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Old 02-17-2009, 08:17 PM   #1
ssglenn
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Default Saturn salespeople what are you telling your customers

I am curious, if there are any saturnfan members who are salespeople for Saturn. How thing going? What are you telling people? Does today change your long term employment outlook? Al Clapsaddle what are you telling your people? Do you feel the customer should know that the product life cycle has 1 more year and if your lucky 2. Curious minds want to know?

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Old 02-17-2009, 08:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn salespeople what are you telling your customers

I have been in two Saturn dealerships the past couple months.

For parts only.


It was quite humbling.

These salesmen are real people trying to be employed. In an area with few jobs.

All were respectful. But very subdued.

Each visit to the dealership I received a salesman's business card. Hoping that I might be a buying customer.

Hope lives eternal.

God Bless them all !

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Old 02-17-2009, 08:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn salespeople what are you telling your customers

That is pretty humbling, I know that I have had some previous Saturn customers buy Saturns recently, not knowing that Saturn was even possibly going out of business.

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Old 02-17-2009, 08:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn salespeople what are you telling your customers

I work in service and people are asking multiple times a day if we are going out of business. I DO NOT KNOW! I don't know anymore than the regular Joe! It is becoming very stressful being asked hour after hour; because believe me, I wish I DID know. It is even worse for me, because if Saturn folds, my husband and I both lose our jobs. My outlook for employment is bleak, and I have already started keeping other options open.

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Old 02-17-2009, 11:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn salespeople what are you telling your customers

Junglecat I feel your pain, I am a service advisor at a Saturn dealership and although it is not always the easiest job, I do find it rewarding. I've been told by upper managment that I have to do what I have to do for my family. While we can hope to be optimistic most of us at the ground level know the feelings in our guts are most likely true. I would like to comment to Saturn owners that while we understand that this situation is going to be frustrating please remember that those of us that work at the dealerships have families, mortgages, car payments and so on and while that not having a Saturn dealer to service your vehicle may anger you, remember that the guy/gal behind the desk or working on your car is scared to death that they are going to have to job hunt in a time in our economy where the "help wanted" ads are shrinking. Good luck to everyone

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Old 02-18-2009, 06:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn salespeople what are you telling your customers

I am Glad that you asked this question!

I tell my customers that Saturn will be around. AND let's say that they shut Saturn down, GM will continue to service the vehicles. SO this is the Best time to buy a Saturn. You are able to experience the unique Sales Process and you have the Service Department that is fantastic.

I also point to my car the 46th and tell them; "Would you purchase a car if you thought the company was going away?"

BTW, the personalized plates on my car say "I Saturn".


I personally believe what I wrote last month about Saturn will happen...

"Well, I am a Sales Consultant and have been one since August, 2001. Yes, things have been slow. Yes, customers have been nervous. Yes, I think about the future and what is going to be.

Then, I look around me at everything that is happening with the economy, GM and Wall Street. I know that aLL of them are going to come back.

The reasons you state are valid BUT to a point. IF Saturn was selling 500,000 plus vehicles a year, guess what? Polymer would probably still be here. The unique union agreement would probably still be here. Spring Hill would still be SATURN's Home.

Like any company, if you don't sell your product, things will change!!

I keep reading on this forum and other blogs, all pointing the finger at the "reason" Saturn is (in their words) on the ropes.

Well, this is a GREAT time for Saturn. Why? Because of the unique Retail Agreement, the cost would BE Big $$$$$$$$ for GM to try and end Saturn. Why are we NOT hearing much from GM? Well, by saying that Saturn may be sold, closed, mothballed, etc. the Regular Divisions in GM are happy. If GM said that they were keeping Saturn and getting rid of "Chevy", there would be a Civil War.

This is what I think makes the MOST sense based on everything that I have read and the things that I have overheard.

Saturn will be purchased by the Retail Franchises. They will then be rid of the manufacturing restrictions IMO, they will become like Sears. Saturn will ask for bids to make the cars that Saturn wants. They will have a Team that would loversee the quality items from the suppliers. They will negotiate with the company/companies that want to build the NEW Saturns.

They will have the vehicles that their customers want. Won't see a million "AWD" vehicles that may sit on a given lot.

