Paging Al Clapsaddle: Huge Incentives Help Build the Case for One Last Saturn Purchase

2010 Saturn Aura Painted White Diamond Tricoat

Unprecedented discounts on the last remaining Saturns present an enticing case to anyone in the market for a new car, especially if you're a Saturn owner. Al Clapsaddle, senior sales consultant at Saturn/West in Ohio, sent me an intriguing e-mail the other day detailing the laundry list of incentives available until November 30 — some of which are over and above those that were advertised nationally at the beginning of the month.

We've purchased our last two Saturns from Al, and he's always taken great care of us and done business the "Saturn Way." Just the way I like it.

If you're not familiar, General Motors is offering $4000 off MSRP plus $1000 Saturn owner loyalty cash back. In addition, Saturn of Columbus will throw in an extra $500 "Jack Hanna" cash on top of another $1000 if you trade in your current Saturn. These incentives are in addition to any applicable GM Employee or GM Supplier discounts. It all quickly adds up!

Take a 2009 Saturn Aura XR 2.4L 6-speed automatic equipped with leather seats and the optional convenience and advanced audio packages. The vehicle has an MSRP of $26,200 that drops to $25,068 with the GM Supplier discount. Then factor in the following:

  • $4,000 GM incentive
  • $1,000 Saturn customer loyalty incentive
  • $500 Saturn of Columbus "Jack Hanna" cash incentive
  • $8,375 KBB trade-in value for our 2005 Vue Red Line
  • $1,000 Saturn trade-in bonus cash incentive

That leaves an out-the-door price of $10,193 for the 33 mpg midsize sedan! Our Vue is paid off, and I really like not having a car payment — but the idea of owning one of the last Saturns built at such an incredible price is very tempting.

Hello, Al?

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Flashback Friday: How Saturn Built a Brand

Saturn Logo

Saturn launched its lineup of compact sedans and coupes in the fall of 1990 as an relatively unknown and untested manufacturer of "a different kind of car." The Saturn team did the impossible by implementing a set of strategies that included building quality vehicles and crafting an intriguing message that attracted car buyers who had written off domestic cars long ago. That was no small feat. In his book, "Building Strong Brands," author David Aaker set out to "not only to describe what was done but also to suggest the logic behind the strategies: why they were pursued, and how they were intended to contribute to the brand." He concluded that "although certainly some elements of the Saturn strategy may have been critical, it was the synergy of the total program rather than the power of any single element - that led to its success."