GENEVA - As General Motors devises a new global strategy for its Delta small-car platform, President Rick Wagoner acknowledged the company stumbled in some efforts at transatlantic platform sharing.
For example, he said giving Europe a full-sized minivan from North America, the ill-fated Opel/Vauxhall Sintra, 'didn't work.'
But the Sintra project's failure doesn't mean Europe can't tap into North American vehicle projects, Wagoner said here at the Geneva auto show.
'One advantage of being our size is we get to swing more at the plate, and that's what we want to encourage the people at Opel to do - to look at the palette of opportunities around the world and to grab what makes sense.'
Another 'learning experience' in platform sharing is the Saturn L series mid-sized car based on the Opel Vectra. Sales are foundering, primarily because of poor marketing, Wagoner said.
Saturn was not involved in the Vectra platform, but re-engineered the Vectra.
'It is fair to say Saturn would not have a mid-sized car if we hadn't done it that way,' Wagoner said.
Although Wagoner said Saturn should be involved in the next vehicle development program earlier, he said Saturn is not part of the Epsilon program, which will spawn the new Opel Vectra in 2002, the Omega replacement in 2003 and the base for all new Saab models.
'Their (Saturn) product cycle is quite a bit later. They don't have any resources involved in it right now,' Wagoner said.