The Grand Saturn Experiment Continues to Evolve

Jeff Bodary from the Examiner: Previously I discussed the idea of a business model that separates manufacturing from retailing and distribution. It puts all marketing responsibilities in the hands of the distribution channel and essentially sub-contracts vehicle manufacturing out to one or more automakers. It saves the distributor the huge fixed costs of production and saves the manufacturer the huge costs of having to maintain a sales and marketing function. Many Asian automakers operate in a similar manner. Toyota separates manufacturing and sales operations around the world, as does Honda. What's different in the Penske/GM sale is that Penske Automotive Group will control the brand without having ties to a specific manufacturer. And as a "free agent" of sorts it can solicit proposals from any manufacturer who produces a product that supports the image and equity of the Saturn brand.

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Vue Plug-In Hybrid Work "Proceeding Nicely"

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From Edmunds.com: Bob Kruse, the automaker's executive director of global vehicle engineering, participated in a GMnext.com chat session last week and updated participants on the progress of the Volt and the Saturn Vue plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. "Both programs are proceeding nicely," he said.