Opel and Saturn: An Unlikely Pair
Automotive enthusiasts familiar with the Saturn brand of vehicles can get a strong hint where the nameplate is going by keeping their eyes on German automaker Opel. Opel is General Motors’ storied European brand and GM has plainly stated that by 2014 the brands will be fully integrated. Most future Saturn models will originate overseas with the possibility one or two models will be copies of GM's stateside line up (e. g. , namely crossovers).
The Opel Insignia and the Saturn AURA
Opel recently released pictures of the Insignia, a model that will likely be the next generation Saturn AURA. They also have been showing pictures of the Opel Meriva concept, a car that will probably find its way across the Atlantic.
What the Meriva Has to Offer
The Meriva represents the brand's monocab design - a short hood, high roof and steeply sloping tailgate. Also known as “mini minivans" vehicles like the Meriva are popular in Europe, but are currently unknown in the US and Canada. With gas prices zooming ever higher, the Meriva could fill an important void in Saturn's line up.
A distinguishing feature of the Meriva is its innovative FlexDoors system, which consists of rear-hinged rear doors that swing open toward the back of the car, for easier passenger access. The Meriva is designed to hold five occupants and is expected to offer a variety of engine choices including four and six cylinder gas engines as well as a diesel powerplant.
With GM scrambling to overhaul its bulky product line, the Meriva could arrive stateside as early as 2011. GM recently cancelled a small MPV that the company had been planning to build on the upcoming Chevrolet Cruze platform, possibly making way for the Meriva. Regardless of where GM goes with the Meriva the minivan/crossover looks like a hit. US and Canadian consumers may want one, but we'll have to wait to see how this fits in to GM's long term strategy for the domestic market.
Copyright 2008-2012 - Matthew C. Keegan is the owner of a successful writing and marketing business based in North Carolina, USA. He manages several websites and is a contributing writer for Andy's Auto Sport, a retailer of quality racing seats and tonneau covers .