• Nov 12th 2007 at 8:29AM
  • 38
While GM's new labor contract with the UAW has been out for some time, it took some snooping on the part of Automotive News to find out that one of the models set to be produced at the General's Hamtramck, Mich. plant will be a new seven-seat people mover. The imaginative codename for the new model is the MPV-7, which will find inspiration from the next generation Opel Zafira. According to AN's sources, it will sport a more manly exterior, with a box shape to make room for a "unique interior."

The minivan replacement will carry a Chevrolet emblem at first, with a Saturn-badged variant to follow. Pricing is expected to be in the upper-$20k to $30,000 realm and GM plans to sell 100,000 units annually, both in the U.S. and Europe. If Ford decides to bring the S-Max from across the pond, this could be the beginning of a competitive segment here in the States.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Does this mean no Lamda (enclave/Acadia) variant for Chevy? That would make sense, but I agree the price has to be low 20s for the Chevy model at least.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Wow, maybe actual MINIvans might make a comeback with fuel prices climbing.

        Because the "minivans" that are being peddled right now are far from mini...

        The Opel that is pictured is a pretty handsome vehicle, as well (as far as one/two box shapes go).

        • 7 Years Ago
        "Mini"vans will make a comeback now that they are apparently being called "crossovers".
      • 7 Years Ago
      You guys don't seem to be getting the point here- this move is about fuel efficiency. I travel to Europe on business a lot, and when you're paying the equivalent of more than 10 bucks a gallon (UK)- it's amazing how attractive these types of cars become.

      GM is simply reacting to market pressures, and it's a great thing for them that they have the know-how in Germany to build these types of cars. Of course, with the lessening value of the US Dollar- it's likely a lot of these Euro-spec GM cars could be made over here.

      Look at the upcoming Astra as an indicator of how receptive the market is here to the concept- The Arua and Vue are not pure-play Euros the way the Astra is and this "MP7" would be.

      Oh and by the way- Ford needs the S-Max here. Now.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Um, maybe I'm missing something here... but where's the crossover here? That Opel is far from a crossover (it's a minivan/MPV or station wago, take your pick), and "manly styling" does not a crossover make... oh but wait, "crossover" makes for a good buzzword in a headline (hey, that's why I clicked the link in the feed), and most folks here in the US think Mazda when they hear the term 'MPV', if they even have a clue what MPV is. And well, 'minivan' just doesn't garner the traffic that 'crossover' does.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The "crossover-ness" is that it doesn't have sliding doors.

        Yeah, it basically comes down to what you said. They want to sell a bunch of these and people don't take interest in minivans.
      • 7 Years Ago
      At $3/gallon gas, Rondo and Mazda5 sales aren't exactly setting the world on fire - less than 4000 combined last month. Americans want their big vehicles, right?

      Perhaps at $5+/gallon, the MPV class, as it's called in Europe, will take off.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Mazda5 isn't selling well because Mazda is dumping promotional dollars into the more profitable CX series. That the 5 lacks side airbags (pre-08) and omits AC in base form doesn't help it's cause--certainly not when the Rondo includes much of the same for less.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Here's to hoping that the Saturn version just has the emblems swapped out.

      More-manly exterior? I'm hoping they don't take a step back with that idea, since they're doing so well right now with the Opel integration to the US market.
      • 7 Years Ago
      who would've thought Honda had it right with its FIRST generation Honda Odyssey?!

      i guess it was ahead of its time! haha
        • 7 Years Ago
        ..yeah but those were butt ugly haha

        i was referring more to the 4-door design rather than the size of it. But point taken
      • 7 Years Ago
      I drove the previous generation of Opel Zafira in Europe a couple of years ago and it was better than the current Mazda5 and Rondo. In that this is the 2nd gen, one could only assume its better.

      I will definitely be in test driving this vehicle when my lease is up on my current car. This is huge given that I never stepped in a GM dealership because I have always hated their cars.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree...I have been driving Opel Astras everytime I go to Europe and love that car. Last May I leased an Aura..essentially a longer Vectra and so far it has been a real surprise. Till then I had never stepped inside a GM or any other domestic brand dealeship before.
        I think Saturn should just replace the badges and leave the Zafira (or whatever they choose to call it) as is!
        • 7 Years Ago
        The good handling is the reason why the Opel Zafira OPC holds the laprecord for Van´s at the Ring...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why would you pay upper 20s for this when you can get a Mazda5 or Kia Rondo for under 20? For upper 20s people would probably opt for a FULL SIZED mini van.

      This confuses me.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Who buys a Kia Rondo? The only one I have seen had an "e" on the back of it lol.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I was thinking the EXACT same thing
      I am already in the market for a small 7 seater thats good on gas and it sucks because the general is too little too late. Mazda5 here i come (or Rondo)
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't know about you but spending a $60-80 everytime i fill up is getting mighty old. I pitty the person putting over a hundred bucks in the tank just to go 400 miles. If it weren't that I would be upside down in my loan i would be in a much more fuel sipping car today. I think GM is wise to offer something like this. Not everyone wants something that looks like a 4x4 but need to haul more than 4-5 people.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's indeed Astra-based. But the Astra is not a subcompact like a Fit, it's a compact like a Civic.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM is dropping the Uplander and TrailBlazer. A Chevy-styled Lambda crossover is replacing them both.

      I'm a little surprised a Chevy-styled Opel will be added to the brand. But it makes sense as Chevrolet is easily GM's bread and butter with over 60% of the General's overall sales and largest dealer network.

      Saturn is an urban niche brand and sales of this vehicle if unique to Saturn would be low. Selling it through both channels keeps both brands fed and the plant humming near capacity.

      When you have so many brands this is what you have to do to keep them fresh. As long as they are as well differentiated as the Lambdas and as the Aura and Malibu then I don't see any issues.
        • 7 Years Ago

        Stop using reason and logic. You may only post in a thread involving GM if you agree to bash or ridicule the General...

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