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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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GM to Spin-Off Opel & Vauxhall Brands

I saw this over on the g8board and thought you guys might find it interesting.

GM to Spin-Off Opel & Vauxhall Brands : Auto News

General Motors has just announced that itís European operations, including brands Opel and Vauxhall will split-off from GM.

The deal would see anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of of GM Europe sold off to private investors, however, GM would continue to hold a majority stake in the company. (Call us crazy, but who would want to invest in a company that was still controlled by the same people who drove it into the ground)?

The news comes a day after thousands of Opel workers in the city of Ruesselsheim protested and asked that Opel split off from GM after 80 years of ownership by the U.S. company.

GM Europe is asking for $4.18 billion from European governments in loans to facilitate its restructuring efforts that would see the company profitable by 2011.


The German government, however, isnít jumping at the chance. Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg asked that GM first take very other measure possible before the German government would even consider a bailout. Zu Guttenberg even hinted that were the German government to get involved it would most likely like a say in where the money goes and what the restructuring plan would look like. GM Europe, after all, has plants in Germany, Belgium and the U.K.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 03:41 PM
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The total splitt-off from GM would be Opels only chance, if there's a chance for the samll Brand Opel at all...

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2009, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by german gt View Post
The total splitt-off from GM would be Opels only chance, if there's a chance for the samll Brand Opel at all...
Total split-off? Im sure it's overseas infrastructure would have it outselling Toyota in no time.....NOT! Good luck redesigning an entirely new platform(s) from scratch, while somehow feeding the employees. Remember, GM owns the rights on everything from the frame up. Bottom line...a total-split-off aint gonna happen.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 01:01 AM
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I hope so cause the we might actually see development of the EcoSpeedster and hopefully see a future version of it available to the public. Oh it would be NICE to have on of those originals!

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 01:37 AM
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GM needs Opel much more than Opel needs GM. If not for Opel engineering we would not have a Sky, or a lot of other GM cars.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 06:34 PM
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i'm a huge fan of the eco speedster but it's basically more lotus than opel (aluminum chassis, etc). i thought long and hard about trying to import one but the elise is already here and a lot easier swap in a turbo diesel and get goin
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by willis View Post
GM needs Opel much more than Opel needs GM. If not for Opel engineering we would not have a Sky, or a lot of other GM cars.


Saturn had a convertible in the works long before Opel got involved.

T ~ In hoc signo vinces
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by SkyVue2 View Post


Saturn had a convertible in the works long before Opel got involved.
Yes and no. Remember the Sky is mostly based off the Vauxhall Lightning concept, which was introduced the same time as the Solstice and other Kappa platform concepts, Chevy Nomad & Saturn Curve.

Saturn showed a Sky Concept in 2002 which I believe was the first based on what Lutz would eventually intro as the Kappa platform.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 03:44 PM
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as mentioned in the previous post Saturn had the Sky roadster well planned before Vauxhall/Opel got involved

the concept was shown Chicago in 2002 heres a few more pictures

General Motors concepts for Chicago Auto Show

I know which design I prefer

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Last edited by OPEL-GT; 03-02-2009 at 03:45 PM. Reason: typos
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OPEL-GT View Post
as mentioned in the previous post Saturn had the Sky roadster well planned before Vauxhall/Opel got involved

the concept was shown Chicago in 2002 heres a few more pictures

General Motors concepts for Chicago Auto Show

I know which design I prefer
So basically they had a concept for a Saturn Sky roadster that never got produced.

The only part they kept was the name, which they decided to use on a LHD version of the Vauxhaul Lightning concept car built on the Solstice Kappa architecture....

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChgoBlues View Post
Yes and no. Remember the Sky is mostly based off the Vauxhall Lightning concept, which was introduced the same time as the Solstice and other Kappa platform concepts, Chevy Nomad & Saturn Curve.

Saturn showed a Sky Concept in 2002 which I believe was the first based on what Lutz would eventually intro as the Kappa platform.


Hmm, and all this time I thought the Solstice was the first Kappa platform concept. January 2002, Detroit Auto Show.




