Retailer Recounts Details of Sudden Saturn Closure

Barbara Wieland from the Lansing State Journal: Sherrill Freeborough is finding there is life after Saturn. Freeborough was one of 340 Saturn dealers left hanging when GM's deal to sell the division to Penske Automotive Group collapsed September 30. GM quickly halted Saturn production - including dropping the Outlook crossover made at its Lansing Delta Township assembly plant - and began shutting down the brand. "It was sickening, disheartening," said the normally upbeat, optimistic Freeborough. "It took some time for the reality of it to sink in." Freeborough said the sudden death of Saturn took dealers, salespeople and even Saturn executives by surprise. "(Saturn General Manager) Jill Lajdziak was working on her press release about Saturn joining Penske when word came through," Freeborough said. "Saturn workers had gotten their Penske business cards earlier that day. It sure crushed a lot of dealers' hearts."

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Letter from Saturn Aims to Provide Owners Assurance

Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak

Saturn owners have never been shy about sharing their thoughts regarding our brand. So when I wrote to you a couple of weeks ago to tell about the potential changes at Saturn, I knew that I would get a strong response. Your e-mails and phone calls showed that many of you share our enthusiasm for the idea that Saturn might return to its roots as an independent company. The thoughtful comments were a clear reminder of one of the things that has always made Saturn special.