet.

      The Corsa shares its architecture and chassis with the Fiat Grande Punto by the way; in case anyone is interested. It also uses the small Fiat diesel engine.
      Just thought you should know that.

      But really, America needs nippy economical cars now, and notwithstanding fuel prices - which are heading up for ever now, believe me - lots of people in the US are ready to enjoy small cars. The Mini proves that.
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