WardsAuto: Once-Radical Idea to Become Reality

Steve Finlay from WardsAuto.com: Auto makers sometimes veered into the guardrails of paranoia in the 1990s as they watched AutoNation grow fast by buying up scores of dealerships. Manufacturers worried that if Wayne Huizenga's new enterprise got too big, it would start telling them what to do, rather than the traditional other way around for the automotive retail franchise system. Such a U-turn from business as usual didn't occur. Yet something like it is about to take place. But AutoNation won't be the one making it happen. Another dealership chain, Penske Automotive Group, will do so, with the full cooperation of General Motors. Penske wants Saturn not so much for its vehicles but its 350-store dealership network. During its 19-year GM run, many of Saturn's vehicles – especially the early ones – got so-so grades. But most of its dealers got straight A's for treating customers right, one of the brand's original missions.

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OnStar "Stolen Vehicle Slowdown" Now Available

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General Motors and OnStar today launched "Stolen Vehicle Slowdown" on model year 2009 GM vehicles in the US and Canada. Stolen Vehicle Slowdown is the latest enhancement to OnStar's Stolen Vehicle Assistance service and enables OnStar to further help law enforcement in the recovery of subscribers' stolen vehicles, while helping to reduce fatalities and injuries resulting from police chases. Working with law enforcement and utilizing its unique built-in technology, OnStar can remotely send a signal that interacts with the vehicle's engine, gradually slowing it down, aiding in a safe recovery.