Saturn hopes to beat Honda, Toyota in hybrid sales

http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070226/FREE/70226002/1528/video
Will Price Rule? Saturn hopes to beat Honda, Toyota in hybrid arena
By RICHARD TRUETT | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS
AutoWeek | Updated: 02/26/07, 8:31 am et
In taking on the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry hybrids, the gasoline- electric Saturn Aura Green Line will offer a dramatically lower price and roughly the same high fuel economy rating. But is that enough to make it a success?
The Aura Green Line is a so-called mild hybrid. Unlike the Camry and Accord hybrids, the Aura's powertrain isn't capable of driving the car on electric power alone. And that might matter to environmentally conscious buyers who want to drive at least part of the time on electric power only.
Mild hybrids, such as General Motors' pickups and the first generation of the Honda Civic, have not sold well.
Aura has a belt-alternator-starter hybrid system that provides a light boost during acceleration, captures energy during braking and restarts the engine after the vehicle comes to a stop.
Light weight, less filling
But a mild hybrid's advantage is less weight and mechanical complexity and a much lower price. The hybrid Aura costs just $1,700 more than the gasoline model, making it the least expensive mid-sized hybrid sedan.
The Aura goes on sale in early May with a sticker price of $22,695 and an EPA fuel economy rating of 28 mpg city and 35 on the highway. The fuel economy figures are the same as the Honda Accord Hybrid, which has a base price of $31,685. The Camry Hybrid has a base price of $26,820 and an EPA rating of 40 city/38 highway. All prices include shipping.
Scott Stapf, director of the Hybrid Owners of America, a Washington lobbying group, thinks the Aura may do well even though it doesn't have the technical sophistication of the Camry or Accord. "You still do have an environmentally sensitive group of consumers who are worried about emissions and global warming, and just about any hybrid will cut it," he says.
And then, Stapf says, the Aura could attract buyers looking for a low sticker price as well as less pain at the pump.
But he says the majority of hybrid buyers generally want more than just high fuel economy. They want to be on the cutting edge of technology. The Aura Green Line isn't.
The least expensive
Andre Kazewych, product manager for the Aura Green Line, says Saturn will pitch the car to potential buyers as the least expensive hybrid on the market.
"We're not looking at it in terms of tech sophistication but as an economical way to deliver better fuel efficiency," Kazewych says.
"It's going to offer a lot of people a hybrid option who don't have one. It should be a strong product in the marketplace," says Kevin Riddell, an analyst at J.D. Power and Associates in Troy, Mich. He says the Aura Green Line likely will start as a low-volume car and steadily build sales momentum.
No national ad campaigns are planned for the Aura Green Line. Saturn is planning to promote the car heavily on the Internet and might buy print ads. But Saturn spokesman Randy Fox says the company has other vehicle introductions and limited resources.
Neither Fox nor Kazewych would say how many Aura Green Lines GM plans to sell.
John Danielson, sales manager at Saturn of the Lakes in Tavares, Fla., says few customers have asked about the Aura Green Line, and no orders have been taken.
Danielson says the Vue Green Line crossover hasn't sold as well as expected. Most customers, he says, want the Vue with the Honda V-6.
"If gasoline hits $3 per gallon this summer, that might change," he says.
The Aura hybrid, made in Kansas City, Kan., is expected to arrive just about the time dealers run out of the Vue Green Line. Production of that vehicle ends in March at Saturn's Spring Hill, Tenn., plant.
The new Vue Green Line, which will be produced in Mexico, will be introduced in the fall.
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Good article, thanks. Too bad Saturn chose not to properly market the GL Aura. I like many others block adverts from my websites and will probably never see them. "Go Green w/o going broke" is a great idea, I'm sure interest will pick up in them as Summer gas prices go up as they already have been. Just too bad that they are NAFTA cars. I guess UAW workers are a rare commodity nowadays? That was a very strong point with many buyers and still is.
--
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No that Saturn is fully part of GM and no longer on its "own" its long term viablity and competiveness is questionable. You buy a Saturn now you are basically buying a GM car with a different label which goes against the whole reason GM first created the brand. Also Saturn started as a econobox maker and GM is phasing that out to focus on SUV's which is another long term mistake along with dumping plastic body parts that set it apart for other vehicles as well. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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Please fix your broken newsreader configuration. Tools | Options | Display | Message List Pane | Reply Prefixes It should say re and nothing more -- but yours is blank.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Wed, 28 Feb 2007 16:17:52 +0000, a rock fell the sky, hitting Doug Miller on the head, and inspiring the following:

Huh?
Hey, at least he isn't using Outlook Express (and neither are you) - that's a good thing! :)
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Every time SnoMan replies to a reply, his incorrectly-configured newsreader prepends a superfluous "Re: " at the beginning of the subject line. Google up a few threads that he's responded in multiple times, and you'll see posts with subjects beginning "Re: Re: Re: ".
Here's a sampling: http://groups.google.com/groups?as_epq=Re%3A+Re%3A+Re%3A&as_ugroup=rec.autos . makers.saturn
I'm hoping eventually he'll realize that the problem really *is* with his setup, and not with everyone else's.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Wed, 28 Feb 2007 18:23:19 +0000, a rock fell the sky, hitting Doug Miller on the head, and inspiring the following:

