Saturn May be the Latest Casualty of GM's Cost-Cutting Strategy


Mark Phelan, Auto Critic for the Detroit Free Press: Saturn was born in hope and hype nearly 25 years ago, but it presents General Motors Corp. with tough choices today as the automaker must scale back its money-losing operations and focus on other brands. GM's statement that it will "explore alternatives for the brand," leaves Saturn's 211 dealers -- who operate 425 sales outlets -- facing an uncertain future. Most observers expect GM to either close or sell Saturn, but even those options present challenges. Saturn loyalists hope GM will decide that keeping Saturn in business makes more sense than any other choice. Saturn arrived at this crisis point despite having some of the industry's best dealerships and a widely praised lineup of new vehicles that went on sale over the past couple of years.

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2001 Saturn SCX Concept

With its turbocharged engine and sizzling yellow-to-red paint scheme, the Saturn SCX three-door coupe ignited the passion of performance-car enthusiasts. The SCX's 1.9-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine was modified by Saturn Motorsports of San Diego to yield an estimated 300 hp, more than double the engine's normal output in the Saturn SC2. Along with its hot engine, the SCX boasted a high level of handling and sporty appearance cues that reflected the car's performance capabilities.