Lajdziak: Saturn Optimistic about Future as Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage

Despite all of the negative rumors and predictions in the media, Saturn is upbeat about its future. While no all-new products are currently slated for the brand during the next two years, Saturn should still be well positioned for the future, as its lineup was just completely overhauled from top to bottom.

After a slow start to the year, sales are beginning to pick up steam. Retail sales in June were up 9% over the same period last year, and 18% above May 2008 levels. General manager Jill Lajdziak says Saturn is "optimistic that, despite difficult economic conditions, we can maintain this momentum."

Why is she so upbeat? "Our product lineup is at the right place in the right time," Lajdziak recently wrote on her blog at ImSaturn.com. "As customers increasingly seek vehicles that combine fuel efficiency with refined performance and great design, we are ideally positioned with our new portfolio." Reports suggest that the brand will focus on promoting its fuel efficiency prowess for the 2009 model year:

  • Non-hybrid Aura offers best-in-class highway fuel economy (33 mpg); Aura hybrid offers 34 mpg on the highway
  • Sky Red Line offers best-in-class fuel economy (28 mpg)
  • Astra offers best-in-class fuel economy of any 5-door car (24 mpg city and 32 mpg highway)
  • Vue hybrid offers best-in-class highway fuel economy of any sport-utility (32 mpg)
  • Outlook offers best-in-class highway fuel economy of any 8-passenger sport-utility (24 mpg)

That message should strike a chord with shoppers and help build awareness of Saturn's new lineup. Going forward, incremental year-over-year improvements will keep Saturn's lineup at the forefront of their respective segments. "So while we can't control the rumors," Lajdziak concludes, "we can continue to focus our efforts of providing great vehicles and great service to our customers."

Source: ImSaturn

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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.