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Saturn has officially been killed by GM after the Penske Automotive Group failed to secure a producer of the vehicles and the sale to Penske fell through.  (Source: Jalopnik)

The death will shut down 350 dealerships nationwide and will cost approximately 13,000 jobs. It also marks an embarrassment for Penske and a loss of sales revenue for GM.  (Source: MSNBC)

Saturn will largely be remembered for its "No Haggle" policy, its success in the early 90s, and its resurgence between 2000-2008 with new models like the 2007 Saturn Sky, pictured here.  (Source: Drag Times)
Saturn brand meets its demise when deal with the Penske Automotive Group falls through

There was a death to report yesterday in the automotive industry.  At only 24 years of age, the Saturn brand was officially laid to rest by GM.  The brand was always one of great ups and downs, but in the end a champion to save it failed to emerge.

The Saturn brand was officially formed in 1985 and the first cars rolled off the assembly line in 1990.  The brand projected a U.S. family-friendly image and produced high quality small vehicles to compete with Nissan, Honda, and Toyota imports.  Also popular was Saturn's famous "No Haggle" price policy.

However, the expenses of the vehicles' quality and that policy left the brand relatively unprofitable.  It is unclear if even at its greatest sales year it turned a profit.  As a result, GM didn't give it the product it needed to stay fresh, and it fell behind other brands in the 90s.  At the turn of the millennium GM tried to revitalize the brand, and it seemed to be working.  Customer interest in new models like the Saturn Vue, Ion, and Sky soon rose and the brand looked poised for a comeback.  Then the recession came.

Even its new vigor was not enough to outweigh its weakness in the late 90s and Saturn found itself among the many brands on GM's chopping block, along with Saab, Hummer, Vauxhall, Opel, and Pontiac.  Under government supervision, GM worked out a sale of Saturn to the Penske Automotive Group, founded by racing legend Roger Penske.  The group already owned 310 auto retailers, so it seemed a perfect fit for the brand

The deal was almost complete, but one major aspect remained unanswered -- who would produce the vehicles.  GM agreed to temporarily take on some of the design and engineering responsibilities and transition these task to Penske.  It also agreed to produce Saturn vehicles, but only until 2011.  Penske needed someone to take over production from GM.  Reportedly, Renault Samsung Motors Co., a South Korean subsidy of France's Renault motors which doesn't currently import in the U.S., was among of those considered to take on the task of producing of Saturn-branded vehicles abroad and then shipping them to the U.S.

The Boulogne Billancourt, France-based automaker wrote, "Renault has been in contact with Penske to supply cars, parts and technology to Saturn through an OEM agreement.  The conditions for an agreement have not been found."

At the end of the day, the mystery third-party producer pulled out when its board reportedly rejected the deal to produce Saturn vehicles.  This left Penske without a producer past 2011.  Penske terminated the deal and GM terminated Saturn.

The mood was a dismal one when the brand, beloved by many, was laid to rest.  With it goes 13,000 jobs, largely in Michigan, and 350 dealerships, which have until October 2010 to close.

GM expressed its disappointment with the development, with Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson stating, "This is very disappointing news and comes after months of hard work by hundreds of dedicated employees and Saturn retailers who tried to make the new Saturn a reality."

Some analysts were shocked that GM let the deal collapse, losing the profit of the sale.  Stephen Spivey, an auto analyst with Frost & Sullivan in San Antonio, states, "I’m a little surprised that there was no plan B here.  It’s surprising to me that Penske had no idea that this might not be accepted."

Indeed, the loss could hurt GM's reputation, according to analysts.  GM also lacks a clear plan to salvage Saturn's hybrid technology and other important technologies from the brand.  For Penske it represents an embarrassing mar on the group's traditionally strong track record, which has included such successes as brokering a deal with Daimler as the exclusive import of Smart cars.

Many analysts are simply lamenting what could have been.  Rebecca Linland, an analyst at IHS Global Insight, states, "Saturn is the brand you wanted to like.  It is the little brand that could have and should have [been great]."





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No Plan B
By Ristogod on 10/1/2009 9:30:27 AM , Rating: 5
I love how they mention they are surprised there was no plan B. Why is this surprising? This is why the company was in such poor shape in the first place. There's never a plan B. GM is ran by failures of the corporate world and should have been left to bankrupt and disband, and it's assets could have been absorbed by entrepreneurs and savvy business people. Instead the government takes over, who are even less competent to run an automotive business, and they wonder why there was no plan B?




RE: No Plan B
By Bateluer on 10/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: No Plan B
By Chaser on 10/1/2009 10:05:31 AM , Rating: 5
But "Government Motors" hasn't gone unnoticed by the consumer public. Ford sales are up and doing significantly well since the taxpayers bailed out GM including their union pensions and healthcare benefits.

An engineer friend of mine that works at KTP, the Kentucky truck Plant where they make F150s said that the surge in sales is partly due to retaliation buys against GM.

Personally as far as I am concerned GM is "off my list".


