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Old 08-23-2009, 08:56 PM   #1
Timguy1008
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Default Treat Saturn with respect!!!!

Dear Penske,

I love my used 2000 SL-2, and my mom loves her (brought new) 2004 Saturn Ion, which she got after totaling her (bought new) 1997 SL-2.

I'm a firm believer in the salemanship example that '97 SL-2 was sold. Great reliable car, great sales atmosphere. We weren't out for a BMW or a Lexus... we were out for a SAFE, economical, reliable, car. And the Saturn SL-2 provided us that.

Up until the 97 SL-2 sale, and after that, I never saw a car dealership bring people into the dealership for an evening of an hour or two of basic maintenance and taking care of your Saturn. Absolutely amazing support network from the dealership, and between the people and the product, it was a great environment to own a car.

I believe that atmosphere, among anything else, was the reason why Saturn's were such a success.

I didn't see as much of that atmosphere in 2004 when my mom got her Ion. Maybe it was because Saturn was already posting lower numbers than folks expected and had to shift gears, who knows...

I didn't like how Opel models made their way into the lineup, but I trusted that Saturn would continue the tradition of making great cars for people. Amid the mismanagement and pessimism of GM, the great Saturn brand was allowed to die out to make way for larger, unnecessary, fuel guzzling GMC trucks and Buick mammoths.

I hope that the Saturn brand can be continued with the focus on the initial intentions of a "different kind of company. A different kind of car". Owning a Saturn is as American as owning a Chevrolet or Ford. There will always exist a market for a safe, economical, reliable, smaller car, and I hope that Penske will step up to the challenge with an AMERICAN made Saturn, with the same engineering and marketing genious that the SL series was made.

Phasing out the Saturn brand is phasing out the most successful GM company in an entire market that is being eaten up by the Honda Civics and Toyota Corollas. While I've heard nothing but good things about the Ford Focus as of late, Saturn ALREADY HAD a better "Ford Focus" in the SL series if it had been allowed to keep up.

If Penske chooses to go another route however, my next vehicle, if I choose to stick with a compact car, will be a Ford Focus. Is the Ford Focus becoming in the next SL-2???

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

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Old 08-23-2009, 09:16 PM   #2
Jaseball
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Default Re: Treat Saturn with respect!!!!

There are two reasons a company or business person will hire someone.

1) They expect the hire to make them money, far over over cost of hiring them.

2) The expect the hire to save the company money, far over the cost of hiring them.

Saturn as a company was what I now feel is a fluke. They were more focused on the customer, on making a person paying $12-20K+ feel and experience something that was well beyond what a person paying $35-60K+ on a luxury brand would experience.

That is a very rare experience. For well over a decade from 1993-2003 Saturn as a company and car dealership gave an incredible return on investment. What you received as a Saturn owner has gone down steadily as GM castrated the company, then cut the entire brand off.

The Homecoming, BBQ's on the weekend, owner clinics, send offs, birthday cards, and countless other perks disappeared long before 2000.

However, plenty of dealerships kept the feel and expectations alive on their own and provided much more after sale perks and expectations up to the point of GM disowning Saturn.

Saturn dealerships are dropping off fast, the branding is switching to Chevy, Kia, or some other dealership and what Saturn owners once experienced, expected, and perhaps took for granted is disappearing.

Penske is a businessman and far more experienced than I am. He bought the brand, but I often wonder what he is actually buying, what his 5 year plan will be, and if he has any clue on how to make Saturn as a brand profitable.

Looking back I feel pretty happy to have owned Saturn cars since 1993. It's been a great ride and I hope my current Saturn lasts for another decade or longer, but realistically the Saturn of 1992 onwards has been long gone and GM has not give a great, incredible, and enthusiastic dealer network any reason to keep pushing the brand.

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Old 08-23-2009, 10:01 PM   #3
Growser
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2000 SL1
Default Re: Treat Saturn with respect!!!!

My dealership even gave away baseball tickets.

But as a side note I got something for free from my dealership last week. Yes, I said free! Rainy afternoon and I locked my keys in the car. Saturn dealership 2 miles from work, or call tow truck or locksmith. Went to the dealership (borrowed a co-workers car) and got a new key made-figured could always another one . As my wallet was also in the car I offered to leave my cellphone as collateral and they gave me the key instead. I know it was only a key but it was the thought that counted!

...
7 Saturn Car Family with + 900,000 miles.
2002 SL2, 2000 SL1, 1997 SC2, 1997 SC1, 1996 SC1, 1994 SC2, and now a 93 SC2 project car.

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Old 08-25-2009, 05:44 AM   #4
Kooler King
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Default Re: Treat Saturn with respect!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaseball View Post
Saturn as a company was what I now feel is a fluke. They were more focused on the customer, on making a person paying $12-20K+ feel and experience something that was well beyond what a person paying $35-60K+ on a luxury brand would experience.

That is a very rare experience. For well over a decade from 1993-2003 Saturn as a company and car dealership gave an incredible return on investment. What you received as a Saturn owner has gone down steadily as GM castrated the company, then cut the entire brand off.

The Homecoming, BBQ's on the weekend, owner clinics, send offs, birthday cards, and countless other perks disappeared long before 2000.

However, plenty of dealerships kept the feel and expectations alive on their own and provided much more after sale perks and expectations up to the point of GM disowning Saturn.
Saturn couldn't have supported these perks as part of normal business plan of a normal, stand-alone company ... there would be no way to justify the expense or to turn a profit with the margins available selling economy cars. This was all a public relations effort by GM, funded by their deep pockets, kinda like a rich uncle having everybody over for a barbeque every weekend. Well, GM is broke, the "rich uncle" can't pay the caterer ... the party's over.

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