What now?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Oppie, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Oppie

    Oppie Guest

    April 16, 2009
    Success, struggle mark Saturn history

    Strong lineup not enough to save it


    General Motors Corp. started its Saturn project in the early 1980s as an
    effort to develop small cars that could compete with Japanese brands.

    From the beginning, Saturn was touted as "a different kind of company" and
    broke new ground with its no-haggle pricing policies at dealerships.

    But Saturn struggled with a limited model range and an inadequate commitment
    to vehicle development. Recently, GM assembled what arguably is its best
    lineup ever, but it was too late.

    Saturn's sales declined 21.7% in 2008 compared with an industrywide decline
    of 18%.

    Here are highlights of Saturn's history:

    June 15, 1982: Alex Mair, then vice president of what now is GM's advanced
    engineering staff, discusses a new, innovative small car project with
    several top engineers.

    July 1982: Saturn is selected as the name for the project. The name was
    inspired by the Saturn rocket, which carried Americans to the moon during
    the space race with the USSR.

    Jan. 7, 1985: Saturn Corp. is established as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

    Jan. 29, 1989: Saturn announces franchise agreements with 26 dealers.

    Oct. 25, 1990: First vehicles arrive.

    Jan. 1994: Saturn reports a profit for the prior year.

    June 1, 1995: Saturn's one-millionth vehicle is produced.

    Aug. 15, 2002: J.D. Power and Associates rates Saturn No. 1 in its 2002
    Sales Satisfaction Index Study.

    Dec. 29, 2003: GM announces expansion plans for Saturn and says Saturn will
    double its portfolio from three to six products by 2007.

    Jan. 9, 2005: Saturn unveils the Sky, a small, rear-wheel drive roadster
    that signals the new design direction.

    January 2007: Saturn Aura midsize sedan is named North American Car of the

    December 2008: GM says it will "explore alternatives for the brand."

    Feb. 16: GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz tells trade publication Automotive News
    he isn't sure why Saturn failed. "We spent a huge bundle of money in giving
    Saturn an absolutely no-excuses product lineup, top to bottom," Lutz said.
    "The sales just never materialized."

    Feb. 17: GM announces it will phase out Saturn after 2011 unless dealers can
    come up with a better alternative.

    Wednesday: Black Oak Partners LLC says it has made an offer for Saturn's
    distribution network.

    Sources: GM, Free Press research
    Oppie, Apr 16, 2009
  2. Oppie

    SMS Guest

    Clueless executives, characterized by ones that make idiotic statements
    like that statement by Bob Lutz, are probably one of the biggest reasons
    for the failure.

    Everyone knows why the sales didn't materialize.
    SMS, Apr 20, 2009
  3. Oppie

    marx404 Guest

    Well, we know now, don't we?
    Hiya Oppie! How have you been?
    marx404, Jun 8, 2009
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