Jill Lajdziak Deserves Kudos for Addressing the General Motors Restructuring Plan Directly with the Saturn Community

ImSaturn Logo

Less than 24 hours after General Motors announced it was planning to "explore alternatives" for Saturn, the brand's general manager, Jill Lajdziak, spoke directly to the Saturn community by way of her ImSaturn blog to address the issue. While she couldn't go into too much detail due to the sensitive and complex nature of the situation, Jill did explain what the immediate next steps are for Saturn. And she also promises more updates in the future. That kind of responsiveness and customer attentiveness, especially at an executive level, is rare in the automotive industry today, and it will be sorely missed if Saturn is eventually forced to close it's doors.

We'll have to wait and see where all of this will lead to, but the fact that Jill is reaching out to Saturn customers like this gives some hope to the idea that maybe there's more than one way out of the predicament Saturn is in today.

Here's an excerpt from her post:

The plan states that "GM will accelerate discussions with the Saturn retailers to explore alternatives for the Saturn brand." So, what does this really mean? Basically, we have been working with our Franchise Operations Team (FOT) of retailers for some time to create a new "go to market" strategy for 2009. We have great, award-winning products, but like everyone else, we have been hit by the downturn in the entire industry. Therefore, our focus has been on improving our business model and financial performance. While we were making progress on a plan, it was based on a U.S. industry rate of 14 million sales per year -- which is what was projected a mere five weeks ago. However, the industry outlook for 2009 has changed dramatically and it is now projected at approximately 12 million sales per year. After the Congressional hearings later this week, we're planning to meet with our FOT next week to discuss and re-evaluate our strategy. We now must accelerate our efforts. We have a unique relationship with our retailers and will work with them on our future direction.

Read Jill's post in its entirety here.

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