Why One of Detroit’s Brightest Hopes Failed

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Patrik Jonsson from the Christian Science Monitor: General Motors' Saturn brand – touted as "a different kind of car company" – had high aspirations, borrowing the Japanese manufacturing model of team production, among other things. But the Saturn experiment fell to earth with a final thud Thursday as a "goal-line" deal to keep the brand alive fell apart. Saturn’s latest slogan – "We're still here" – suddenly seemed like a cruel joke as 350 dealerships are likely to close and 13,000 people face potential layoffs. True, Saturn made money in only one of its 20 years of car production. But in the end, it was internal resistance to the funky start-up and its pioneer attitude that felled it. In other words, the very qualities that Cornell labor expert Harry Katz, in his book "Shifting Gears," predicted could transform Detroit's ingrained big-car culture, doomed one of its brightest prospects, say experts. "It's criminal negligence. They got attacked internally, constantly, until today they were finally destroyed," says Sean McAlinden, chief economist at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich. "How do you take something that was such a good idea and wreck it deliberately?"

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Jalopnik Drives the 2009 Saturn Vue 2 Mode Hybrid

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The Vue 2 Mode differs from the Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid in that it pairs a two-mode hybrid powertrain with a V6 engine. It can be considered a strong hybrid because it's capable of running on the batteries alone, the engine alone or the two together. The regular Green Line can't do that.