Saturn Dies

No, not the planet, but that wouldn't surprise me either these days. Nope, a deal fell through to sell off the Saturn brand of cars. Bloomberg has the best details on what happened.

General Motors Co. will close Saturn, the brand created 24 years ago to mirror Japan-based companies’ carmaking, after Penske Automotive Group Inc. said it has broken off discussions to buy the unit.

Penske, operator of 310 auto retailers, backed out because of concern it wouldn’t have access to cars and sport-utility vehicles after 2011 when GM stopped supplying vehicles.

Makes sense, why buy a brand if there will be no new cars to sell? But guess how many jobs this involves:

Saturn dealers will have until October 2010 to wind down operations, John McDonald, a GM spokesman, said in an interview. The Detroit-based automaker said in June the sale would save 13,000 jobs and 350 dealerships.

But Saturn is made at plants which also make other GMs, so it's possible the layoffs won't be quite as severe.

I know people who swore by Saturn, the no hassle buy and no hassle repair, so this is more than death of a brand, it's also death of a vision.

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Good riddence?

My experience (indirect) is that they're not different than GMs (repairs, more repairs, more repairs) and certainly the Lemon Aide car guide has either had an axe to grind with Saturn - or many users have lots of problems with these.

I'm eagerly awaiting the Mitsubishi iCar for my family. Our belching black beast (Ford Escort Wagoon - failing transmission at 102,000 mi, impossible to find sensor failures, insulation falling off wires) is going and we really really REALLY miss our 1991 Chevy Sprint (almost no repairs in 14 years, sold it with the original tires and battery and it was still getting >50mpg in the summer). There is supposed to be an iCar event in Vancouver next month - hopefully heralding the sale of a radical econobox which will make a splash like the Swift/Sprint/Metro did about 20 years ago. The only new car I'll buy will have a sub 1L engine and if it's a hybrid it better be sub 250cc for the IC engine - no freekin' high powered road rocket GM Volt.


I note that you mention cars which were still made in American to compare to cars outsourced.

But yeah, repairs is the reason so many went to Toyota and Honda.

I had a S-10, vortec V6 4.3L from 1990 which you can run into the ground (GM), then they went and put plastic parts in the manifold gasket. @&*)! One of the last ones made in the U.S.