Virginia Saturn Retailer Driven to Try Something New

The Free-Lance Star newspaper published an interesting article yesterday about a Virginia Saturn retail facility that, in attempt to increase exposure of Saturn's new lineup, opened a satellite store at a local mall. "It catches people's eye as soon as they walk out of the food court," said John Reynolds, general manager at Saturn of Fredericksburg. "With the reaction we're getting already, we may have to consider staffing it full time," he told the paper in an interview last week. "Salesmen might even want to come in. They can't sell anything here, but they can answer questions."

Saturn of Fredericksburg's general manager was tired of waiting for shoppers to show up at the dealership in today's slow economy. So he decided to take a mini-version of its showroom to thousands of potential customers at Spotsylvania Towne Centre during the busy back-to-school shopping season. His Saturn Showcase, located in a 5,000 square-foot former music store next door to the Guitar Center, officially opened yesterday, although people began stopping by last week as it was getting set up. A big draw has been the bright yellow 2008 Saturn Sky convertible stationed in the front. The showcase features nine different Saturns, from the compact Astra hatchback to the Vue SUV as well as literature and a TV showing information about the cars on a continuous loop. Reynolds' lease allows him to leave it unmanned, and customers will have to come to the dealership at 3421 Jefferson Davis Highway to buy a vehicle.

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John Heilig from The Auto Page loved the details surrounding the 2008 Saturn Astra XR 5-door that he drove. "You recognize its European heritage with the 'switchblade' key that looks as if it came form the Audi/VW parts bin," he wrote. "The Astra has projector beam headlights nestled in plastic-covered nacelles. They consist of three units on each side and they're very impressive in a small car. It's what you'd expect in a high-end mid-size for example."