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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Saturn Was Also a Different Kind of Manufacturer

SaturnFest 2009

In the early days, Saturn manufactured its own cars at its own plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. In addition to innovating on the sales, service, and engineering sides of its business, Saturn's founding fathers spent a significant amount of time developing new manufacturing techniques that were based on some of the "best in class" processes used by companies from around the world.