On this date in 1990, Saturn sold its first car. According to the St. Petersburg Times, the first Saturn - the blue SL2 sedan shown above - was sold just after midnight to Elaine Terry at Saturn of Clearwater. "I wanted an American-made car and decided to give it a try," Mrs. Terry told the newspaper. It was a 25th wedding anniversary present. USA Today and CNN were reportedly at the retail facility to document the event. "I kept it for 10 months and put over 5,000 miles on it. People all over the country wanted to buy the car from me. One man in Las Vegas was talking up to $100,000 for it."
Saturn's Consultative Sales Process was developed for Sales Consultants to work with customers focusing on their wants and needs in order to help in the decision to purchase a vehicle.
Earlier today the results of the latest analysis by Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence of recent kbb.com Web traffic patterns was announced, including the top five upward-climbing and downward-declining brands in share of market interest for July 2009 when compared to July 2008.
Kelly Johnson from the Sacramento Business Journal: New corporate owners could boost Saturn, Hummer, and Saab sales, and help ease car-shoppers' concerns about future of the still-struggling brands. Saturn's pending purchase by Penske has support from dealers and consumers. They know of company chairman Roger Penske's success as a racecar driver and racing team owner, in truck rentals and with auto retailing.
Saturn stores delivered 7,520 vehicles in June, down 60.2% from the same time last year when sales consultants sold 18,912 cars and crossovers. Year-to-date sales are down 58.1% to 42,776 units. The Outlook was the only model in Saturn's lineup to record a sales increase last month.
From WBPN TV Channels 7 and 4: It was a big day for a northern Michigan car dealership – all because they're celebrating the 4 millionth Saturn sold in the country. With a police escort Tuesday afternoon Philip Lieffers and his wife Mary of Traverse City drove their black, three door Saturn Astra to Saturn of Traverse City for the big celebration.
Matthew Smith from ABC 12 in Flint: Less than two months ago, news of Saturn's future sounded pretty bleak. Former GM CEO Rick Wagoner said that the troubled automaker could begin phasing out the Saturn brand by the end of the current product cycle. But at a time when many dealers are fearful of the auto economy, Saturn is meeting sales critics head on with the Saturn Astra.
Mark Solheim from Kiplinger: Auto sales in 2008 were the worst in 16 years, and this year could be even grimmer. Dealers desperate to move inventory off clogged lots are entertaining the lowest of low-ball offers. Add in generous cash rebates and low-interest financing - at least, for the most creditworthy customers - and screaming bargains abound. Bill Cormicle of Flint, Michigan, got a sweet deal on his new Saturn Vue, a model that was piling up on dealer lots.
The 2008 calendar year was a down year for Saturn, General Motors, and the auto industry as a whole. However, not all new was bad for Saturn. There were two significant bright spots: sales of Saturn's midsize Aura sedan and Vue compact sport-utility were virtually flat year-over-year.
General Motors today announced new reduced rate 4.9% APR financing on select Saturns, and rates as low as 0% APR for up to 60 months on other select new GM cars and trucks. The reduced rate financing is available to qualified buyers today through January 5, 2009 on many 2008 and select 2009 model year vehicles.