With "Golden Touch" Saturn Can Survive on Its Own

Don Hammonds from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Saturn's purchase by Mr. Penske may be its best asset. "The Penske organization owning the distribution and name is a major, major plus. He has a golden touch with anything he's connected with," Detroit-based independent auto analyst Tom Libby said. The major challenge, he said, is giving a customer a compelling reason to buy a Saturn rather than another vehicle. "If the answer is superior customer experience, I'd respond by saying that it is not clear that message is strong enough to give them market share. It's not clear you can grow by more than 2% with that message." Much will also depend upon what products Mr. Penske chooses to bring in from overseas to replace the current lineup when the agreement with GM to produce Saturns expires in 2011.

Mr. Libby expects Mr. Penske to be very picky and exacting about products from Europe, Asia and elsewhere. "He's a shrewd businessman. He has to have his standards met with his products, or he will have issues," he added. One of the cars mentioned most often as a possible Saturn is the Renault Megane, and if that's true, it's a good move, Mr. Gluckman said. "I've driven the new Megane, which I hear they may bring over. It's a good car, and there's good potential with that," he added.

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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.