Ahh, didn't notice.
That would be a pain. I had used Forte (his newsreader) in a past life, and never noticed that.
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kai
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That's because *you* had *your* installation of Forte configured correctly.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Wed, 28 Feb 2007 16:17:52 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Guess again, it is not blank and it does say "re" only too! (always has) ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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Then, as someone else suggested, change it to re re^2 re^3 -- 'cause it's still broken -- look at the subject of this post! Your newsreader is still inserting extra Re:'s every time you reply. The problem *is* in your configuration.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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The original Saturn concept of the 1990's is over for good.
You are correct, Saturn has been terminated by General Motors. Sad but true.
wrote:

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On Wed, 28 Feb 2007 03:05:35 -0800, a rock fell the sky, hitting iwhtcimtlfmwmaomopw on the head, and inspiring the following:

http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070226/FREE/70226002/1528/video
Man, that is a stupid idea. Here they have a perfectly good diesel like in the Opel Antara (Vue) and the Opel Vectra (Aura), yet they're not capatilizing on the option here in the US.
Too bad!
I wonder if saturn will come out with a mid-size car/suv anytime?
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On 28 Feb 2007 16:52:36 GMT, PerfectReign

Diesels days in cars may be numbered. For many years they operated via a loop hole in emission laws that let them release a LOT of NOx (may times a normal car) and that loop hole starts to close with 2008 models and it is not going to be cheap or easy to clean them up. They are finaily "catching up" with them ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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Please fix your broken newsreader configuration. Tools | Options | Display | Message List Pane | Reply Prefixes It should say re and nothing more -- but yours is blank.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Wed, 28 Feb 2007 21:10:01 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Give it a rest.... It is not blank and it is set up properly. I could make it blank though. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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It obviously is *not* set up properly -- you just prepended *another* "Re: " to the subject. And the reason that's a problem is that every time you change the subject, you create another separate thread.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Thu, 01 Mar 2007 01:30:08 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

It must be your client because I see no seperate thread here ever by me unless I start one but I do see seperate threads created by others when they do so. My software is working from my perspective and I have been using Agent for over 10 years now too and you are the only one to complain so perhaps you should look in your own backyard. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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This has been explained to you repeatedly. Go to Google Groups and LOOK AT YOUR POSTS. It's YOUR CLIENT that's putting that stuff in there.

Obviously you've had it configured incorrectly for ten years.

FALSE -- and you know it. At least two other people have raised the same issue with you in this newsgroup.

Nope. Problem is entirely with the configuration of your client. Not my fault you're unable to figure that out -- I tried.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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It's not just his client. In this article you just posted, the Subject: line reads:
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Saturn hopes to beat Honda, Toyota in hybrid sales
Let's check a public news server:
$ telnet freetext.usenetserver.com nntp Trying 208.49.83.84... Connected to freetext.usenetserver.com. Escape character is '^]'. 201 free-text.usenetserver.com -- http://www.usenetserver.com/ (Tornado v1.0.6) mode reader 201 free-text.usenetserver.com -- http://www.usenetserver.com/ (Tornado v1.0.6.380)
Path: text.usenetserver.com!out04b.usenetserver.com!news.usenetserver.com!in02.usenetserver.com!news.usenetserver.com!postnews.google.com!news4.google.com!newshub.sdsu.edu!elnk-nf2-pas!newsfeed.earthlink.net!stamper.news.pas.earthlink.net!newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net.POSTED!73cebd03!not-for-mail
Newsgroups: rec.autos.makers.saturn Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Saturn hopes to beat Honda, Toyota in hybrid sales
X-Newsreader: Forte Free Agent 3.3/32.846 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Lines: 15 Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 12:04:42 GMT NNTP-Posting-Host: 69.81.85.169 X-Complaints-To: snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net X-Trace: newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net 1172750682 69.81.85.169 (Thu, 01 Mar 2007 04:04:42 PST) NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 04:04:42 PST Organization: EarthLink Inc. -- http://www.EarthLink.net Xref: usenetserver.com rec.autos.makers.saturn:203900 X-Received-Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 07:04:42 EST (text.usenetserver.com) . quit 205 GoodBye Connection closed by foreign host.
... see? No newsreading client was even involved here. All those Re:'s are coming from you, not Doug's client.
-- Mark
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says...

Again...Facts mean nothing to Snoball. He will make no attempt at fixing agent. While you guys are in Google entertain yourselfs by reading the crap he post and the countless corrections others have to make.
Here's a good one that sums him up

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.autos.4x4.chevy-trucks/browse_thread/thread/581c43a7ef539df3/c62b7db16fc95568?lnk=st&q=clip&rnum=2 #
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