RE: No Plan B
By Iaiken on 10/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: No Plan B
By FITCamaro on 10/1/2009 12:39:15 PM , Rating: 2
Or go into normal bankruptcy protection, throw off its union contracts and health care obligations, and resurge as a stronger company on its own. Not to mention NOT screw over all the private investors who were given the shaft in the government's takeover of the company while giving the unions a sweet deal and control of the company. The same union which caused many of GM's problems to begin with.


RE: No Plan B
By Reclaimer77 on 10/1/2009 3:50:02 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Or go into normal bankruptcy protection, throw off its union contracts ...


The same people who helped put him in the White House ? Fat chance on that...


RE: No Plan B
By Samus on 10/1/2009 5:16:02 PM , Rating: 2
Ironically, I'd never considered buying any of GM's crap until recently, because they (in my opinion) never made a quality vehicle between 1975-2005. Sure, there was some 'good' ones in there, but you'd be crazy to consider them when stacked against the competition.

I mean seriously, what would you rather drive, a Saturn coupe or an Escort GT? A GM Sierra or a Ford F150? A Cadillac DeVille or a Lincoln Towncar? A Chevy Camero or a Ford Mustang?

I might add that ALL of the above Fords were THOUSANDS less expensive than their GM competator and, again, in my opinion, all better vehicles than GM's offerings.

The only depressing thing now about GM is that they're STILL around and STILL costing tax payers money.


RE: No Plan B
By Jalek on 10/1/2009 9:06:51 PM , Rating: 2
When they were first threatening bankruptcy, I checked out their product lines. The only one I was considering was a Saturn, but I won't be buying a dead brand, even if it's warranty is still backed by taxpayer money. I still have an old Saturn my relatives borrow regularly, it keeps running in spite of irregular maintenance.

Ford's been bleeding for years, they'd managed to survive even with the union burden. They, like Wells Fargo in banking, were taking the losses that come in business at times and dealing with them like capitalists.

Banks that can't handle risk/reward equations don't deserve to be in business, nor does a corporation that manufactures things nobody wants and flies to Congress for help instead of figuring out how to correct the marketability of their products.

I wonder who's paying the GM lobbyists and providing the "campaign donation" money now, Congress?


RE: No Plan B
By christojojo on 10/1/2009 4:04:51 PM , Rating: 3
Having worked there in a non union position I can easily say that yes the "Union" caused problems for the company. I actually witnessed the problems to be more of weak and enabling upper management in the first place. I had the glorious position of a security guard while finishing Grad school. A few employees would steal something and get caught and lower management would fire them. Then somehow these thieves would get their jobs back and the manager that backed us up would be fired and sometimes the security would too.

I really blame the upper management for letting that stuff get out of hand and a few players just punch in and leave for the bars. IF management wanted GM to succeed then they would have stood up to the Union and say NO. Yes the fear of strikes, yadda, yadda, yadda... but every contract has rules for removal and every case could be done so it follows it and cover managements' hind end.

The bottom line is that upper management didn't want to shake the boat and therefore destroyed a great brand. I really do hate the way unions are picked on like they are a cause of all the problems. Yes they can cause problems but ultimately the ones in charge are the ones that allow it.


RE: No Plan B
By MonkeyPaw on 10/1/2009 5:52:32 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Then somehow these thieves would get their jobs back and the manager that backed us up would be fired and sometimes the security would too.


That's not management's fault entirely. Union contracts are often so restricting for the employer that these guys can get away with virtually anything. I work as a manager where pretty much all of the labor is union, and there aren't too many things that can get a guy fired permanently. I can't tell you how many guys have bombed the random drug test, yet still work. I also can't tell you how many guys make huge mistakes and not even get suspended for a day. Punishments are limited. It makes you wonder why a company would ever have negotiated with a union in the first place. I have to think that the reason is that things weren't like this when it started, but over the years, strikes and concessions have made the workplace an unhappy, unproductive place where no one shows any initiative.

The irony is that around every election time, the union "encourages" members to vote Democrat. Now the Dems are set to ram a largely partisan health care plan at us, one that is set to tax high-benefit insurance policy holders. Guess who has those? Union employees! Should it pass, that will be a major blow to the union-democrat relationship.


RE: No Plan B
By christojojo on 10/1/2009 9:43:50 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah The union that I used to belong to send me these emails telling me how it is making competition by forcing a high tax health plan on us. Yeah I know the rhetoric says it will be low cost but this is the government. Nothing stays low cost and nothing stays the way it was. NYS where I live they had one of the "world's best psychological care systems in the world" was shut down they sent some to group home; the rest they let loose on an unsuspecting society. Those release instantly cured patients once in a while throw people into the paths of subways, kill for no reason. But they they are cured right?

I just see the same happening to the health system. Government should regulate and police not ration and take over private concerns. I am for public ownership of prisons but do you really want your children treated the government?


RE: No Plan B
By Zingam on 10/1/2009 7:18:06 PM , Rating: 2
Are Unions Mafia?


