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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AutoPacific: Penske Gets a "Gem" with Aura

AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Award

The Saturn Aura won the 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) for top Premium Midsize Car, according to automotive research firm AutoPacific. Porsche and Ford Motor Company earned top honors in the 2009 IVA. The IVAs are based on owners' ratings of their new 2009 model year cars and trucks across 15 key vehicle attributes. The cars or trucks that owners would change the least are the most ideal. "In today's economy, car buyers take many factors into consideration - styling, safety features, fuel economy and more," says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific.