Some Saturn Owners, Retailers Have a Special Relationship with Vanishing Brand

2005 Vue Red Line at Saturn/West in Columbus, Ohio

Dan Gearino from the Columbus Dispatch via the Boston Herald: The toughest part for Saturn fans was the suddenness. For months, Penske Automotive Group worked on plans to buy the Saturn brand from General Motors. And then, in an instant last week, the deal evaporated. Saturn is now slated to wind down over the next year. "We were caught off guard as much as everyone," said Steve Whitman of Clintonville, vice president of the Central Ohio Saturn Car Club. Penske walked away from the deal after being unable to find a manufacturer to make Saturns after a contract with GM runs out in 2011. There's been no word on another buyer emerging. "Our initial shock was, 'Gee, what happens now?' " Whitman said. The question is doubly important for Al Clapsaddle. He was one of the club's founders, and then in 2001 he retired from his job at Lucent Technologies and became a salesman at Saturn of Columbus West in Hilliard. "Many things go through my mind," he said. "First off was anger. I was really mad and I didn't know who to be mad at. I wanted to look somebody in the eye and say, 'What the heck?'"

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Saturn Ties Honda, Tops Toyota, Nissan, and Mazda in 2008 J.D. Power Customer Service Index

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Overall customer satisfaction with dealer service improves considerably in 2008 – with more than two-thirds of the 37 ranked brands demonstrating gains – according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Customer Service Index, or CSI, study released today. The study, now in its 28th year, measures satisfaction among vehicle owners who visit the dealer service department for maintenance or repair work during the first three years of ownership, which typically represent the majority of the vehicle warranty period.