RE: No Plan B
By Reclaimer77 on 10/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: No Plan B
By 67STANG on 10/1/2009 2:01:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...it basically assures that your tax dollars are going to go to waste

Actually, GM already assured they are going to waste by building garbage.

We're talking about a car company that has already done a recall on the new Camaro. We're also talking about a company that had a working electric car in 1996, but takes forever to get a plug-in hybrid to the market (even then it will be a $40,000 Cobalt).

Aside from the Corvette, I'm not sure anything that GM makes is remotely appealing to me.


RE: No Plan B
By Iaiken on 10/1/2009 3:23:53 PM , Rating: 3
The recall on the new Camaro was a way more minor than you are making it out to be.

They were all simple and proactive fixes that could be done while you waited at the dealer and extend the life of the parts involved (mounting point of the spoiler, rad hose, worn power cable causing starter issues).

Silly problems to have? Maybe... Dangerous? Certainly not...


RE: No Plan B
By 67STANG on 10/1/2009 7:52:56 PM , Rating: 2
You're right. Dangerous problems are like what's on the new Camaro SS (that they stopped shipping btw) because transmission failures. Of course, after that, you still have to worry about the IRS breaking (after the interior falls apart).

Read comments from actual owners: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=7...


RE: No Plan B
By Reclaimer77 on 10/1/2009 8:11:47 PM , Rating: 4
"Camaro" has been an acronym for "shitpile" for decades. Not sure why you guys are debating it.


RE: No Plan B
By Spuke on 10/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: No Plan B
By Oregonian2 on 10/1/2009 5:13:47 PM , Rating: 2
Of course not. The Japanese makers can do no wrong. Everybody knows that!


RE: No Plan B
By Shining Arcanine on 10/3/2009 10:27:57 PM , Rating: 2
Japanese car manufacturers can do quite a bit of wrong, but no matter how bad what they do is, it is insignificant in comparison to the behavior of American car companies. They produce garbage and they treat you like garbage. We would be better off if they would simply cease to exist and everyone went and brought Japanese cars. Having no automobile industry is preferable to having an automobile industry like the one in Detroit.

If I was in charge of things in Washington, I would have forced these companies into insolvency a long time ago. The fact that they make garbage is hurting the US, both in terms of our reliance on foreign oil and in terms of our reputation. Go overseas and I am sure you will hear about the garbage we make in the US. People in other countries have every right to talk about the garbage we Americans make, because we keep making it and the federal government has resorted to doing everything in its power to keep the unproductive companies producing endless mounds of garbage afloat. Forcing them into insolvency is a matter of patriotism at this point.


RE: No Plan B
By Oregonian2 on 10/4/2009 4:29:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Japanese car manufacturers can do quite a bit of wrong, but no matter how bad what they do is, it is insignificant in comparison to the behavior of American car companies. They produce garbage and they treat you like garbage.


I think you prove my point in that the Japanese are assumed comparatively perfect no matter what -- something that the US mfgrs once had a good long while ago. So with those expectations, proof is self fulfilling.

We've a Honda and a Chrysler. Both dealers were owned by the same guy and our treatment by both dealers/companies were pretty much identical as far as I can tell.

Of course, nowadays, Japanese cars are as likely made in USA as are Detroit company cars. :-) :-)


RE: No Plan B
By 67STANG on 10/1/2009 7:53:46 PM , Rating: 3
My bad. I didn't know Saturn was owned by Toyota.


RE: No Plan B
By Manch on 10/1/2009 8:02:36 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, the damn floor mats. Oh wait I can throw them in the trunk. The camaro on the other hand you need to have towed back to the dealer. That's the same.


RE: No Plan B
By Spuke on 10/2/2009 1:19:38 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Yeah, the damn floor mats. Oh wait I can throw them in the trunk. The camaro on the other hand you need to have towed back to the dealer. That's the same.
Tell that to the family in San Diego that was killed (heard the 911 call RIGHT before it happened) that this recall is not a big deal.

http://www.sandiego6.com/news/local/story/Santee-C...

http://kgmb9.com/main/index.php?option=com_content...


RE: No Plan B
By Keeir on 10/2/2009 2:29:33 PM , Rating: 2
No offense, but there should be a way of safey stopping your car in such a situation. Throwing the car into nuetral, Braking until your stopped. Then turning the car off...

Is there a reason this wouldn't work?

However, the underlying point that should be made is that all manufactures have recalls and defects on thier products.

For example the 2004 Toyota Prius has 3 recalls. 1 for improperly designed brake lights. One for improper airbag inflation. And my favorite- Loss of steering control of the vehicle due to poorly designed parts in the steering system.

Here is a good place
http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls...

The 2004 Malibu has only 4 recalls. One for an airmarket issue, so 3 recalls. Same as the 2004 Prius.


RE: No Plan B
By Spuke on 10/2/2009 3:22:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No offense, but there should be a way of safey stopping your car in such a situation. Throwing the car into nuetral, Braking until your stopped. Then turning the car off...
No offense taken. They were driving a Lexus and if you hold down the Start/Stop button for 3 seconds it will turn the car off. They, obviously, didn't know that. You should also be able to put the car in neutral. They didn't know that either apparently. And the brakes still worked but either they didn't press hard enough or weren't able to slow enough to avoid the collision.

