Wednesday, April 15, 2009
As part of their latest Government ordered restructuring, General Motors announced that they were going to get rid of one of their many brands. The brands on the chopping block included Saab, Hummer and Saturn. The popular belief was that Saturn was a goner.The Swedes might have interest in Saab and Hummer still has some cache.
News reports indicate that a group of investors including Saturn dealers have some interest in the brand which was facing the axe on April 17. They would turn Saturn, which is currently a dumping ground for GMs European models into a brand known for fuel efficiency.
Saturn was launched in the eighties by GM as a response to the onslaught of Asian cars. As Toyota is currently the top automaker in the world the strategy can be safely termed a failure. As a "different type of car company" all Saturn were built at a facility in Tennessee. GM and the UAW created a new type of labor agreement. It was known for its dent resistant panels and its haggle free pricing. In their ads they showed cars in parking lots surviving accidents with baby carriages and supermarket buggies. This was revolutionary for GM at the time as most of their cars exploded on impact. Haggle free pricing promised that Saturn dealers wouldn't screw you like thier counterparts at Pontiac and Buick.
Saturn was the first car made by GM that could survive a hit from a stroller
As time progressed GM dropped many of these innovations from the Saturn line and it became just another car company. On the brink of death, it may have a chance to survive. The reports suggest GM will still build the cars for Saturn so it really has no chance of survival as a fourth American car company.