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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Overall Saturn Sales Down 3.5% in August, While the Vue Skyrockets 46%

Saturn's overall August sales fell 3.5% last month as retailers sold 20,385 vehicles, down from 21,117 in August of '07. Comparatively speaking, thought, the brand more than held its own in a very tough market. GM's overall sales were down 20.3% last month, Ford fell 26.5%, Toyota's were down 9.4%, and even Honda's sales came in 7.3% lower.