Once, in a Galaxy Near and Dear, There was Saturn

Michael O'Rourke from the San Antonio Express-News: First came the news that Pluto is no longer a planet. Now, Saturn will no longer be a car? These are strange times to be living in our universe. I never owned a Saturn. My brother had one. When he bought it my first question was, "Did they do it? Did they all come out and clap for you?" Not only did all of the Saturn employees come out to the showroom floor and clap for my brother's new purchase, but they all signed his temporary license plate with "Good luck" and "Drive Safe" surrounded by smiley faces and caricatures the way co-workers sign the office birthday card that gets passed around. It was like buying a car at a TGI Fridays! At least, that is how the commercials made it seem. That is why I always liked Saturn. Its slogan seemed to encapsulate the Saturn experience. It was, as touted, "a different kind of car company." Anyone old enough to ever purchase a car had to be drawn by Saturn's revolutionary "no haggle" pricing policy. The sticker price was the price. No back and forth. No "My manager is going to kill me for bringing him this offer, but I will do my best." No overwhelming feeling that you just got screwed. Last week Saturn announced it would cease to exist. It was a surprise, as it looked like Penske Auto Group was going to purchase Saturn from GM. Like the Volkswagen Bug before it, we will see fewer and fewer of these cars as the miles and time tick by. Maybe children will start playing "Slug Saturn" when they spy a remaining S-series tootling down the road.

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Report: GM Wants $2.4 Billion in Canadian Aid for Next-Generation Buick Regal

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Next-Generation Buick Regal

David Thomas from Cars.com Kicking Tires: If you think domestic automakers are only hitting up U.S. taxpayers for help, go north of the border. Canada's National Post newspaper reported today that General Motors is asking the Canadian government for $2.4 billion in aid. In exchange, it promises to bring a new Buick model — the Regal, which is already sold in China — to its Ontario plant for North American distribution. GM says it will position the Regal to compete with the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, but doesn't say what its new LaCrosse — set to debut in Detroit next month — will be positioned against.