Stories

Goodbye Saturn, Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Vintage Saturn Photos

Note: As General Motors gets ready to shut Saturn's doors at the end of this year, I'd like to take a moment to look back at why the brand was created and how it evolved over the years, what made the cars and company so special to me, and also address some concerns about how Saturn's closure will impact the future of SaturnFans.com.

Later tonight the giant ball in Times Square will be lowered when the clock strikes twelve and 2010 will come to an end. It's been a emotional year for Saturn employees, owners, and fans; October 31st marked the end of General Motors' grand Saturn experiment. Of all the news articles I've written for SaturnFans.com over the past 15 years, this one has been by far the hardest for me to write. Saying goodbye is never easy, and this time is no different. To me Saturn was more than just another car or company: it represented a fresh approach to running a business, and more significantly, it was a symbolic entry in America's ideological battle against the best vehicles the "import" car companies had to offer.

How Saturnalia Helped Us Save $900

My girlfriend and I have been using the info on this forum to help troubleshoot problems with her '98 SL2 for some time. Recently, it's been going through a phase of needing some new parts, which is not all that surprising given the age of the car. When we took it back to a local shop after they replaced the tensioner pulley and belt a new problem arose - choking and stalling out.

Remembering the 2007 Saturn Brand Advocate Board Meeting: Charlie and the Saturn 'Factory'

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Its amazing how life sometimes imitates art. Take Roald Dahl's children's book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," for example. According to the story, candy maker Willy Wonka opened the doors of his mysterious and intriguing plant for a sneak peak at how his workers dream up new types of candy and create the world's best chocolate. The privilege to venture deep inside the walls of the famed chocolate factory was limited to five lucky children who found golden tickets tucked inside the wrappers of Wonka chocolate bars. Inside the plant, Mr. Wonka took this small group of folks on an adventure they wouldn't soon forget. A few weeks ago I had the privilege to attend the Saturn Brand Advocate Board Meeting in Detroit. As I thought about how I wanted to write about my very own Saturn adventure, the story of 'Charlie' kept coming back to me over and over again. Our journey even included a ride in a glass elevator...

Where Have You Gone in Your Vue?

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I drove from Vancouver, British Columbia to Victorville, California and back to Washington state in mine. I stopped off in Sacramento and picked up three more people on the way down and dropped them back off on the way back. It managed to take the Grapevine with that load passing other vehicles with ease. It got great mileage down and back with the average of 26 mpgs.

Owner Story: Comic Books and Saturn

SaturnFest 2009

From Tom Mason: Now that GM is shutting down their Saturn division, let me tell you how comic books helped me get a really nice, reliable car. Years ago, my old car went on life support and, reluctantly, since I could no longer count on my friends to keep picking me up by the side of the freeway, I had to get another one. I hate buying a car more than I hate trying to get a hotel room for Comic-Con International in March. So I needed a plan.

Handcuffed Saturn Retailers Consider their Fates

Steve Finlay from Wards AutoWorld: GM says it will shut down Saturn after Penske announced that his plan to buy the brand has failed due to an inability to find a supplier of vehicles beyond GM. Some Saturn dealers have other brands to fall back on. Those that don’t are the hardest hit. One of them is Todd Ingersoll, owner of Saturn of Danbury, a facility that opened last year.

Disappearance of Saturn Brand Disappoints Car Fan

Ashley Yarchin KSDK Channel 5: Kevin Keller, 36, is on his third Saturn in more than a decade. In fact, he still has his first Saturn, although he doesn't drive it anymore. Keller said he fell in love with the brand in 1996 and even joined a sort of fan club called the Saturn Performance Club.

Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toyota Dealer

Reader "Capitol Hill" posed the following question to Warren Brown, the Washington Post Cars columnist: I've owned three Saturns. However, now that my L300 has died, I have decided to buy a Prius. I love the car and am happy to buy one. However, after my experience with Saturn, I was struck by how unresponsive and inattentive the Toyota dealer was. I had a similar experience 17 years ago, which is what drove me to Saturn. The only reason I stuck with Toyota this time is I really wanted the Prius. Not sure I would do it again when I buy my next car. Is this a common experience?

Owner Story: Vacationing with the Vue and a RV Trailer

2009 Saturn Vue with RV Trailer

Many years ago, my wife and I started doing camping using the minimal equipment: a tent, a Coleman LP stove and a cooler. We were young and soon discovered that even if this kind of camping can be fun for a few days, living in such minimalist gears during two or three weeks is not the same story. When you want to do "serious" camping, you need serious equipment. And a RV is almost mandatory! But what kind of RV can you afford when you don't want to change your car for a large F-350 pick-up truck?

Flashback Friday: Saturn "Visions"

Flashback Friday: Saturn "Visions"

The news last week about Saturn's current owner magazine going all-digital got me thinking about the first Saturn owner newsletter. The first one that I can remember at least. Long before there was "Saturn 360" or even "Saturn Signatures," there was a quarterly publication called "Visions" that Saturn put together for owners, team members, and their families.

Random Article from the SaturnFans.com Archives

Flashback Friday: How Saturn Built a Brand

Saturn Logo

Saturn launched its lineup of compact sedans and coupes in the fall of 1990 as an relatively unknown and untested manufacturer of "a different kind of car." The Saturn team did the impossible by implementing a set of strategies that included building quality vehicles and crafting an intriguing message that attracted car buyers who had written off domestic cars long ago. That was no small feat. In his book, "Building Strong Brands," author David Aaker set out to "not only to describe what was done but also to suggest the logic behind the strategies: why they were pursued, and how they were intended to contribute to the brand." He concluded that "although certainly some elements of the Saturn strategy may have been critical, it was the synergy of the total program rather than the power of any single element - that led to its success."