Web Links

Saturn’s Sad Story Nears an End

David Welch from Business Week: The long, sad saga of Saturn is finally over. The once-hot General Motors division that began with a bang 19 years ago is now headed into oblivion after a deal to sell it to retailer Penske Automotive Group fell apart on September 30.

GM, Retailers Begin the End to Saturn

Robert Snell from the Detroit News: Dealers have until the end of October 2010 to close, but many will be gone by January because inventory is low, dealers said. The automaker will begin winding down Saturn dealers, who are being offered between $100,000 and $1 million to stay open and gradually sell inventory.

Renault Says Saturn Deal "Just Didn’t Add Up"

Lindsay Chappell from Automotive News: In the eleventh hour of Roger Penske's venture to acquire Saturn from General Motors to keep the brand alive, Renault's executive committee in France concluded, "Ca fait deux." Rough translation: "It's not going to come together." Despite Penske's statements that his organization had been in discussions with automakers around the world, ultimately his hopes had been pinned on only one: Renault.

GM Hasn’t Learned, Is Still "as Dysfunctional as Ever"

Jean Halliday from Advertising Age: General Motors said it wasn't going to do corporate ads — and then it put Chairman Ed Whitacre in its multiple-model "May the Best Car Win" campaign. The automaker also said it was going to create distinctive advertising for its four remaining vehicle brands, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC — but tell that to subscribers of Newsweek and BusinessWeek.

Spring Hill, Columbia Worry About Life after GM

Spring Hill Barn

G. Chambers Williams III from the Tennessean: Tom Smith opened the Video Shoppe in north Columbia a year after GM announced it would build a new Saturn plant in nearby Spring Hill. To his delight, the automaker put a giant training facility right next door, and rentals of his movies boomed. "I had a good run because of it," he said. But today, more than 20 years later, the South Central Tennessee Career Center has moved in next door, where unemployed people go to look for work. "Their business is great, but mine is not," Tom Smith said.

Saturn Couldn’t Escape GM’s Dysfunctional Orbit

Paul Ingrassia from the Wall Street Journal: General Motors and the United Auto Workers union have waged war against each other—sometimes hot, sometimes cold—for most of the past 80 years. One of the few things on which they collaborated, sadly, was undermining Saturn, which began as the boldest effort to reform the dysfunctional dynamics of their relationship.

Sudden Death of Saturn Marks End of GM Dream

Paul A. Eisenstein from MSNBC: It's been nearly a quarter-century since General Motors Chairman Roger Smith stunned the automotive world by announcing that GM would create an all-new car division, called Saturn. But 25 years later, Saturn's once high-tech factory, and Saturn itself, are closing down, testimonies to the failures of Smith, and the CEOs who followed him, to fix GM's problems.

Saturn Leaves GM’s Orbit

Karl Greenberg from MediaPost: What's done is done, but analysts say GM's mercy killing of the brand that it launched in the '80s as an experiment to battle the imports is a history of wasted potential. Peter Kloprogge, CEO and president of New York-based market research firm Pointlogic, says Saturn stood out among Detroit brands because it did not suffer from amorphous-brand syndrome: GM, Ford and Chrysler have had to deal with brands whose raison d'etre was no longer relevant or that had placeholder identities. Saturn was the only brand that consumers didn't lump together conceptually with other GM brands in a new segment study.

Retailers, Owners Shocked Over End of Saturn

Steve Manning from the Associated Press via MSNBC: Charlie Eickmeyer says he was a fan of Saturn vehicles years before he was able to drive. Today he's in shock. So were employees at Day Automotive Group in Pittsburgh when they read the news online that a deal to rescue Saturn had fallen through.

Opinion: The Ride’s Over for Saturn Lovers

From the Ventura County Star: Started in 1985 to compete with small, fuel-efficient Japanese imports, Saturn was meant to operate independently of the parent company — and for a while it did, building an enthusiastic customer base — almost cultlike — that it hosted for an annual reunion and picnic at its Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant. Unfortunately, the brand never made money and the plant quit making Saturns in 2007. But, to hear Saturn buffs tell it, the massive GM bureaucracy intruded more and more in the running of the company, and it was slow to introduce new models in a fast-changing market.

Random Article from the SaturnFans.com Archives

Flashback Friday: First Saturn Sold Today in 1990

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."