The Demise of Saturn Hurts

David Booth from the National Post: So, Saturn is no more. One more bastion of the U.S. auto empire sinks into the quicksand that has been The Great Recession. Its would-be saviour, Roger Penske, has pulled out of the deal quite dramatically one day prior to taking over the "Saturn Homecoming" brand. Penske's master plan was to find some other automaker that would pick up the slack in supplying 350 American (but no Canadian) dealers with a full lineup of cars and crossover SUVs after General Motors stopped supplying Vues, Auras and Outlooks two years hence. Last week, that dream fell apart. According to Penske, while the GM part of the deal was all but inked, the deal was called off because he could not guarantee a "future supply of vehicles beyond the supply period it had negotiated with GM." It looks to be a sad end to an experiment that should have been the domestic auto industry's future. Created in 1990 by Roger Smith, then CEO of General Motors, it was to be a "greenfield" project with none of the baggage of GM's many historic brands. Generating a customer loyalty other domestic marques could only dream about, Saturn was eventually choked into submission by a lack of new product, some say orchestrated by competing GM brand managers jealous of Saturn's exalted position in Smith's business plan. Of all the brands that The General has jettisoned, this is the one that hurts most.

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General Motors to Auction Near-Classics from Corporate Museum

Flashback Friday: 1,000,000th Saturn

Jalopnik.com 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.