It's sad but they weren't powerless. They could've saved themselves. Even turning the wheel, possibly sliding sideways or sideswiping parked cars would've been better than that fate. I mean they had time to call 911 for God's sake. That's time they could've used to figure out how to survive. People need to realize that the brakes are not the only thing you can use to avoid an accident.


RE: No Plan B
By Manch on 10/3/2009 2:10:10 AM , Rating: 2
From your link:

quote:
Preliminary evidence suggests that the wrong model of all-weather rubber mat caused California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor to lose control of a 2009 Lexus ES 350 -- part of Toyota's luxury vehicle line -- on State Route 125 last month.


Toyota is merely taking precautions because of the potential that this could be an issue. 6 years and the first time it becomes an issue is because it the WRONG FLOOR MAT!!

Again, not the same.

The question that should be asked is why the dealership installed the wrong ones in the vehicle. Last time I bought some all weather cut to fit floor mats the instructions said to make sure it does not interfere with the safe operation of the brake and gas pedals. The issue here isn't Toyotas floor mats it's the fact that the wrong ones were put in.


RE: No Plan B
By johnsonx on 10/3/2009 5:20:54 PM , Rating: 2
It's very sad, but you can't blame Toyota or even the floor mat (which was the incorrect model for the car). That family died because of the driver's stupidity and panic. You'd think a CHP officer would keep a cooler head.


RE: No Plan B
By johnsonx on 10/3/2009 5:29:55 PM , Rating: 2
ok, I take part of that back. The situation doesn't exactly make sense, stopping the vehicle should not have been difficult regardless of whether the accelerator was stuck, but I have no way to know whether the driver acted stupidly or panicked. Perhaps there is more to the situation than is immediately apparent.


RE: No Plan B
By Spuke on 10/1/2009 3:45:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We're also talking about a company that had a working electric car in 1996, but takes forever to get a plug-in hybrid to the market (even then it will be a $40,000 Cobalt).
Because the Volt and the EV1 have SOOO much in common. :rollseyes: And I didn't know that GM had released the final interior spec on the Volt. Care to post a link?


RE: No Plan B
By 67STANG on 10/1/2009 8:16:20 PM , Rating: 4
So you can understand:

The EV1 was advanced for it's time-- and GM had a working fleet of them.

The Volt is not advanced for it's time (there's tons of gasoline/electric vehicles on the road already)-- and GM can't get one out the door.

The interior of the Volt, while pretty much finalized (you can see images everywhere on the net) has not been confirmed to be done. You can bet it will be 100% plastic, however. What is confirmed is the exterior-- an exterior that looks like a Cobalt, only more retarded. (It will even use the Cobalt chassis.)

Bottom line is that when they can finally make them, they will have a hard time selling them. Gas is lower, jobless rates are higher and not many people want to drive a $40,000 car that looks like it costs $19,000. Even China will have a plug-in hybrid (BYD) to market before GM-- for only $21,000.


RE: No Plan B
By Spuke on 10/2/2009 1:08:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Volt is not advanced for it's time (there's tons of gasoline/electric vehicles on the road already)-- and GM can't get one out the door.
So YOU can understand:

The Volt is a SERIAL hybrid (for the 1 billionth time). There are exactly NO serial hybrids on the road. There are NO plug in serial hybrids on the road. And lastly, there are NO hybrids on the road that use lithium ion batteries. How is that not advanced? Because you say it isn't?

quote:
The interior of the Volt, while pretty much finalized (you can see images everywhere on the net) has not been confirmed to be done.
For the last time, post a link to a GM executive that says that the Volt's interior is final and completed and ready for production. I want to see FACTS! I could less about how you FEEL this will be.

Bottom line is that without actual evidence, what you believe is not fact and your feelings are not reality.


RE: No Plan B
By Alexvrb on 10/2/2009 11:06:50 PM , Rating: 2
The "cobalt chassis" is the delta platform. Nothing wrong with it, by any stretch of the imagination. That's like knocking an Infiniti for sharing a platform with a Nissan. You think there won't be any differences, because it shares a platform? Look at the variety of W-body cars. They're hardly all equal. But you wouldn't know anything about that, anyway.

As for the EV1, it had serious limitations that made it completely unviable, and they lost money on it left and right. Heck it wasn't even that advanced, it was based on "Impact", and it used lead acid batteries until later in its life. Gen II didn't even come out until '99, and even then the first Gen II models used lead acid still. It was a little crapbox, I don't know why anyone thinks it was anything special.

You know why GM built it? CARB literally *forced* them to build a zero-emissions vehicle, and since they already had Impact, they based it on that (rather than doing what the other major manufacturers did and retrofit an existing vehicle, usually a truck or SUV). They tried like hell, but full EVs just weren't ready for prime time. Perhaps they should have started working on a serial hybrid sooner.


