2010 Opel Astra - Click above for a high-res image gallery
Over the last several years, and until General Motors' finances dictated that the Saturn brand had to be dispensed with entirely, it had become the North American outlet for Opel vehicles. Aside from the Outlook, all of Saturn's current models are based on their Opel equivalents. The most recent speculation about Saturn's fate had the dealer network being taken over by Roger Penske with a future vehicle supply coming from Renault via its South Korean subsidiary.
With this weekend's agreement in principle that supplier Magna International would take over control Opel, those speculative plans could be about to change. Magna chairman Frank Stronach told the Globe and Mail he wants to see Opel vehicles built in Canada. While Penske -- or any other Saturn suitor -- might have preferred to source future vehicles from Opel, getting them from Europe would prohibitively expensive with a weak dollar. However, if vehicles are sourced from a Canadian facility, it could become a viable prospect. The problem is Magna doesn't have a car assembly plant in Canada, but several Canadian plants are either scheduled to close or are without future product commitments, so Magna could end up buying a factory like the Oshawa truck plant from GM or even Chrysler.
[Source: Globe and Mail]