Ken Newton from St. Joseph News-Press: General Motors, feeling the pinch of foreign imports, dangled the idea of opening a new plant to build a "revolutionary" car. Such a factory would employ 6,000 people while also creating 15,000 jobs in supporting businesses. Workers there would not only have the benefit of a paycheck, they would stand, shoulder-to-shoulder, at the vanguard of a new era of American industrial might. Perhaps to seem egalitarian, or more likely to create buzz and cajole some incentives, GM executives offered the pending plant to interested states, hoping they would compete for the car company's affections.
From the Detroit News: Prospects for GM's Saturn division dimmed with the Penske Automotive Group's failed bid to keep the nameplate's dealer network alive. But the division's problems began long before GM's bankruptcy and downsizing. GM management and the United Auto Workers union both sabotaged the ideas behind Saturn. The division began as a model for regaining market share from Japanese automakers, improving dealer service and reforming labor practices. With collaboration and more flexible work rules, a no-pressure dealer sales strategy and a peppier product made in a Spring Hill, Tennessee plant, Saturn could have helped spread reforms to other GM brands.
Peter Brown from Automotive News: At 75, Saturn megadealer Don Hudler figures he's going to stick with the brand till the fat lady sings. "We're diehards. We'll probably go to the bitter end," Hudler, the former chairman of Saturn Corp., said last week after the shocking news that Roger Penske's deal to buy the Saturn brand had collapsed.
Steve Manning from the Associated Press via MSNBC: Charlie Eickmeyer says he was a fan of Saturn vehicles years before he was able to drive. Today he's in shock. "It seemed like the deal was going through," said Eickmeyer, 34, who started following Saturn when he was 10 years old and now runs a Web site for enthusiasts of the brand.
The Saturn Collection online store is responding to the recent unfortunate announcement about the closure of Saturn by slashing its prices by up to 80%. Powertex Group, based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is the current sole producer and reseller of Officially Licensed Saturn products. They have reacted by slashing prices at its Saturn Collection online store.
A $250 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), could easily resolve the late breaking issues that prompted the unexpected, last minute collapse of the proposed Penske Automotive Group (PAG) purchase of Saturn, according to Todd Ingersoll, Saturn's Retailer Council member.
David Thomas from Cars.com: Current owners' warranties are still fully backed by GM and will be serviced by other GM brand dealerships — Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick. As of September 1, Saturn's total inventory was 14,700 units, according to Automotive News data. Saturn representatives say there is an inventory of 12,000 vehicles on dealer lots and in transit.
John McElroy from Autoline Detroit via AutoBlog: In the early 1980s General Motors launched a top-secret program to figure out how it could build a small car to successfully compete against the Japanese automakers. It was called the S-car program and the results of this study shocked top management at GM. It conclusively proved General Motors could not profitably build a small car in the United States that was priced against the Japanese — at least not under the current GM system. And that launched another study to figure out what it would take become competitive. GM concluded that it needed a clean-sheet approach to designing, engineering, manufacturing and retailing small cars in the American market. In other words, it needed a whole new car company.
Pam Platt from the Courier Journal: It wasn't just the new-car smell that made me want to swoon when I went to the Saturn dealership. It was exactly as my friend said: Nice people, no games, really nice cars, good prices. The Saturn salesman went a mile better than smacking the car seat and ordering me to sit. He let me drive the wagon for a couple of days so I could see how I liked it.