RE: No Plan B
By Iaiken on 10/1/2009 4:41:29 PM , Rating: 2
Present an accurate account of your perception and interest on the situation?

That's a downrate...


RE: No Plan B
By Keeir on 10/1/2009 7:12:19 PM , Rating: 3
At work here is that

More than 60% of US citizens did not want to Auto companies to be bailed out.

In response to the government doing it anyway, a significant fraction of that 60% will not purchase any car produced by something they disagree with... its really one of the few ways to communicate with the government in between times of election.

I agree, its like cutting off your nose to spite your face, but fundamentally not sure why the government should expect popular support when they do unpopular things.


RE: No Plan B
By Reclaimer77 on 10/1/2009 3:47:15 PM , Rating: 1
Yup Chaser, more power to them. If you buy GM, you are a traitor. Period.


RE: No Plan B
By mydogfarted on 10/1/2009 10:39:35 AM , Rating: 5
It sounds like GM used "Plan B" because they didn't pull out fast enough. ;)


RE: No Plan B
By christojojo on 10/1/2009 5:18:07 PM , Rating: 2
no that would be the morning after pill


RE: No Plan B
By kattanna on 10/1/2009 10:45:10 AM , Rating: 1
couldnt one of the execs had their secretary run down to the local pharmacy, i mean it is available over the counter nowadays, isnt it?


RE: No Plan B
By Reclaimer77 on 10/1/2009 3:19:59 PM , Rating: 4
Is anyone else sick and tired of GM articles every day on Daily Tech ?

Put clearly, GM has the largest R&D funding on the PLANET, courtesy of the United States taxpayer. They do NOT have a turn a profit, they do NOT have to prove solvency, and what they do does NOT matter. They can do whatever they want and it doesn't make a difference, they have a blank check !!! They are no more a company than the Food and Drug administration. Notice there aren't articles on DT every day about the FDA ?

We do not care what GM is doing, and to be blunt, anyone investing in this "company" or buying their products is a traitor to the USA. We have already paid them enough, don't be a dumbass and pay them more and legitimize the theft that was the bailout/takeover of a once proud US company ; a legend.

Stop with the goddamn GM articles!!


RE: No Plan B
By pcfxer on 10/2/2009 7:43:22 AM , Rating: 2
DING! DING!

If only it was up to me to put someone like you in charge of something at GM :)>.


RE: No Plan B
By Alexvrb on 10/2/2009 10:46:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Some analysts were shocked that GM let the deal collapse, losing the profit of the sale. Stephen Spivey, an auto analyst with Frost & Sullivan in San Antonio, states, "I’m a little surprised that there was no plan B here. It’s surprising to me that Penske had no idea that this might not be accepted."

Penske is the one that backed out. Penske was the one that could not find someone to build cars and supply parts. GM even agreed to produce cars for them for a couple of years. After that, Penske needed someone else to build vehicles. Was Roger Penske planning on shooting cars out of his rear?

What exactly was GM supposed to do? They were commanded to sell Saturn, or scrap them if they couldn't. Scrapping them IS the plan B. It doesn't mean they wanted to do it. If current GM management refused to get rid of Saturn quickly, I'm sure the Car Czar would lop their heads off and find more obedient management.


Sorry for Michigan...
By Connoisseur on 10/1/2009 9:58:07 AM , Rating: 4
With all the companies closing and high unemployment, i'm surprised Michigan still has an operational government. Seriously, how do people manage to survive there?




RE: Sorry for Michigan...
By Gungel on 10/1/2009 10:34:11 AM , Rating: 3
As far as I know Saturn's offices are located in Springfield Tennessee.


RE: Sorry for Michigan...
By raistlen38 on 10/1/2009 10:36:54 AM , Rating: 2
We don't work in the auto-industry =) Software development is still going strong here, along with a new movie-studio in pontiac...


RE: Sorry for Michigan...
By 67STANG on 10/2/2009 3:14:39 AM , Rating: 2
There's a town called "Pontiac" in India?


RE: Sorry for Michigan...
By R3T4rd on 10/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Sorry for Michigan...
By Skott on 10/1/2009 10:44:25 AM , Rating: 3
Not like there are many places to go and get another job at the moment. Even minimum wage jobs are hard to come by right now. Michigan is trying to diversify more now but its hard to lure in companies that pay decent wages when there are so many other places they can go and get tax breaks and find people willing to work for much less than the typical auto worker. My guess is that Michigan is going to suffer far longer than many other states even after the economic turn around comes.


RE: Sorry for Michigan...
By Silverel on 10/1/2009 11:38:11 AM , Rating: 2
Automotive jobs have been going downhill since the mid-90's. Most of the current generation(18-25) have realized this and never thought about getting into the industry.

If you exclude the cesspool that is Detroit, the jobless numbers and poverty levels drop a whole lot. Detroit as a city drags it down a TON. The rest of the Metro-Detroit area is much closer to the national average in any other category.


RE: Sorry for Michigan...
By StraightCashHomey on 10/1/2009 5:15:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm from Battle Creek (west side of the state), and the effects of the auto industry aren't seen as visibly as the east side of the state, although there are parts plants scattered here and there that are definitely feeling the slump.

