Tennessean: Saturn Future in Question

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The Tennessean newspaper reported today that "many observers, including a longtime Saturn dealer who owns three outlets in and around Nashville, said they think Saturn will survive as a brand, although it might be sold to a rival overseas manufacturer." Saturn's excellent customer service reputation was cited as one of the brand's biggest appeals.

Saturn was designed to compete head to head with the Japanese automakers in the production and sale of inexpensive, fuel-efficient small cars. It also built a reputation for stellar customer service," said the paper. "Eliminating Saturn, which was born in the mid-1980s at the GM assembly plant in Spring Hill, would be a huge blow to the brand's 400 dealers, many of whom spent millions of dollars in recent years on new or revamped facilities in a bid to boost sales and image. It also would end a grand experiment in 'New Age' automotive marketing that, by most accounts, was one of the few truly progressive moves GM made during the past 25 years — a period in which the carmaker saw its market share erode as the Japanese gained traction with U.S. car buyers.

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