It's been more than three years since General Motors announced it was shuttering its "different kind of car" division. At the time, Roger Penske was attempting to purchase the brand and possibly stock it with cars sourced from plants in the US, South Korea, Mexico, or even Europe. Ultimately Mr. Penske couldn't get a deal done within GM's tight timeframes and Saturn was closed. While frantically attempting to keep up with rumors swirling around Saturn that fateful year, I made a decision to rethink the way I was collecting and reporting the news. In the midst of all the uncertainty surrounding Saturn, I began to draw up plans for new and improved version of SaturnFans.com that could not only help visitors track what Saturn news was happening, but where it was happening as it was happening.
Having a car accident is a terrible experience for anyone to go through. If you are fortunate that all the parties involved make it though OK, its important to focus and document the details of the accident as much as possible. But who is thinking clearly after a wreck? To help customers through the situation, Saturn developed a pamphlet that you could stow in your glove box.
A few years ago Target sold some motorized Saturn Ion toys that were "tuned for speed." The cars were available in two colors: black/purple (pictured above) and red/black (below). On the top of each car were two buttons. Pressing the triangle caused the car to rev its engine, flash its headlamps and under-body neon lights, and finally zoom forward a few feet. The square button started a caused the car to play a catchy rhythmic tune with the lights flashing along to the beat.
I wanted to post a quick reminder that I'll be in the SaturnFans Chat Room between 9-10pm EDT tonight. I'll be taking questions all night. And I'd like to get some feedback from you all too. For instance, was the Reunion worth the effort to put together? Also, I've worked up a couple different concepts for next-gen SaturnFans.com websites, but I am not sure with the direction I want to take the site in the coming years. What would you like to see in the SF of the future?
Test you knowledge with these Saturn 'did you know' trivia bits from Saturn's yesteryear.
Model year 1994 marked what Saturn called "Balanced Excellence" in terms of offering customers exceptional value for their money in the small car market. Attaining "balanced excellence" required Saturn to pay critical attention to a host of buyer expectations. Among them were a high level of performance without sacrificing fuel economy or emissions; affordability while maintaining reliability and durability; and an overall commitment to quality without compromise. Accompanied by numerous continuous refinements, the family of 1994 Saturn sedans, wagons and coupes were proof that "balanced excellence" could be achieved through subtle refinements and continuous improvement.
Prior to unveiling the 2002 Vue sport-utility at the South Florida International Auto Show in Miami on October 6 2001, Saturn released the preview sketch shown above. Even though the SUV charted new territory for Saturn, the vehicle still embodied many Saturn characteristics that were popular at the time, including: a horizontal front lightbar, domed hood, arched roofline, and side "swoosh."
Saturn's innovative manufacturing methods have not only helped it build world-class cars, but it also helped the company forge stronger labor ties with its workers. While all of Saturn's production techniques cannot be listed on one page, I've attempted to highlight a select few that stand out. These were methods used in Saturn's Spring Hill, TN manufacturing plant.
Contrary to popular belief, I don't live here... although I wish I did.