Saturn Prepares for Life Beyond General Motors

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Peter Valdes-Dapena from Abandoned and facing death as General Motors cuts brands in its own fight for survival, Saturn, the "different kind of car company," could soon become a very, very different kind of car company just to survive. GM has said it will stop producing Saturn vehicles in about two years. Rather than accept that it's over, Saturn executives and the brand's leading dealers are looking at new ways - some that have never been tried before - to keep Saturn alive. "When times are tough, that's when the biggest breakthrough's come," said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn's General Manager. Lajdziak is among a group of about 10 people, including a few GM executives, a few Saturn retailers and prominent industry consultant Stephen Girsky, who are considering some daring approaches. Among the options being seriously considered: selling electric cars, turning Saturn into a chain of boutique stores offering vehicles by various manufacturers or simply finding one company - perhaps one based in China or India - to make a new lineup of cars. All are variations on the same thing. The new Saturn will be a retail channel only. It will not be a car company. "We're not going to be in the manufacturing business," said Girsky, "We're going to leave that to the experts."

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General Motors to Auction Near-Classics from Corporate Museum

Flashback Friday: 1,000,000th Saturn reports General Motors will auction off a number of vehicles from its vaunted Heritage Center museum collection in an effort to raise cash to help offset the huge losses the company is faced with due to the global financial crisis. There are about 1000 vehicles of historical significance in storage that GM uses for the displays at the museum, but only about 150 to 200 of those vehicles can be featured at one time. On the list of vehicles to be auctioned are several notable Saturns from the past. The website says they will be sold at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson auction held January 13-19 in Scottsdale, Arizona.