Saturn Leaves GM’s Orbit

Karl Greenberg from MediaPost: What's done is done, but analysts say GM's mercy killing of the brand that it launched in the '80s as an experiment to battle the imports is a history of wasted potential. Peter Kloprogge, CEO and president of New York-based market research firm Pointlogic, says Saturn stood out among Detroit brands because it did not suffer from amorphous-brand syndrome: GM, Ford and Chrysler have had to deal with brands whose raison d'etre was no longer relevant or that had placeholder identities. Saturn was the only brand that consumers didn't lump together conceptually with other GM brands in a new segment study. The data is based on responses from 15,000 consumers who were likely to purchase a new vehicle within three years. "Saturn is the only Detroit brand in the study that consumers didn't see as competing with other Detroit brands," he says. It also seems a lot more consumers will miss Saturn than, say, Buick, based on another survey question that asked which brands respondents would least miss if they were to vanish.

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Analyst: Production of Next-Gen Saturn Astra, Chevy Cobalt Moving to Mexico

General Motors executives have been implying for awhile that production of the next-generation Saturn Astra would move to North America when the new model debuts in 2010. What's been up for debate has been the identity of manufacturing facility where the new model would be built. As of today, it looks like the debate is finally over.