• Feb 24, 2009
Thank you for calling the General Motors emergency hotline, please hold while we sort out what the heck to do with you...
Saturn dealers are being asked by GM to hold on and not do anything drastic for 60 days while the automaker figures out its next move. There are several options possible, some more feasible than others. The one that's gotten the most attention recently is spinning off Saturn into an independent business, which has everyone intrigued. GM could even remain a supplier to Saturn if it cuts the right deal, as an independent Saturn would be purchasing products from other sources.

Some dealers think the brand could turn into a sort of automotive Costco, sourcing product from all over the place and putting the house brand on the grille. Perhaps the most likely scenario is GM steering its Saturn unit into bankruptcy, and hurrying the process along before the current product ages out in 2012. It's certainly a thorny little chestnut for GM to crack, and for now, Saturn dealers are being asked to refrain from doing anything like closing, or rolling another brand into their showrooms for at least 60 days.

[Source: Auto News - sub req]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM asking its Saturn dealers to hang on is on par with Charlie Brown asking Lucy to hold the football. Expect the same end result.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The future of Saturn as a COSTCO type business:

      Buy the all new Saturn Panda (most likely sourced from China) in the handy 4-pack family bundle and get the 5th one for free!

      All new Saturn Pico (sourced from Tata Nano): Now 50% off!

      • 5 Years Ago
      How 'bout this:

      Spin off Saturn, Hummer and Saab as a new company. Of course, with credit and spending where it is, it would die quickly... but lets pretend it survived the first couple years and came out with some new vehicles.

      Saturn could provide the entry-level and appliance type vehicles, Hummer supplying trucks and saab providing the euro sedan upgrade path that the big three fail to compete with.

      Sadly this would never get off the ground these days... but would be interesting if it worked.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hindsight says Saturn principles should have been applied to GM as a whole instead of a new badge. Interesting the consumer loyalty it generated with that new consumer/product relationship until GM let it revert to same old song.
      • 5 Years Ago
      while it sounds crazy at first, the COSTCO approach might work; First, GM would have to agree to provide Saturn with GM Europe product on some basis ala a private label just as Starbucks makes the house blend for COSTCO. This might enable GM to use some of it underutilized capacity here or in Europe.

      Saturn could then source models in categories (e.g. minis and econo boxes) not produced by GM from China and India. And, finally, if any Euro brand (e.g. Fiat or Citroen) wanted to enter this market the Saturn dealers might serve as a ready made outlet.

      So long as there is a world wild glut of production capacity someone is going to look to the U. S. market as an outlet. Might as well be an inplace dealer network vs. starting over.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why would GM do anything good for Saturn? Once they are separated Saturn in effect become a Honda or a Toyota...a competitor.

        Just like GMAC stopped lending to GM after the sale, GM will stop dealing with Saturn after the sale.

        But wait, there's a good thing in all of this, Saturn dealers will lose millions of their hard earned money, money they made by doing hones work, all the while GM management will get its millions
      • 5 Years Ago
      So at least Now saturn can use the GM brands around the world, and bring in the G8 ST (HOLDEN UTE) Truck. and the HSVs Sedans like Vauxhaul does. And other vehicles and not touch them with gawdy "redesign for US" tastes crap
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just kill it. GM has the process/business model down cold a'la Oldsmobile.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Tim ^
        youucchhh!
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Hold on"?

        "Grab on to something immovable... like a Saturn Aura Hybrid on your lot." - Your GM management Team
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hold on for 60 days.

        Saturn has been "holding on" since their inception. Never made one dollar of profit for GM.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Any one else here the "dun dun duuuuuuuun"?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would hate to be a Saturn salesman right now...
      • 5 Years Ago

      Like I would believe anything GM says.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The original S series was always a bit crude, but it could have evolved into something tasty with the "right" approach. It never kept up with the competition, but people loved them...or at least loved their dealers. Saturn really lost its way when it strayed from the basic formula (simple sedan & coupes) and started trying to sell cars over the magical $20K barrier. The L-Series sedans were dull...the first VUE was cute but crude again...the Ion was a disaster (styling-wise). Now Saturn has a fantastic line-up but no identity. Sad. Let it be a high-value economy-car brand again, even if that means that Saturn is selling re-badged "everythings" until it can redefine itself and re-discover who its customer base is.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Best of luck to Saturn.
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