Thursday Snippets

Slow news day…..

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California, land of the Governator, Google and ….. and …… other things starting with G, is going to get it’s next 15 E85 fuel outlets. This will bring the total number of Californian stations to 16.

PASADENA, Calif.–The federal Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it has selected a strong collaborative team comprised of CALSTART, General Motors, Pacific Ethanol, CleanFUEL USA, Community Environmental Council and others to receive grant funding to jump start a major new alternative fuel network in the state. The grant would provide partial funding to build 15 publicly accessible E85 ethanol stations in California…..

…..With this initial round of funding, ten E85 will be constructed at existing gas stations owned by United Oil in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. With four pumps going to stations along the highway 101 route from Ventura to San Luis Obispo County, motorists will be able to conveniently refill in that region. A final E85 pump will be installed in the San Joaquin Valley alongside Highway 99 in Tulare.

Given Cali’s key status in all things economic, this has got to be a good step.

The next good step would be to hear that Saab are actually releasing a Biopower Saab in the US. Hopefully there’ll be something on that soon.

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I wrote a few days ago about GM Europe’s new showroom look and feel: Saab vehicles will be sold alongside Opel and Chevrolet with a common look and feel in the showrooms.

Australia, on the other hand, are going to market Saab alongside Cadillac and Hummer in a limited number of showrooms, in a bid to mirror Ford’s Premier Auto Group – Volvo, Land Rover and Jaguar.

Selected dealers have been approached to join an exclusive network that will sell the military-inspired Hummer H3 SUV, and eventually encompass Saab and US luxury marque Cadillac.

“It’s gone beyond the discussion stage. It’s been formally talked about to the dealer network,” an automotive retail source said.

They’re pretty keen on this Cadillac expansion, aren’t they?

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I just got an email from German Car Blog telling me they’re starting a German Car Blog Forum.

Seems redundant to me.

We’ve already got Car & Driver, The Truth About Cars, Road & Track…….

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13 Comments

  1. So Cadillac will be sold in Australia as luxurious? Bloody hell. That’ll have the punters banging down the doors then won’t it?

  2. Can’t GM have some sort of a trainee-camp in Europe for top executives officers from the HQ? They have to live and work in Europe (Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Sweden…) for a minimum of one year, and get to learn what the world outside Michigan think of brands like Cadillac. Think of it as some sort of reality check.

  3. Why argh they bothering, Why?

    Pride, its America. I can see where there coming from. lol at some of the rich yanks adopting unfortunate kids from oversees, I hope they don’t starve them like GM have.

  4. Having Angelina Jolie/ Madonna/ GM as a Parent figure is all wrong, there is just something not right with calling all 3 mammy, 1 out of the 3 will screw you, the other 2 well you can just dream they might. 2 out of the 3 want to bring you from a nice warm country into there cold country, the other is happy to leave you out in the cold and lastly only one of the 3 would you like to have been brought for a ride in everyday when you where a teenager (http://www.aetra.de/data/Bilder/saab99.jpg)

  5. I hold out hope that alongside the saab, caddy and hummer stands in these new prestige oz showrooms, is a fourth stand that sells the drugs that make all of that seem right to me.

  6. Well, interesting to see if they bring the 3some showrooms into Canada.
    We already have a few of the Hummer & Cadilac branded showrooms. Hummer sales have been tough because of gas pricing here.
    I wonder if they will break Saab out from the Saturn dealers? Saab diluted into a Cadilac market, I see more platform sharing, DHS Caddie chassis for a 9-5 platform?

  7. Paul Humpage, I agree with you here.

    “Can’t GM have some sort of a trainee-camp in Europe for top These execs will need to live on normal people’s salaries and be required to “fit into” the norm and live an average person’s lifestyle. That is the key, otherwise it’s pointless on exec’s salaries.

    Then and only then, they will understand what REALITY really is.

  8. It has been really interesting watching the GM developments in Australia over recent times. There has been some manoeuvring, the purpose of which is becoming clear.

    Holden had been known as just ‘Holden’ for years but a couple of years ago went through a substantial renaming scheme as ‘GM Holden’.

    Holden-badged Euro (Opel) sourced small cars have been largely replaced with Daewoo sourced small cars, a brand that folded here.

    We have the new Holden Commodore, Holden’s only Aussie product being lauded as being an exceptional effort that will make Euro brand buyers sit up and listen, but is about 50% foreign sourced parts (largely Asian). This product line-up sends mixed signals as a brand although the average punter doesn’t care as long as Holdens are cheap (lets see how this plays out as a brand image).

    Meanwhile Ford sells only Ford and almost all Euro supplied except local cars that are being advertised as Euro in style, handling etc. This is a highly consistent brand strategy. Ford’s PAG stuff is sold in totally separate dealerships.

    SAAB is currently sold through old school dealers alongside Alfa, Renault and others, or alongside Holdens in traditional Holden dealerships.

    What will happen now?

    Given that Holden’s brand image is being cheapened, does this mean the time is ripe to put a ‘premium’ product corner in the dealerships where Caddy and Hummer will be added to the SAABs already in some dealerships? In this context the smaller Caddy products may actually make sense as they will in fact appear to be ‘premium’ relative to the budget Holden-badged stuff.

    Will SAAB dealers be expected to take on these other GM products?

    Will GM establish new separate ‘premium’ dealerships in conjunction with established SAAB dealers, Holden and otherwise?

    Seems like the other shoe that has been hanging since the new US CEO came in a few years ago is about to drop.

    All this does not take into account the insanity of selling SAAB alongside Hummers. To quote a brilliant term from Swade, “Biopower and the Brick”.

  9. turbin, I agree. Holden is making the mistake of chasing cheap asian imports as their competitor, thereby weakening the brand across the range. Bringing in caddy and hummer to fill the gap at the premium end is like sprinkling icing sugar on a poo. Shame that Saab could be in the same poomium corner.

  10. That “other thing starting with G” California’s the land of you refer to is “Gripen” (as in ME), right? 😉

    It’s really strange that the locations for the new E85 pumps they mention in the article you link to are in some of the least populated areas of the state. WHY? California is home to the 2nd-most populous city in the country (L.A.) and has numerous large urban areas (San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento…). Why wouldn’t they target the pumps for the areas with the most potential customers? Tulare!?! Look at a map. It’s in the middle of nowhere (San Juaquin Valley farm country). Four pumps between Ventura and San Louis Obispo? Again, the middle of nowhere. This smacks of some sort of conspiracy. I don’t know what yet, but I’ll come up with something. 😉

  11. Just re-read the snippet and see that 10 pumps are to go into the Greater Los Angeles area. Ignore my last rant (as if I had to tell you that).

    I still find it disturbing the government has to give corporate handouts to encourage multi-million dollar (and in the case of GM multi-BILLION dollar) companies to make ethanol available. If it was so great, why not let the free market sort it all out? My tax dollars at work…

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