I was laid off from a factory that produced trailer hitches and brake components for full-sized trucks. Since I was an IT worker for the company, I was able to find another job, but others that were on the assembly line are struggling to find unskilled work.

I was fairly surprised to see all of the opportunities out there, IT included, that are available in Michigan - but it was all skilled labor, and Michigan does not have the largest pool of skilled laborers.

Like an above poster said, Detroit is really struggling, but other cities are probably in the same boat as any other city in any other state.

Life goes on..


RE: Sorry for Michigan...
By 67STANG on 10/2/2009 3:17:07 AM , Rating: 2
IT jobs are plentiful all over the country. If your in IT and you're good at what you do, you have one of the few private sector job roles that is stable-- even in bad economies.


RE: Sorry for Michigan...
By JonnyDough on 10/3/2009 1:36:19 AM , Rating: 2
I'm from Battle Creek as well. :)

In all truth our government is getting funds in the following ways:

Soft money from mega corporations like Ford, Dow Chemical,
Upjohn, Pfizer, Pharmacia, Walmart, etc. (Our governor bends rules for them)

Gas tax (every family here owns a truck, winters are usually drifty)

Po man's (uneducated hick?) taxes including but not limited to: lottery, ciggarette tax, booze tax, gambling. They just put in another huge Indian casino.

Letting local roadways go to a bit more disrepair than normal, while dumping funds into highways.

Possibly slashing military recruiting? They actually closed down a base here recently, I'm not sure if it was Federal or State funded though.


Nothing but good times in my saturn
By wht1986 on 10/1/2009 9:37:31 AM , Rating: 4
I had a '92 SL2. I think I had about 180k miles on it when I traded it in. Never had a problem, and dealer service was unbelievable. One time I had my windows down, and a passing truck kicked up a piece of wet tar. It went through my window and landed on my backseat. It left a nice stain. A few weeks later I was having an oil change. I mentioned the stain and asked if they could try to remove it. When I got my car back, the stain was gone. I said "how did you get it out?" they replied, "we just changed out the whole back seat. No Charge. Have a good day" Good Bye Saturn. I, for one, will miss you.




RE: Nothing but good times in my saturn
By Brandon Hill on 10/1/2009 9:39:12 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
When I got my car back, the stain was gone. I said "how did you get it out?" they replied, "we just changed out the whole back seat. No Charge. Have a good day" Good Bye Saturn. I, for one, will miss you.


That's probably why they never turned a profit ;-)


RE: Nothing but good times in my saturn
By JAB on 10/1/2009 10:16:09 AM , Rating: 2
No it is more of a company that completely lost its way. They did nothing to control costs or reinvest. GM was just costing on past success. Their manufacturing costs were out of control and I am not talking about wages. GM never wanted to focus on that brand it lost out in the corporate infighting.


RE: Nothing but good times in my saturn
By DEVGRU on 10/1/2009 10:38:28 AM , Rating: 2
I dunno about that...

I've never owned one, but I thought when Saturn released the Sky a few years ago (which, IMO, is a badass car for a Saturn) I thought the brand was starting to have a nice resurgence. Too bad it had to end this way, especially if like the article mentions Saturn had some hybrids in the pipeline coupled with the fact hybrids are beginning to see real demand.


RE: Nothing but good times in my saturn
By Iaiken on 10/1/2009 11:37:46 AM , Rating: 1
Where were you during the 90's?

Saturn's until recently were awful cars from a brand that amounted to nothing more than the unwanted red-badged child of GM.

It wasn't until 2005 that they really started to turn the brand around and by then it was just too late.


By Einy0 on 10/1/2009 8:15:24 PM , Rating: 2
Where is your info coming from? I own two Saturns made in 1999 and 2000 and they are both great little cars. Far fewer mechanical concerns than any other vehicles I've ever owned. They both are good on gas.(30-35 MPG avg) They don't feel like little cramped boxes, like most cars from the time period that where good on gas. My wife will shed a tear when I tell her Saturn is gone. RIP...


By Reclaimer77 on 10/1/2009 3:34:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No it is more of a company that completely lost its way. They did nothing to control costs or reinvest. GM was just costing on past success. Their manufacturing costs were out of control and I am not talking about wages. GM never wanted to focus on that brand it lost out in the corporate infighting.


Another idiot...sigh.

Gm TRIED, they came to the UAW and practically begged, several times, to get them to be reasonable and were shut down every time. GM saw what was coming and they were powerless do to much about it.

Where do you idiots keep getting your information from ??

Please link me one goddamn piece of evidence on how, without touching wages, they could lower "manufacturing costs".


It's kinda sad.
By drewsup on 10/1/2009 11:38:34 AM , Rating: 2
Back in it's early years Saturn did produce some OK vehicles.Plastic body panels, a "Mac like" cult following, out of the box thinking compared to most US car makers. But they eventually had to cave to the GM thinking, and in the end, I think GM may be following Saturn in the not too distant future.




