Lack of a Profitable Small Car Hurt Saturn in Canada

Michael Bettencourt from Globe and Mail: The Saturn brand's lack of a profitable small car and its pairing with another ailing brand in Saab in Canada helped prompt the decision to close all Canadian Saturn and Saab outlets in the next few months, according to the company that will keep the brand alive in the U.S. Tony Pordon, senior vice-president for the Penske Automotive Group, said there were various roadblocks to a distribution deal for Saturn in Canada, but the primary one was that neither GM nor Penske would be able to offer enough small cars to make the proposition viable Canada. Although both companies said they studied continuing the Saturn brand in Canada, Pordon defends the call to drop the Saturn brand in Canada past the end of 2009 as a joint GM Canada and Penske decision. "To say Penske's pulling the plug on Canada, I don't think it's fair at all," said Pordon in an interview this week. "At best, it was a joint decision."

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Plugging in Your Volt: Not With Just Any Old Cord

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GM's much-touted Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid will plug into a wall socket to recharge its 16-kilowatt-hour battery pack for up to 40 miles of travel solely on electricity. It may be many Americans' first exposure in a century to cars that plug into the wall.