Saturn’s “Rethink American” campaign has its good points, though there’s the question of how “American” Saturn’s product line, much of which is based on vehicles from GM’s European outpost Opel, really is: the new Astra is built alongside its Opel cousin in Belgium, fercrissake.
But it took Chevrolet to put some attitude to this premise. A six-pager (folds down to two) in the car mags this month says flatly, “WE’RE TIRED OF BEING A FOREIGN CAR IN OUR OWN COUNTRY.” The car in question is Chevy’s ’08 Malibu, which looks pretty spiffy and so far seems to get competitive numbers. It would be unkind to mention that the ‘Bu, like Saturn’s Aura, is one of GM’s Epsilon cars, meaning that GM Europe (Opel, again!) is responsible for the platform, but I suspect that most people shopping in this segment are looking for Camry alternatives (if not actual Camrys), and they may not care where those alternatives come from so long as they look good and hold up well. The bow-tie boys have the first half of that premise taken care of, anyway; we’ll have to wait and see about the second.