GM: No Delay for Plug-In SUV

Saturn Vue Green Line Plug-In Hybrid

Kevin Krolicki from Reuters: General Motors is on track to launch a plug-in sport-utility vehicle in 2011 despite scrapping its Saturn brand as part of a sweeping reorganization in bankruptcy, according to the automaker's product chief. "I can tell you that I won't lose one day in terms of customers being able to walk into dealerships and actually purchase a plug-in," GM Vice Chairman Tom Stephens said in an interview. Last year GM also announced plans for a plug-in version of its Saturn Vue SUV that would carry a lithium-ion battery pack rechargeable at a standard outlet, reducing the need for gas consumption from its 3.6-liter engine. The Saturn Vue plug-in was being designed with the ability to be driven 10 miles on electric power alone. But GM's plans to launch the rechargeable SUV were complicated by a decision to drop the Saturn brand this year. Stephens said work on the plug-in technology behind the Saturn Vue remained on track. He said the vehicle that would replace the now-scrapped Saturn would be an SUV from one of GM's four remaining brands: Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.

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Lajdziak Teases with Astra Tidbits

Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak posted a story on the GM Fastlane blog today teasing us with a few new details about the brand's replacement for the compact Ion sedan and quad coupe: the 2008 Saturn Astra. The Astra will make its formal debut at the Chicago Auto Show next month.