Hope some of this makes sense as I am working on a cold and have had ONLY a few hours sleep.

Al

...
Al ClapDaddy - I am Saturn
"

...
Al ClapDaddy

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Old 02-18-2009, 08:20 AM   #7
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Thumbs Up Re: Saturn salespeople what are you telling your customers

Thank you, Al, I am so over all the nay-sayers on here pumping out the same negative thoughts over and over, when they can't possibly know anything for certain (because many things have not been decided yet), and your post was a breath of fresh air.

Thanks, I needed that.

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Old 02-18-2009, 09:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn salespeople what are you telling your customers

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClapDaddy View Post
Saturn will be purchased by the Retail Franchises. They will then be rid of the manufacturing restrictions IMO, they will become like Sears. Saturn will ask for bids to make the cars that Saturn wants. They will have a Team that would loversee the quality items from the suppliers. They will negotiate with the company/companies that want to build the NEW Saturns.
They will have the vehicles that their customers want. Won't see a million "AWD" vehicles that may sit on a given lot.


You seriously think there is any chance of that happening?

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Old 02-18-2009, 10:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: Saturn salespeople what are you telling your customers

Quote:
Originally Posted by daver View Post
Thank you, Al, I am so over all the nay-sayers on here pumping out the same negative thoughts over and over, when they can't possibly know anything for certain (because many things have not been decided yet), and your post was a breath of fresh air.

Thanks, I needed that.
You know what, it is hard for me not to be a "nay-sayer" when Saturn/GM is leaving my LIFE and the lives of so many others in limbo when we have done nothing but work hard for their companies for years. I'm sorry, but it scares the hell out of me that I could possibly not be able to pay for my mortgage, my cars, my bills, provide for my animals, pay for my medications, doctor's appointments, etc. Believe me, I've been on the prowl for employment for the past several months "just incase" and it is not good right now for people employed in the Automotive industry. No, we don't know anything for certain, however, when I'm watching meeting after meeting going on in my dealership and MAJOR moves being made throughout our company, it can't be THAT GOOD.

And who's going to save me? President Obama and his "spending" package? PLEASE

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Old 02-18-2009, 10:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn salespeople what are you telling your customers

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbird View Post
You seriously think there is any chance of that happening?
Yeah, there's zero chance of that happening. There isn't enough available capital from the independent retailers to buy the entire brand. Hell, they're hemorrhaging cash with just the retail division....

I think in the next 6 months, 80% of the Saturn dealerships will effectively wind down their business. Better to cut your losses now than to try to ride out the downturn with a lame duck product.

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Old 02-18-2009, 11:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: Saturn salespeople what are you telling your customers

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Originally Posted by bigbird View Post
You seriously think there is any chance of that happening?

Well,

If you saw the article that Charlie posted this a.m., it sounds like I was not TOO far off.

...
Al ClapDaddy

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Old 02-18-2009, 11:48 AM   #12
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Default Re: Saturn salespeople what are you telling your customers

I just read the article. Pie in the Sky (pun intended). How many Saturn franchises can survive the 2 years it could take to get this plan going?

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Old 02-18-2009, 12:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: Saturn salespeople what are you telling your customers

From the NYTimes

Quote:
In a letter sent Tuesday to Saturn dealers, G.M. said it would entertain a plan from Saturn dealers or other investors for a spinoff of the division to keep it operating. It said it would provide information to potential investors.

But it warned a spinoff would be a difficult and complex task, and some of the issues that must be resolved include product sourcing, capitalization and financing issues, G.M. said in the letter signed by Mark LeNeve, a G.M. vice president for North American sales, and Jill Lajdziak, the general manager of Saturn.
While it might be a "possibility", I can't see it happening at all. The money's not there, the loyal customers are no longer there and, while some may claim otherwise, a distinctive experience at the time of purchase is not enough to drive many into the dealership. First, it's the lack of a reputation amongst the general public. Second, it's the product itself. Neither bode well for Saturn, and I can't see this scenario generating enough funds for a breakthrough product outside of the GM umbrella.

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Old 02-18-2009, 02:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Saturn salespeople what are you telling your customers

I read the letter. It was fluff at best.

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