In a rather shocking move, General Motors has reportedly scrapped plans to build the Saturn Sky roadster concept vehicle. The Sky was to be a 'halo' car for Saturn, slated to arrive in the 2008 model year.
The 2004 Vue Red Line, the first in Saturn's new series of performance-tuned vehicles, represents the next step in Saturn's drive to generate new interest in the brand.
With a snarl in its exhaust note, an imposing stance from its racetrack-tuned suspension, and the immediate rush of its Ecotec 2.0-liter supercharged, 200 horsepower (estimated) engine, the 2004 Ion Red Line has a character like nothing else to come out of Saturn.
Jill Lajdziak, vice president of Saturn sales, service, and marketing, addressed retailers Monday at the 2003 National Automobile Dealers Assoication (NADA) Convention. Automotive News reports that among the topics discussed were plans for "mid-cycle enhancements" to the Vue sport-utility, including a "supercharged 240-hp version with 18-inch wheels due in September."
A recent J.D. Power study predicts Saturn will grow its market share in the United States by 0.65 of a percentage point over the next five years. The increase will reportedly come as a result of the launch of three all-new vehicles that will compete in market segments that will be new to Saturn. Reuters reports the study was presented to dealers prior to the NADA conference.
GM told retailers at the 2003 National Auto Dealer Association (NADA) convention that Saturn and Buick will get minivans in 2004. The announcement, made by General Motors Vice President John Middlebrook on Sunday, indicates further commitment by GM to grow the Saturn brand. Saturn's minivan will arrive in the third quarter of 2004 as a 2005 model.
In a move that may indicate Saturn has concerns that its three-letter naming convention won't be successful in the ultra-competitive midsize market, SaturnFans.com has learned that the company may be looking into its past for inspiration in naming its upcoming midsize sport wagon. It has been known for quite some time that Saturn will drop the L-Series moniker when the car is redesigned in 2006.
Accelerating one of the fastest-ever technology rollouts in its history, GM will offer XM Satellite Radio on 44 of 57 GM models, representing more than three-quarters of GM's fleet.
AutoWeek reports that Saturn's upcoming Ion 'tuner coupe' will hit the streets in the beginning of 2004.
General Motors' advanced hybrid system, set to debut in the Saturn Vue in late 2005, combines the power of a four-cylinder engine with the excellent torque and efficiency of twin electric motors.