Did Saturn Move Up Market too Fast?

Jerry Flint from Forbes: Saturn probably had the latest and best lineup of any GM brand: two well-done SUVs, the Outlook and the Vue, the handsome Aura sedan, a sister of the Chevy Malibu, the European built-small Astra car, and even a two-seat sports car, the Sky. But sales went nowhere. GM had said it will kill the brand, but now hopes to sell the name to Roger Penske. Why did Saturn fail despite a decent product lineup? I would say because they went "upscale." Saturn was created as a low-priced line, below Chevrolet, to take on lower-priced imports. That new lineup was good, but its prices were higher - $20,000 for the small car, $25,000 to $35,000 for the others. There's nothing wrong with moving up-market; lots of companies do this. But it takes time to build a new customer base, maybe a decade. People who paid $15,000 for the last Saturn will have trouble trading up for a $35,000 model. GM gave up on Saturn after two years.

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Former Chrysler Executives Involved in Bidder Efforts to Save Saturn

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Last week, Penske Automotive Group disclosed to the media that it had secured former Chrysler President, Tom LaSorda, as an advisor for the deal. Similar news was unveiled yesterday by Telesto Ventures. The investor group has hired a team of advisors which are all, oddly enough, former executives at Chrysler. According to Telesto's CEO, John Pappanastos, "The Saturn brand has the opportunity to serve a significant role in transforming the auto industry. We have carefully selected a team of proven innovators who not only bring powerful thinking to the table, but also the critical execution skills that have enabled us to make significant progress in such a short amount of time."