GM Hopes to Retain Saturn Customers, but 69% of SaturnFans.com Members Surveyed Say they Won’t Purchase a GM Vehicle

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Eric Mayne from WardsAuto.com: GM is entering the free-agent market. The auto maker will reach out next week to some 1.6 million customers affected by the wind-down of its storied Pontiac brand. Susan Docherty, vice president-U.S. sales, calls these consumers "free agents" and says GM will attempt to steer them to Buick-GMC or Chevrolet dealerships by offering free oil changes. GM also will distribute information about Buick, GMC and Chevrolet product portfolios as it tries to keep these customers "in the family," Docherty says, adding a similar campaign is being planned to woo Saturn-brand customers.

Separately, a recent SaturnFans.com Poll showed that GM faces an uphill battle in its quest to retain Saturn customers. Only 10% of visitors said that their next new car will be a General Motors vehicle. Significantly, 69% said they would not purchase a GM vehicle, and 21% said it was too early to tell.

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Former Chrysler Executives Involved in Bidder Efforts to Save Saturn

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Last week, Penske Automotive Group disclosed to the media that it had secured former Chrysler President, Tom LaSorda, as an advisor for the deal. Similar news was unveiled yesterday by Telesto Ventures. The investor group has hired a team of advisors which are all, oddly enough, former executives at Chrysler. According to Telesto's CEO, John Pappanastos, "The Saturn brand has the opportunity to serve a significant role in transforming the auto industry. We have carefully selected a team of proven innovators who not only bring powerful thinking to the table, but also the critical execution skills that have enabled us to make significant progress in such a short amount of time."