• Feb 16, 2009
General Motors' Vice Chairman Bob Lutz may be on his way out to pasture, but that doesn't mean he's going to leave as anything other than the quote machine we know and love. The Maximum One told Automotive News that he wished Saturn would survive the current economic calamity, "But frankly, the reality is that that is probably not going to be the outcome." When the Vice Chairman drops that kind of news, it doesn't bode well for the struggling brand, which posted a 21% decline for 2008. Lutz went on to say that Saturn had the best, most fresh product lineup in the GM portfolio and that the company doesn't have the time or money to spend trying to figure out what went wrong.

Saturn dealers predictably didn't take the news well, saying that GM's announcement that the brand was under review made it tougher to sell cars. New Jersey dealer Stuart Lasser said Lutz's announcement "seals our fate," and added that GM knew Saturn wasn't going to make it but didn't tell them about it. GM has said that it would continue to feed its Saturn dealers with product through 2012, but the General hasn't committed to any new models. We're going to go out on a limb here and say that we're not expecting to hear about any new Saturns any time soon.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]


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  • 76 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have had no problems with the Saturn I have owned for 10 years. I will say that the one deep impression I have gotten at least from the Saturn dealerships I have been to is that they definitely did have wonderful customer service. Every single time I was there they were pleasant, cheerful, helpful and would do what they could to accommodate you. I never had a single problem and had been bringing my car in for service at the dealership I bought it from since I got it...precisely because they were so great. I will miss that most of all.
      jimmichigan123
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thanks to the LIB DEM IDIOTS who have FORCED their STUPID regs and standards on the car industry and REFUSED to drill our OWN oil, we are in this MESS NOW!!
      People want SUVS and were buying SUVS and if the barry robots and his other LIB DEM Cronies, SUVS would STILL be selling and our economy would be healthy!! Thanks to the IDIOTS who voted for barry and his LIB DEM criminal cronies, we are going DEEPER into the OBAMAPRESSION!!!!!!
      How do you UNION MORONS who keep putting the LIB DEMS in office like UNEMPLOYMENT caused by your STUPIDITY!!!???
      Roger Martinez
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well its obvious what went wrong, they just said they had the most fresh lineup in the GM portfolio, well we Americans love our vettes and amaros and mustangs, we don't want a new car thats never been heard of. These other cars have lasted the test of time, the fresh ones will never be classics.


      "Lutz went on to say that Saturn had the best, most fresh product lineup in the GM portfolio and that the company doesn't have the time or money to spend trying to figure out what went wrong. "
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why they killed off Oldsmobile and kept Saturn has been a mystery. Saturns always seemed to be styling clones of Oldsmobiles so you would have thought they would have been absorbed into the Oldsmobile line. Saturn had low sales because GM kept marketing big and expensive vehicles with cheap financing and pulling away their customers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its befuddling to me that they will discuss killing Saturn and not take an even more ill-fated look at pontiac. Saturn should be GM's Scion. Scion was successful because it brought a compact, somewhat useful , japanese flavor at a great price onto Toyota lots. I'm a 25 year old , just bought my first vehicle completely by myself. I looked at the Astra, because it had a very nice profile and Euro feel. Two factors kept me from taking it seriously: 1) Gas mileage was not what you would expect from this segment AT ALL=failure, when japanese models that are larger do much better 2)The pricing, for the options that a young person would want, just wasn't impressive.
      See, I actually like the styling of a few of the new pontiacs. But ya know what? Pontiac, for me and every child of the 90's friend I have is an overwhelming symbol of pure and utter GARBAGE. Too many grand am's fell apart around my friends for me to ever take Pontiac seriously or ever want to be seen driving one. Sorry.
      One vital key to GM's future success is winning back my generation. Still holding on to our youth, but sadly, our introduction and memory of GM is them at their lowest.
      I wish someone would take a deeper look at saturn.
      1)Ditch standalone dealers. Brand it in a special place on the chevy lot.
      2)Keep the Astra, make it more fuel efficient, lower the price. Target the Yaris, Versa segment, and keep a high end sport model. Advertise its pricing, and Euro roots
      3)Keep the Astra, but make it more eco-friendly. SCREAM how eco friendly it is, and lower the price.
      4)Ditch the SUV's .
      5)Keep the roadster.
      6)Turn the pontiac vibe into a saturn. How much will that cost? Little of nothing. How many Toyota fans can you bring over and convince to buy the same vehicle for less? I would think more if it doesn't have a blazing nasty pontiac symbol on it.

      Finally, park pontiac somewhere far off next to chevy. I don't know why people buy them

      I would theorize the point of saturn's existance is to get the young buyers on the lot who you can graduate to SUV's, and family sedans as they age. Or give junior something to run over and look at when you visit the chevy lot.