Actually, that 2002 Saturn concept could not have been based on the Kappa platform due to the fact that it was designed to be a four seater and probably had a longer base. The engineers apparently redesigned that Sky concept to adhere to the measurements of the (Solstice) Kappa architecture and eventually produced what we now know to be the Saturn Sky.

And as far as the Vauxhall goes - it was designed off the Solstice Concept:


Quote:
Being launched as a centrepiece to the company’s Centenary celebrations, the VX Lightning is a two-seater roadster based on the same technical foundation as the Pontiac concept Solstice, first seen at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Under the long bonnet of the VX Lightning is a new version of Vauxhall’s all aluminium 2.2 ECOTEC engine, reworked with a supercharger to produce a maximum power of 240hp and 305Nm of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox is mated to the engine, driving the rear wheels. The chassis incorporates independent suspension, the front end using a simple and reliable strut configuration with a rack and pinion steering. At the rear, the independent suspension is all aluminium for weight saving. Overall, the car manages a near perfect 50:50 weight distribution for the best in handling and agility.

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Last edited by solli4me; 03-02-2009 at 05:32 PM.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, basically, GM decided to take the Vauxhall Lightning Concept and add it to the Kappa platform which was designed for the Solstice.

From the Pontiac Solstice book:

Quote:
Sometimes all the planets line up. This was one of those times.

First, in January 2002, the Solstice roadster concept stole the Detroit auto show. Next year, 2003, GM's British subsidiary, Vauxhall, needed an exciting concept car to help celebrate the company's hundredth anniversary. This resulted in a hot-looking concept roadster called the VX Lightning. Vauxhall created that car in GM Europe's advanced UK studio on the bones of the original Solstice concept. The Lightning debuted in May 2003, just as the Solstice production program was coming together.

Eight months later, the production-intent Solstice appeared in Detroit, accompanied by three additional sporty concepts that showed off the flexibility of GM's all-new Kappa architecture. One was the Vauxhall VX Lightning.

Meanwhile, GM's Saturn Division laid plans for its own Kappa-based roadster. The idea was to make this the cornerstone of a much needed product expansion and revitalization, and the VX Lightning looked just right as the styling inspiration for Saturn's roadster. Also, because Saturn was then in the process of aligning with GM Europe's Opel brand for future design and product sharing, Opel ended up getting a third Kappa Roadster called the Opel GT. Everyone came out ahead except poor, century-old Vauxhall, which desperately wanted a roadster but was left out because cars sold in England have to be right-hand drive.
As far as I can tell, the only thing they kept of the 2002 Saturn Sky concept was the name. Another quote from the Pontiac Solstice book:

Quote:
Saturn, they realized, needed a sexy halo car to lead the way. The VX Lightning fit that bill much better than the less aggressive Curve or an earlier Saturn Sky four-seat concept convertible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solli4me
Would anyone like a hamster? I already asked Reed but he politely declined....

Last edited by dengel; 03-02-2009 at 05:40 PM.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 05:52 PM
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Kappa didn't exist when Solstice was a concept. Bob Lutz was focused on the LOOK, and to match whatever architecture necessary to preserve the LOOK. When it became apparent the Solstice LOOK could not be designed using existing architecture, Bob fought to develop the architecture necessary to preserve the LOOK. In other words, the Solstice wasn't engineered to fit the kappa. The kappa was engineered to fit the Solstice. Up to that point, it was mostly U.S.

But when it came to actually engineering the beef of the car (i.e., Powertrain), GM tapped their global engineering expertise, which included Opel, Saab, and a host of other engineers, including U.S. participants.

Basically, the design, looks, and the basis for the kappa architecture we're mainly U.S. driven. Everything beyond that was largely a global effort across GM.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 08:08 PM
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Yes, Lutz wanted to preserve the look of the design concept and the Kappa platform was engineered to provide the base for it. They contemplated using existing platforms but that would have changed the look of the car.

Just shut up and drive.
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Last edited by solli4me; 03-02-2009 at 08:10 PM.
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