Could there be some dissension among the General’s troops?
Apparently GM’s best selling and strongest brand, Chevrolet, has been having issues with its plastic clad sibling, Saturn, for years. Chevrolet dealers complain on the resources “wasted” on Saturn, which has been unprofitable for much of its sixteen year life. They state that many of the the marque's new vehicles such as the Outlook (SUV) and Aura (sedan) could easily wear Chevy badges. All of which continues to point to the fact that the General has yet to resolve its chronic problems with brand identities.
But analysts point out that Saturn’s advantages — high customer satisfaction and import conquests — are probably why GM is currently pouring millions of dollars into the brand. Also, as GM learned from Oldsmobile, discontinuing a brand does not necessarily free up resources. However, given that as Wagoner and friends have essentially moved Saturn into the brandspace occupied by the defunct marque, it continues to beg the question: how will Saturn succeed where Olds failed? Autoblog's own Chris Paukert asked the question a year-and-a-half ago, and is still waiting on GM's answer.