      Finally, retool the sybol for saturn. Get rid of the square. Its awkward. Just go with the straight font= "SATURN" and maybe sink a moon shadow behind it. Its a word, not an assymmetrical symbol.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Ditch standalone dealers. Brand it in a special place on the chevy lot."

        Saturn franchisees were required to be stand alone dealers, which is why you don't see multiple brand GM franchises that include Saturn. To incorporate them into Chevy dealerships would be as expensive as canning the brand altogether.

        As far as selling Saturn in a special area within Chevy dealers, GM already tried that once with Geo. Eventhough the Nova and Prizm were Corollas, the masses believed them to be inferior to the Corolla. Where is Geo in the GM portfolio now?

        Saturn was an experiment that failed for GM. Let's face it, Oldsmobile was selling more cars than Saturn, with roughly the same average buyer age: 45, when it got the boot.

        Scion sales have been lagging for several years now, so the verdict is still out on whether Scion will a) be a viable brand built from a mish mash of Toyota parts bin items or b) it will be able to convert young Scion buyers into older, more financially mature Toyota buyers.

        Bottom line, it will be almost impossible for GM to convert buyers 20 - 35 to buy their product. Marketing studies have shown people in that age group believe the Matrix to be a better vehicle than the Vibe, just as their parents thought the Corolla was better than the Nova. Two generations have bought into the notion that imports are better, even when the vehicles in question roll of the same assembly line. The Malibu gets better MPG than a Camry, yet people think the Toyota is better on gas. An Impala has a lower cost to own than a Camry, but the masses will insist that the Camry is a better buy because after 3 years it is worth $3000 more than the Impala which cost $3000 less to begin with.

        Perception is everything and on that front, GM has had it's hat handed to them.
      Leo M. Gates
      • 5 Years Ago
      What does this mean for GM of Europe, UK and Australia? Saturn Astra is the US version of Opel Astra of Europe, Vauxhall Astra of UK and Holden Astra of Australia. And I thought we were going to see a real "world car", whose final assembly point is Belgium, outsell every other make in the United States. To date, I have only seen the Astra in the Saturn lots and at the Philadelphia International Auto Show. I have not seen ONE on the road. Not one. Maybe Saturn should think "inside the box" and advertise, advertise, advertise.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Typical of GM stupidity - even in sales and retro saavy... They could have kept the name, and turned the line into their Hybrid / Electric advanced line... The dealers were in place, the name was known as at least a half way decent line. It could have been rebuilt upon and retooled. Now all investment is going to be turned into a waste. The best thing that could happen to Saturn would be for G.M. to restructure it as an "EMPLOYEE OWNED CORPORATION", And let them have go at it. Sound Scary? Well what would be the worst that could happen? a) It could go belly up (as expected) or b) It could succeed beyond wildest dreams. Maybe they are afraid something REVOLTIONARY might take place and come back to bite them in the.......
      • 5 Years Ago
      Unfortunately, Saturn needs to go.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "it was established to give GM a small, efficient, value brand to compete directly against the japanesse. but those were qualities that GM should have simply incorporated into all its brands. hind sight is 20/20, but saturn was doomed to fail from day one"

        Exactly! Saturn was a horrible answer to a problem that GM had in the 90s and it really never was all that great to begin with. Opel America version of saturn was an improvement but it didn't work.

        Honestly I'd rather Saturn shut down than any of the older brands.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am a small business owner. My livelihood could depend on whether or not some amoral, integrity-less puke like this loser came out in public and said that "there was a chance..." that the brand would go under BY THE YEAR 2013! Without much common sense at all, it is easy to understand how something like this affects thousands of peoples' livelihoods in a negative way. Either it is speculation or it is fact (planned). If it is speculation, this guy should be thrown in jail. Or, he/GM should be in line for a huge lawsuit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hasn't Lutz been wrong before? He has said some pretty crazy things in the past and ended up with egg on his face but I must admit this one wouldn't surprise me if he is right.
      toby hobart
      • 5 Years Ago
      Saturns are junk!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is a bit of a disturbing that Saturn hasn't done better in recent years. Then again, I don't even know where a Saturn dealer is located around my area -- are they all independant or are they grouped with other GM brands ?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Every Saturn dealer here is grouped with SAAB though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Either. Some Saturn dealers are on their own, while others are across the street from Chevy or Caddy dealers.
        (My wife and I have owned four Saturns & still love the one we have now.)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Saturn was a stand alone - "no-haggle" dealership. The price on the sticker was what you paid. That alone sealed their fate from the very beginning, because their cars were priced at or above other GM lines. They tried to make it a "stand-alone" brand by not putting them with other vehicles so they could try the no haggle approach but it didn't work. PLUS, they were still GM cars
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