RE: It's kinda sad.
By IlllI on 10/1/2009 12:48:41 PM , Rating: 2
i remember those and was going to post about it too.
it was some kind of rubber or something..or whatever it was they marketed it as unable to be dented, which i thought was pretty cool at the time.

then they stopped making the panels like that and switched to the same stuff every other car mfg uses.

so much for being unique



RE: It's kinda sad.
By FITCamaro on 10/1/2009 1:52:31 PM , Rating: 1
Color-injection molded plastic.


RE: It's kinda sad.
By Einy0 on 10/1/2009 8:23:25 PM , Rating: 2
As far as I know all Saturns where made this way. they never stopped. They just stopped hyping it.


RE: It's kinda sad.
By Spuke on 10/2/2009 1:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As far as I know all Saturns where made this way. they never stopped. They just stopped hyping it.
They stopped doing it a few years ago.


NEXT!
By Finnkc on 10/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: NEXT!
By Gyres01 on 10/1/2009 10:48:00 AM , Rating: 2
I guess opinions are like a$$holes around here.....I work in the auto collision industry and have learned that Saturns are well made from a body standpoint. Don't know much about the mechanical side but when we ask our customers about their vehicles, most love them and our glad that have something different than the same boring old Corolla or Civic. Most of you don't really give a crap about noone but yourselves and it's too bad the GM would give up this little cult following and keep junk like Buick...and just like yours this is MHO...


RE: NEXT!
By EasyC on 10/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: NEXT!
By The0ne on 10/1/2009 2:21:01 PM , Rating: 2
"better" is VERY subjective for vehicle purchases.


RE: NEXT!
By Manch on 10/1/2009 2:59:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I love listening to domestic car owners try to haggle trade in value at dealerships.


Ummm... That's either a strange hobby or you go thru a lot of cars.

I've owned quite a few cars and never, NEVER have I brought in a car i didn't have to haggle the trade-in value. By your logic, people with American cars try to get the most out of their trade-ins while you and your import buddies get @ss raped and taken.


RE: NEXT!
By Spuke on 10/2/2009 1:30:00 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Ummm... That's either a strange hobby or you go thru a lot of cars.
I find it funny how people debate trade in value when most cars have shitty resale AND trade in value. With most dealerships getting their cars from auctions for super cheap, unless you're driving a 1930 Bugatti Type 41, you're going to lose your ass on it. I had a 2004 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V that I bought for $14k brand new in June of 2004. Sticker was $16.6k. I got a pretty good deal, I thought. In late 2006 I sold it for $9k. WTF? Two year old car lost nearly HALF it's value. Carmax was going to give me $8k for it. LOL! Generally, your typical car has sh!tty resale value. Toyota included.


RE: NEXT!
By Manch on 10/3/2009 2:16:10 AM , Rating: 2
Do you ever actually consider the context of the statements you reply to?

The point I made is that I never met anyone who doesn't haggle over the price of their trade in, despite its value. Nobody wants to pay more than they have to. The logic that if you have an import you don't need to haggle is BS.

ps I hope to god you wouldn't trade in a 1930 Bugatti Type 41, but if you did I'm sure you would haggle.


Interesting
By Randomblame on 10/1/2009 1:43:50 PM , Rating: 4
25 billion dollars in taxpayer money goes to a corporation to prevent the loss of american jobs. 13 thousand jobs are lost anyway.

Just goes to show that the market will correct itself, in it's own way, no matter what. So stop spending our money dems! If there is ONLY ONE thing that Americans know how to do and do well - it's how to spend!




RE: Interesting
By Jalek on 10/1/2009 10:25:41 PM , Rating: 2
It's not like GM needs to protect it's existing assets or even try to recoup a penny from them. Taxpayers will just give more if they need it.


RE: Interesting
By 67STANG on 10/2/2009 3:19:10 AM , Rating: 2
25 billion? What happened to the other 35 billion?


Honda
By wushuktl on 10/1/2009 4:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
I like how the included image is of a Saturn dealership but the car the buyers are interested in is a used Honda Accord




RE: Honda
By gusc3669 on 10/1/2009 5:53:02 PM , Rating: 3
Some Saturn dealers (at least a few in South Florida) would have the customers compare a Honda Accord and Toyota Camry with their model side-by-side and even allow customers to test drive all three. They attempted to show how a Saturn was either better, had more options, or was at least comparable with the other (more popular) cars. Hyundai dealerships also did (or may still do) the same thing with their Sonata.


RE: Honda
By SpaceJumper on 10/2/2009 10:47:15 PM , Rating: 1
I did look at the Saturn and ended up buying the Honda civic.
Because, I saw someone was test driving the Saturn and saw blue smoke came out of the tail pipe.


Taxpayer fail
By maverick85wd on 10/1/2009 12:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Some analysts were shocked that GM let the deal collapse, losing the profit of the sale.


who needs profit when the government won't let you go bankrupt?




RE: Taxpayer fail
By ShaolinSoccer on 10/3/2009 6:40:35 PM , Rating: 2
It's too bad we can't sue the government for "stealing" our money...


