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The of the Saturn line of automobiles in June of 1982.

Alex C. then vice president of engineering at General Motors a concept for an automobile to compete the popularly priced Japanese and imports selling exceptionally at the time. This came a period when many at Motors were just to see the proverbial writing on the wall.

In General Motors had suffered its annual loss since the Steadily losing market to imported cars, it was also lawsuits and quality problems. The also suffered from bad relations, blatant badge and a failed attempt to market engines.

Exacerbating the problems, Motors was saddled with a culture, absolutely loath to in the face of all of this adversity.

as “A Different Kind of Car at launch; Saturn’s primary message was its cars could be had no dealer haggling. Market had told those in command at Motors something every car already knew. Consumers’ favorite aspect of the car buying was negotiating the price of the vehicle an automotive salesperson.

And, when you think it, it makes sense.

In 1985, the concept of the Saturn brand was there was no Internet. The only way could find out the value of a car was to go to the public library and consult the Book”. Even then the Blue Book only for used cars.

Dealers pretty much charge they wanted to for a new car.

Or, differently, dealers could whatever they could

The idea behind Saturn was to the cars at a reasonable price in the place, then permit no bargaining. In an effort to ensure operations were not tainted by the corporate culture at General Saturn operated more or independently from the rest of the (at launch). It had its own factory in Spring Tennessee, its models were to the brand, and it had a separate retail

By positioning the brand in this plus sizing and pricing its to compete directly with Saturn was GM’s effort to go toe to toe Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen, and of allToyota.

The Saturn prototype was in 1983, the Saturn Corporation was in 1985, and construction began on the Hill factory that year. The thing that Saturn’s key positioning message was a negotiated deal with the Auto Workers union. Motors promised 80 percent of workers would enjoy employment and a number of other sweetenersif the union would many of its cost-inducing requirements.

among them was paying an annual salary rather an hourly wage. With agreements in place, Saturn a lower cost structure, it to offer its products at a more price.

The first Saturn off the assembly line at Spring were the Saturn S-Series of cars. Between 1991 and Saturn produced one million Those first Saturn indeed quite different. used spaceframe designs so the panels didn’t have to the weight of the car. This Saturn to use plastic body to enable rapid styling (though it was never taken of).

It also made the cars to build. Further, they dent resistant, which a Saturn automobile would new longer.

Saturn’s S-Series debuted with the SL (or sedan in 1990, for model year In 1992, the company introduced its coupethe Saturn SC. A wagon, the SW automobiles followed in 1993.

The received them warmly. The price strategy was proving effective at getting customers the showroom and turning them buyers. There was, one “not-so-little” problem.

A full 41 of those buyers were out of other General Motors into a Saturn. In other the brand was cannibalizing sales, than conquesting them.

rode the S-Series line of from 1991 to 2002 very few changes. In a volatile like the U.S. new car market, strategy is rather problematic. In minds, the product goes after a while (unless a Porsche 911). Starved of new by 2000, Saturn’s halo was to tarnish.

The cars had become dated, the range was limited, and so buyers’ turned elsewhere.

One exceptionally spot during that was GM’s decision to offer its GM EV1 car through Saturn dealers in The first automobile ever under the GM marque (rather a Saturn, or a Chevrolet, or an Oldsmobile, it was a GM the EV1 was revolutionary for the company in a number of ways.

Sadly, GM’s team of the time botched too.

Rather than sold, EV1 models could be leased. This led to problems GM’s management team the EV1 program was not profitable and moved to it. However, the car had developed a cult-like in the interim.

Thus, GM created a deal of ill will when it the “lease only” requirement and crushed every EV1 when were returned according the of their leases. A number of cried conspiracyas well as a few choice invectives. Either GM was on to something good with the very early on, but just see it. (See Tesla Motors)

With the allure of the S-Series long having waned, the was finally made to offer a new of Saturn models. The Saturn was introduced in 1999, as model 2000 vehicles. And, they didn’t work. May of 1999 and June of 2004 406,000 L-Series cars built. Remember, the S-Series had one million cars in less

Further, Toyota was averaging Camrys a year in the U.S.

Saturn finally got an SUV for the 2002 yeareven though the SUV boom had going since roughly The L-Series was replaced by the even lackluster Ion the following year. started to look “up” for in 2006 though, with the of the Saturn Sky sports car as a 2007


Saturn’s new 2007 sedan, the Aura, also showed promise. Also, the idea was hit to rebadge Opel models as in the U.S, which brought the nice Opel Astra as the Saturn Astra.

Saturn was getting some decent

So of course, just as the Saturn was starting to become an interesting General Motors pulled the on the brand.

Saturn’s demise was in 2008.

The brand was shuttered 31, 2010.

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