Wednesday, September 30, 2009

GM Ending The Saturn Brand

After talks with Penkse Automotive broke down over whether GM could provide product, GM has decided to end the Saturn brand and close down the dealerships. Saturn will now join other failed GM brands like Oldsmobile and Pontiac which GM pulled the plug on when the corporation's financial situation grew desperate.

Originally developed in 1985 as an answer to high quality imports such as Toyota or Honda, Saturn was supposed to offer quality built small cars, but branched out into SUVs and other areas. The first Saturn automobiles looked somewhat similar to the cheaper Geo imports, but were well built with excellent customer service. Saturn operated outside of the normal GM sphere on it's own. And buyers were impressed with the vehicles overall and the brand won many awards as a "best buy" and for high quality. However, the money problems at GM forced the company to look to sell Saturn.

The failure of Saturn has be very bittersweet over at GM. The attempt to build a quality product was admirable, however just wasn't enough to make the brand real profitable. Yet buyers for quality imports will always buy. And unless some desperate 11th hour attempt by some Chinese or Korean company suddenly comes through now with Penske out of the picture, then the brand will certainly be gone. Penske hoped to lure an automotive division of Korea's Samsung into joining with them. And a Chinese company bought the Hummer brand. Saturn's survival chances never looked very good. Now the brand appears to be gone.


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