So by now you have probably read that the 2010 Opel Astra
has been rolled out to the public in Europe and with this announcement there is much speculation for what this could mean for the American car market. The previous generation Astra was sold under the Saturn nameplate in the U.S., but now that Saturn has been scheduled to be shut down (much like Pontiac) the remaining question is: Where will the Astra, more importantly the Astra 5-door, find a home?
The 2010 Opel Astra shares many attributes with the new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, so we can pretty much guess that the Cruze will be the sedan that comes to the States. However, that leaves the Astra 5-door without a home. Current speculation is that the Astra will end up in the Buick product line since they are without a car of this category. There are also talks of GM negotiating a deal with Fiat to give the Italian automaker the Opel mark in exchange for what some might call a controlling interest in Fiat. That makes one start to wonder how that could play out with the Chrysler and Fiat partnership that is still in the works.
Another potential outcome is that Saturn could try to purchase the Astra through a contract-manufacturing arrangement and then sell them in the U.S. like the previous generation car. My two cents—The Astra should go to Buick so that GM can try to strengthen a brand that they have named as a core part to GM’s success in the future. Let’s be honest, it would be a ton better for Buick than the Rendezvous.
Check out our other coverage of GM like our report on GM in the Fastlane, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and Pontiac—Another one bites the dust.
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