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Re: Saturn quality is a gimmick

 I just can agree with Valery. I do not own Saturn and I can consider 
 it maybe if they bring the Opel Vectra as Saturn in 1998. I spoke with 
 a Saturn salesman (a very rare kind of sincere one) in one of their 
 dealerships (I won't tell the name of that dealership) and he 
 confirmed, what I felt before.
 Basically, what we did agree, that Saturn made a perfect brainwashing 
 with the "no-haggle price" and "the best quality of any car made in 
 U.S.". Actually, if you see, they succeed. I think, the "quality" of 
 the car is asubjetive matter: you spend $15000 or $20000 or maybe even 
 more - and you will a perfect machine for that amount of money. No 
 wonder, Volvo owners may complain more... they may be just 
 perfectionists. On the other side, with a good amount of brainwashing, 
 the car manufacturer can influence its customers.
 The sales guy agreed to this...And just laughed.
 A former colleague of me bought a 1996 SL2. Well, I sat in his car... 
 I bought a 1995 Chevy Lumina LS with 3.4L motor for ca. $17000 (last 
 year model, brand new, no miles, no recalls, minor complains on my 
 side - I am picky). My car was just ca. $1500 more, than his car - but 
 it is far, far, far better. (Of course, the gas mileage is worse in a 
 large car, than in a compact one...but SL2 doesn't has 215 horses)
 Now you can buy new (not used or "program" cars) near-luxury cars, 
 like 1995 left-over Mitsubishi Diamante LS for around 20K. If you make 
 your homework and research the price correctly, the Saturn's "one 
 price" is just your disadvantage. True, the Saturn cars are 
 quite fair engineered (the cheapo plastic interior design is an other 
 story), but their price is simply too high if you really buy the 
 options you like. (Aircon, auto, cruse package).
 The "wonderfull" depreciation of Saturn cars is the other brainwash.
 True, Saturn depreciate the least comparing to the MSRP of the car.
 But if you buy your Chevy, Volvo, Mazda, Ford, etc. at MSRP (I speak 
 about "regular" sedans or so, not about the "hot" cars) you made a 
 big, big mistake. Here is the point: Diamante LS may have a MSRP over 
 30K, if equipped with leather and so on. A one year old car's value is 
 just barely over 20K. So, Saturn says, Mitsubishi has an awfull 
 depreciation in the first year. And they are "almost" right. The 
 dealers had time to time a very big initiative for Mitsubishi, and 
 they discounted that car over and over. You can buy it now bellow the 
 "Blue Book" a new car, so, actually, the car's value as used is 
 higher, than if you buy it now as new. A paradox situation, but true. 
 My Chevy Lumina LS 's retail value (take the Blue Book or Edmund's) as 
 USED car is today actually higher, than the price I paid for it as NEW 
 car. And that Chevy is not a "hot" car at all...
 Probably I would buy maybe a Mitsubishi Diamante LS today, not the 
 Chevy simply because it is a bargain now.
 Basically, if a dealer or car manufacturer promises you an easy 
 worry-free way (and free from any homework, research and thinking 
 before going to the dealership) to get a wonderful car and it won't 
 cost you a LOT of extra money, and what they promise is true - than 
 you are living on an other planet!
 I appreciate the Saturn's efforts to manufacture and their cars...But 
 it isn't "an other kind of company". Same guys, just different (and 
 not necessarily clean) methods to market.
 Still, if they bring Opel Vectra I may think about them, but not 
 George Rath