Accelerated Development of the 2000 Saturn Three-Door Coupe Rear Quarter Panel 2001-01-0848
In 1990, Saturn Corporation began production of a vehicle line, including sedan and coupe body styles, utilizing polymer body panels. This polymer body panel system offers benefits to the end-use customer, including:
Weight savings enabling increased fuel economy and vehicle performance
Saturn Corporation also benefits from this polymer body panel system through significantly reduced up-front investment cost and shortened tooling lead times1.
The design, development, and manufacturing of polymer body panels for the new Three-Door Coupe will be discussed in this paper. Saturn drew upon experience gained over the past 8 years to take full advantage of the shorter lead times inherent in utilizing injection mold tooling. The shorter tooling lead-time enabled a successful fast vehicle development and launch.
The Three-Door Coupe is an industry first for Saturn. Being fast to market with a new vehicle is considered to be a significant competitive advantage that can help to enable market share growth. This paper will explain in more detail the specific program elements in the development of the Three-Door Coupe rear quarter panel.