From AutoNews Europe:
|Opel Antara will be next Saturn Vue|
By Jason Stein and Dave Guilford
Automotive News Europe / September 12, 2005
FRANKFURT -- The Opel Antara GTC mid-sized SUV unveiled by General Motors on Monday at the Frankfurt auto show is more than just a concept.
It is the next Saturn Vue.
At a media sneak preview, GM said the Antara will go into production in the fourth quarter next year, and that it represents Saturn’s future design direction.
The Antara concept “will be identical to the future Saturn Vue,” GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz said. “They can build it in a U.S. plant, and it will be identical.”
General Motors Europe designed the Antara with U.S. production in mind, both in terms of U.S. regulations and plant assembly, Lutz said.
The next Vue, which is built in Spring Hill, Tenn., is “a few years away,” he said.
A GM spokesperson said the Opel version will be manufactured in Korea.
Lutz said GM’s plan is to rebadge the Antara and unveil it as the next Vue at the New York auto show.
GM has said Saturn will benefit from Opel’s design capabilities.
Insiders have said the next-generation 2007 Saturn Ion also will share the same design language as the next Opel Astra.
Saturn, in general, will have the same vehicles as Opel and Vauxhall.
“The difference between Opel and Vauxhall in Europe and Saturn in the U.S. was a difference that wasn’t producing any benefits for us,” Lutz said.
Saturn has been “a brand in search of a design identity,” he said.
Lutz said some of the shared vehicles will be designed in the United States.