Saturn to Enter Three New Market Segments by 2007

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A recent J.D. Power study predicts Saturn will grow its market share in the United States by 0.65 of a percentage point over the next five years. The increase will reportedly come as a result of the launch of three all-new vehicles that will compete in market segments that will be new to Saturn. Reuters reports the study was presented to dealers prior to the NADA conference.

According to J.D. Power, Saturn will add a minivan, midsize SUV, and a vehicle that is "half SUV and half pickup truck" - similar to the Explorer SporTrac and Subaru Baja - to its lineup by 2007. GM publicly announced plans to build a Saturn minivan this past weekend. The Saturn minivan will likely be available in the third quarter of 2004 as a 2005 model. The Tennessean says it will be built in Doraville, Georgia, along side the next-generation Chevy Venture and Pontiac Transport. Buick will also build a minivan at the same plant. Each of the minivans will have distinct styling and list of features to distinguish it from the competition. GM says they will be styled much differently than GM's current crop of minivans.

Details about the midsize Saturn SUV and SUV/pickup truck are not yet known.

The predictions are based in part on J.D. Power's information about future car models. The research and marketing firm projects that, in addition to Saturn, Nissan, Hyundai, Volkswagen, and Jeep will also increase their U.S. market share. Incidentally, Power also predicts Toyota, Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, and Ford will loose share between now and 2007.

 

Source: Reuters, J. D. Power & Associates

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Mysterious Ohio Based Investment Group Arises as a Potential Buyer

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Update on May 7th: Leading negotiations for this group is Gary Marvicsin. Detroit News reports that he is employed in the auto industry.

Detroit News reports that there is a mysterious Ohio based investment group interested in acquiring Saturn. Unlike the other interested buyers, this group has developed a concept to keep the company domestically based. According to the article, the group is interested in purchasing domestically abandoned manufacturing plants to produce Saturns. Chrysler plants that are targeted to close due to bankruptcy troubles were specifically mentioned. The group wants to continue to employee UAW workers at these plants. While recognizing the high costs associated with employing union workers, such as benefits and pensions, the group believes that it is the right move for two reasons.