Saturn’s Sad Story Nears an End

David Welch from Business Week: The long, sad saga of Saturn is finally over. The once-hot General Motors division that began with a bang 19 years ago is now headed into oblivion after a deal to sell it to retailer Penske Automotive Group fell apart on September 30. The chain of auto dealerships released a statement saying it couldn't find a source to manufacture new car models after 2011, when GM was scheduled to cease production of the existing Saturn models. In an interview in early August, GM CEO Frederick A. "Fritz" Henderson said the decision to sell Saturn was aimed at taking care of longtime dealers. It wasn't about a business strategy for GM. When asked if he was handing a rival carmaker a strong retail chain that could take market share from GM, Henderson replied, "We're not going to make it easy for them."

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Minivan to Debut in 2004

GM told retailers at the 2003 National Auto Dealer Association (NADA) convention that Saturn and Buick will get minivans in 2004. The announcement, made by General Motors Vice President John Middlebrook on Sunday, indicates further commitment by GM to grow the Saturn brand. Saturn's minivan will arrive in the third quarter of 2004 as a 2005 model.