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Old 10-28-2009, 04:38 PM   #1
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Default Thoughts on opening an "Independent Saturn Dealer"

Back in December in 2005, I started a thread discussing my dream of opening a independently owned pre-owned Saturn Dealer. I wanted to copy the business concept of a local pre-owned Honda dealer. I wanted to specialized in the sales and service or pre-owned Saturn products.

I had planned to call it "The Planet" or something as equally
catchy. I would of course specialize in Saturn's from 2-3 old program
returns to gently used “1991 classics”. Select inventory will be source
from reputable auctions and or private sales and trade-ins. I would have
utilized similar sales tactics as the real Saturn and sell inventory at a fair market value to consumers. I would have hired former Saturn techs to work in the service
department and body shop.

A lot of changes had happen since December 2005, from old the Ion being dropped and new models such as the Astra and Outlook being brought out, and of course GM literally killing off Saturn for good.

So flash forward to 2009, how many of you would think a venture like this would be a success or not?
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Thoughts on opening an "Independent Saturn Dealer"

Would not be a success. Saturn is too limited a brand with too small a base for something like that to work. Also, since the brand is dead you are never going to see an influx of new model years, while older cars will keep coming off the road.

I think just owning an auto repair shop and perhaps having a specialty of working on high end auto's would be good.

Heck, forget the high end aspect and just repair all autos. A good mechanic is something everyone needs and there is no shortage of cars that need work.

Selling used cars is a different matter and far more of a headache. Most folks either just trade it in at the dealer or they will sell it themselves.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Thoughts on opening an "Independent Saturn Dealer"

It might work for a relatively short time but as current Saturns become older and no longer can be considered late model used cars, your business would have to evolve into a specialty sales and repair facility that would cater to Saturn collectors and classic enthusiasts. I think there would be a small niche specialty market for that however I would run that as an adjunct to a more general facility that would make you money with a wider range of sales and service. In my region I have seen several smaller operations do that particularly with older European cars but I'm not sure that Saturn will generate the same long term collector/enthusiast interest that certain German, Italian or British brands have received.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Thoughts on opening an "Independent Saturn Dealer"

There is a company in NY that supposedly refurbishes old police vehicles so that they can be placed back in service. Maybe a business like what the original poster proposed would work if a restoration division was added to the mix.

By the way, while I was driving to Memphis on I40 westbound last Christmas, I believe that I passed a nice looking Saturn dealership right near Nashville on the north side of the interstate. Maybe that will be available soon?
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Thoughts on opening an "Independent Saturn Dealer"

Specialize in one and take other GM brands. Like Pontiac or Olds.

There are old car guys who specialize in one brand: Studebaker, Nash, AMC, Kaiser. And when parts run out or become unavailable, who will be there to do a repro run for your customers ? You will. Investigate how it's done in the old car hobby.

And if anyone is skeptical about Saturns ever becoming "collectible", be aware that a K Car club has started in L.A. and many 25 year old cars are starting to appear at old car shows. You will be in a unique position to supply knowledge parts and service.

I have been chasing parts for my 63 Valiant for many years now and have been happy to find a lot of them being reproduced.

Just remember: an honest and competent mechanic who does more than just throw parts at a problem, will have more business than he can handle
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