Reminder: Check Out GMbeat.com for a Look at What Was Going to be the Future of SaturnFans.com
It's been more than three years since General Motors announced it was shuttering its "different kind of car" division. At the time, Roger Penske was attempting to purchase the brand and possibly stock it with cars sourced from plants in the US, South Korea, Mexico, or even Europe. Ultimately Mr. Penske couldn't get a deal done within GM's tight timeframes and Saturn was closed. While frantically attempting to keep up with rumors swirling around Saturn that fateful year, I made a decision to rethink the way I was collecting and reporting the news. In the midst of all the uncertainty surrounding Saturn, I began to draw up plans for new and improved version of SaturnFans.com that could not only help visitors track what Saturn news was happening, but where it was happening as it was happening. Unfortunately, with the demise of Saturn the upgraded site never saw the light of day. That is, until now.
I had an interest in GM long before the first Saturn was built, and despite GM's decision to close Saturn it is an interest that exists to this day. I still consider myself first and foremost a Saturn fan, and as such, I've kept a keen eye on the "new" General Motors that emerged from bankruptcy. Would GM learn from its past mistakes and build better cars? Would any remnants of the "Saturn Way" live on within the new GM? How hard would the company work to retain orphaned Saturn customers?
As time passed I also realized that I missed the automotive news beat, interacting with SaturnFans.com visitors, and posting articles. Even more importantly, there is still a need to report Saturn news. Although there aren't shiny new Saturn models with fancy features to write about anymore, there have been important Saturn recall notices and NHTSA investigations, articles discussing Saturn's sales strategies and how they compare to other companies' tactics, and even reports of GM rebranding the late Saturn Vue as a Buick (the idea was nixed after receiving lots of negative feedback) and Chevrolet (ask your local rental car agency to see the "all-new" Captiva). All of this led me to revive my plans to build what would have become the next-generation SaturnFans.com website.
The result is GMbeat.com. The new site has been online for awhile, but it has taken me some time to tweak the presentation into a format that I'm comfortable showcasing on SaturnFans.com. I've expanded the size and scope of the site to cover GM news from around the world as fast as I can get it posted. There's even a Saturn channel that will funnel Saturn-related news directly into the SaturnFans.com Forums.
I encourage you to check out the site and let me know what you think. While it's been under development for some time, the site is still in its infancy with lots of room to grow before it comes close to approaching the vision I've set out to create. And it is a vision that is integral to the future of SaturnFans.com. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more details.