I used to spend hours researching, writing, and posting stories about Saturn at SaturnFans.com. Since Saturn's untimely closing, Saturn-related news stories are few and far between, but every so often Saturn is still referenced in a news article. As a result, I've built a feed that funnels Saturn stories from my GM Beat Saturn channel, directly into the General Saturn Discussion forum. If any of the articles are of particular interest, such as a recall alert, I'll be sure to also post them right here on the main SaturnFans home page too.
Darryl Siry from Wired: The GM EV1 was an electric vehicle that was a technical triumph for the time. It generated passion-fueled controversy that still reverberates today. The technological innovations of the EV1 went well beyond the battery pack, inverter and AC induction motor that propelled the car without using any gasoline. The lead-acid battery pack could store only 17 kilowatt-hours for the first generation, roughly equivalent to half a gallon of gasoline. As a result, GM engineers had to do everything they could to reduce the weight and aerodynamic drag of the car to achieve a workable range.
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.
From AutoWeek: "All of our efforts will be to sell down our remaining 2009 inventory," Susan Docherty, GM's vice president of U.S. sales, said today at a press event. "We'll have a little bit of carryover of that into the first quarter of 2010, but the objective is to keep our inventory somewhere between 425,000 to 450,000 units." Docherty said she is confident that GM will clear out the 2009-model-year inventory by January. Meanwhile, the company likely will shutter its Pontiac and Saturn brands by the end of the first quarter, Docherty said.
Barbara Wieland from the Lansing State Journal: Sherrill Freeborough is finding there is life after Saturn. Freeborough was one of 340 Saturn dealers left hanging when GM's deal to sell the division to Penske Automotive Group collapsed September 30. GM quickly halted Saturn production - including dropping the Outlook crossover made at its Lansing Delta Township assembly plant - and began shutting down the brand. "It was sickening, disheartening," said the normally upbeat, optimistic Freeborough. "It took some time for the reality of it to sink in."
Sharon Terlep from the Dow Jones Newswires: Auto magnate Roger Penske believed he was taking over General Motors' Saturn brand until the very last moments, when France's Renault shocked both Penske and GM by backing out of an agreement to provide vehicles. Penske addressed the failed deal Friday as he announced Penske Automotive Group's quarterly financial results.
Jamie Lareau from Automotive News: Jill Lajdziak, who joined Saturn before its first car was sold and led the division through its demise last month, will retire from General Motors at the end of the year. Lajdziak, 52, will take vacation time until then, said spokesman John McDonald. In the interim, GM's Steve Hill, will coordinate the wind-down of the Saturn brand.
GM Hopes to Retain Saturn Customers, but 69% of SaturnFans.com Members Surveyed Say they Won’t Purchase a GM Vehicle
Eric Mayne from WardsAuto.com: GM is entering the free-agent market. The auto maker will reach out next week to some 1.6 million customers affected by the wind-down of its storied Pontiac brand. Susan Docherty, vice president-U.S. sales, calls these consumers "free agents" and says GM will attempt to steer them to Buick-GMC or Chevrolet dealerships by offering free oil changes. GM also will distribute information about Buick, GMC and Chevrolet product portfolios as it tries to keep these customers "in the family," Docherty says, adding a similar campaign is being planned to woo Saturn-brand customers.
From Knowledge@Wharton: General Motors' decision earlier this month to scrap its Saturn brand triggered frequent retellings of the many ways in which GM missed an opportunity to recast itself and the auto industry. But other manufacturers did adopt some of Saturn's innovations, according to Wharton faculty. Indeed, they say, the Saturn story provides a roadmap for what to do - and what not to do - as the auto industry adjusts to the post-financial crisis world.
Bryan Laviolette from Michigan WLLZ: Much has been written about why Saturn was somewhat of a success through much of the 1990s. Even though General Motors starved the brand for new products, those who bought Saturns back then loved them. Sure, buyers enjoyed the no-haggle deals and the fresh approach to selling cars. They loved it when dealer employees clapped as they drove their cars away for the first time. But what they really loved was that the cars were good, possibly the best cars GM has made since the 1950s when it ruled the American market.