A Saturn Takes Its Place Among The Stars

2008 Saturn Astra XR 5-Door

Earlier this week, the Hartford Courant newspaper published an article about a conversation they recently had with Matt Pillow, sales manager at Saturn of Hartford, about he 2008 Saturn Astra. He shared some interesting sales insight with the paper, shedding some light as to how the two different Astra body types and trim levels are selling in Connecticut's Greater Hartford area.

The trajectory of Saturn has taken a new twist. Originally, this division of General Motors aimed to prove that a compact car designed and made in the United States could compete profitably with the best from overseas. More recently, Saturn has turned to Opel of Germany, also owned by General Motors, for several of its latest offerings.The Astra comes in two body styles and two trim levels. The basic XE is offered only in the five-door hatchback model. The better-equipped XR is available in the three-door or five-door version. "Right now, I'd have to say that it is 60/40 in favor of the five-door," Pillow said of buyer preferences. "It's about 50/50 right down the middle between XE and XR." I really liked this new Astra. It is a good car for a short person, yet taller people also found the driving position comfortable. It is one of the few cars in which setting a good position on the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel did not mean that the rim of the wheel partially blocked my view of the instruments. Longer trips are quite pleasant in the Astra. The ride is really good for a car of this size. Noise levels make for relaxed highway cruising; handling is very nice.

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Overall Saturn Sales Down 3.5% in August, While the Vue Skyrockets 46%

Saturn's overall August sales fell 3.5% last month as retailers sold 20,385 vehicles, down from 21,117 in August of '07. Comparatively speaking, thought, the brand more than held its own in a very tough market. GM's overall sales were down 20.3% last month, Ford fell 26.5%, Toyota's were down 9.4%, and even Honda's sales came in 7.3% lower.