Originally posted on: 2008-12-04

Original location: http://blog.chrisheath.us/2008/12/04/787/with-saturn-gm-failed-a-makeover/

"With sales of Saturn vehicles falling, General Motors said it was “exploring alternatives” for the brand that was once considered a symbol of its future."

[T]he small Saturn Aura, part of a refreshed lineup based on vehicles from G.M.’s European division, “might be the best undiscovered car in America,” said Jack R. Nerad, the executive editorial director at Kelley. Aura sales are up 2.8 percent this year, while Saturn’s sales over all are down 21 percent compared with 2007.
This is my favorite American (brand) vehicle. If you haven't given it a look and you're in the market for a new car definitely give it a 24 hour test drive.
“I’m absolutely convinced that the Saturn way could have worked,” said Michael Bennett, the original U.A.W. leader at Saturn. “But what we had was never embraced or adopted.”
So, so true.
Despite G.M.’s pledge that Saturn would be run as a separate company, with its own car development and purchasing operations, it was folded into G.M.’s small-car operations in 1994, and its lineup did not receive any new models for the next five years.
That last bit is very important. Even many die-hard Saturn owners/fans don't know that it was rolled back into GM and given a back seat. And that new model, the 2000 L-Series was the beginning of the end for Saturn. The S-Series was such a simple vehicle and not 'done' the GM way, but the rest were - and therein lies the problem. (note: the Aura wasn't 'done' the GM way either)

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