Washington Post: Dumping Saturn, Opel Was "Dumb"

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Jamie Lincoln Kitman from the Washington Post: There's a reason why finding buyers for the carmaker's German Opel division and domestic Saturn brand has been easy: They're the most promising divisions GM owns. Getting rid of them was dumb and pretty much seals the company's fate. It's no wonder that sophisticated investors have stepped up: racing legend and Smart car distributor Roger Penske in the case of Saturn and billionaire Canadian auto parts magnate Frank Stronach planning to buy Opel. For Americans - each one of us now fractional shareholders in the new "GM Lite," thanks to the government's 65 percent stake - the question is: Why are we letting them go? For GM, junking Saturn represents opportunity lost. Creating the brand in the late 1980s gave the firm its only great post-Vietnam-era marketing success story. A make that appealed to people who didn't like Detroit's constant horsepower and styling wars, Saturn may not have been "a different kind of car," as its colorful advertisements had it, but it did attract a different kind of customer, one GM had lost to the likes of Toyota and Honda. Educated and reasonably affluent, these customers wanted to buy American again, yet a remarkable 87% didn't know that Saturn was part of General Motors. That was part of the plan.

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Front-Wheel-Drive, 2-Mode Hybrid System to Debut in 2008

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General Motors will expand the industry's most diverse portfolio of hybrid technologies in 2008 with the debut of its front-wheel-drive, 2-mode hybrid system in the Saturn Vue Green Line SUV, the automaker announced at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show.