Opinion: The Ride’s Over for Saturn Lovers

From the Ventura County Star: Started in 1985 to compete with small, fuel-efficient Japanese imports, Saturn was meant to operate independently of the parent company — and for a while it did, building an enthusiastic customer base — almost cultlike — that it hosted for an annual reunion and picnic at its Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant. Unfortunately, the brand never made money and the plant quit making Saturns in 2007. But, to hear Saturn buffs tell it, the massive GM bureaucracy intruded more and more in the running of the company, and it was slow to introduce new models in a fast-changing market. And Saturn, with its smaller cars, faced a lot of competition. Say what you will about gas guzzlers, they deliver great profit margins. Car lovers can only look at the Saturn experiment and think of what might have been. Saturn's specialty was low-key showrooms, no-haggle pricing and obsessive customer service.

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Sources: Saturn to Discontinue Vehicle Exchange Program in the New Year

SaturnFans.com has learned from several reliable sources that Saturn will discontinue its Vehicle Exchange Program (VEP) on December 31, 2008 in an effort to cut costs and help create a more profitable business model for the company in the future. The program will reportedly continue to be offered on new Saturn vehicles sold and delivered through the end of the month.