Service s*ked
By aguilpa1 on 10/1/2009 4:01:10 PM , Rating: 2
I hear all these good comments about service. My parents have had two Saturn cars. On their second car, they always took it to the dealer to have the oil changed on schedule. Once when out of town, they took it to a different location and they were standing there when the oil was changed and the mechanic showed him both the filter and the oil which was pitch black and he told them who was doing their oil changes because it looks like they were NEVER done.




RE: Service s*ked
By ShaolinSoccer on 10/3/2009 6:38:55 PM , Rating: 2
And that is why you should always check the color of your oil and visibly check the oil filter to make sure it's a new one after an oil change. I don't even drive my vehicle away from their shop until after I inspect it. Luckily, I've never been ripped off but there was one time when a shop put too much oil in. I told them to remove the excess oil and do it quickly or I wouldn't be coming back. I realise some shops hire temps and they can make mistakes so it wasn't a huge mistake to me but it can be a huge mistake for someone who doesn't check their oil level.


What I don't get is...
By Motoman on 10/1/2009 11:00:25 AM , Rating: 3
...what the big deal is over a "brand" dying. It's all GM. Makes no difference what the name is on the trunk.

I am under the impression that GM was going to continue making/selling the most popular Saturn cars under another brand anyway - are they still doing that? And if there's anything left in Saturn that's particularly compelling, there's no reason GM can't keep it around too.

Get over the whole "brand" thing folks. There are 3 US automakers - GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Any further subdivision thereof is just you falling for marketing.




Good Riddance.
By elmikethemike on 10/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: Good Riddance.
By mmatis on 10/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: Good Riddance.
By G2cool on 10/2/2009 10:57:01 AM , Rating: 2
Removing the cars will not remove the drivers from the road...


Whater?
By Spuke on 10/1/2009 11:40:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
GM also lacks a clear plan to salvage Saturn's hybrid technology and other important technologies from the brand.
Saturn doesn't have any technology, it's just a name for one of GM's car lines (brand). There's nothing to salvage.




No big loss
By Astral Abyss on 10/1/2009 5:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
What we need are some profitable car companies and brands. If the unions and corporate management of these brands are running them into the ground, it's far overdue for them to cease to exist.

There's plenty of opportunities for new brands to be created. For all we know, the greatest company or brand has yet to come into existance.




HA!
By borismkv on 10/1/2009 8:01:51 PM , Rating: 2
So who else has seen that idiotic commercial where the Saturn guy is complaining about pundits saying American auto companies don't make cars people want to buy. He says, "Saturn makes cars Americans want to buy." Every time I see that, I think, "No they don't." Guess I was right.




Saturn commercial
By vcolon on 10/1/2009 11:02:01 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how that black guy on the Saturn commercial feels now. He said pundits on TV said how American cars were crap. He said Saturns were wanted. hmmm




By NA1NSXR on 10/2/2009 2:50:30 AM , Rating: 2
Saturn was a great brand. Our family took a chance on a new Saturn SL2 back in 92 instead of a 4 door Integra and that car performed great and was reliable until we gave it away a few years ago.

I personally think Saturn would have been an excellent brand to use in embracing this new green and efficient fad. It would also give Saturn a chance to redefine itself more clearly and kick some bad impressions in the process.




sad day..
By jt030123 on 10/1/2009 11:20:19 AM , Rating: 1
This is a sad and embarrassing day for GM. Did they really fight for the brand or just give up?

http://domusinc.blogspot.com/




In a word...
By bradmshannon on 10/1/09, Rating: -1
Thanks God!!
By Miko66 on 10/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Thanks God!!
By R3T4rd on 10/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: Thanks God!!
By TomZ on 10/1/2009 10:00:44 AM , Rating: 1
The main achievement that Saturn had was great marketing. The people who were buying those cars early on were practically brainwashed Saturn zombies. They thought Saturn cars were a breed apart from all others.


RE: Thanks God!!
By Manch on 10/1/2009 10:45:00 AM , Rating: 5
The main achievement that Apple has is great marketing. The people who are buying those I-Phones are practically brainwashed Apple zombies. They thought Apple products are a breed apart from all others.

Sorry, I couldn't resist


RE: Thanks God!!
By Motoman on 10/1/2009 10:57:11 AM , Rating: 5
Yup. Add Monster Cable and Bose to that list as well.


RE: Thanks God!!
By Mitch101 on 10/1/2009 12:22:47 PM , Rating: 2
You got to thank Bose and Monster Cable they help you identify those without a clue who have an identity crisis that try to brand themselves as better than others with the stuff they buy because they lack personality. Just my opinion.


RE: Thanks God!!
By Manch on 10/1/2009 12:53:11 PM , Rating: 3
Monster Cable is a rip off period. Bose while nice, they're just too damn expensive. You never find them on sale, ever.


RE: Thanks God!!
By Motoman on 10/1/2009 1:00:47 PM , Rating: 2
...you are confused. Bose products are not "nice" - they are sub-par compared to everything else on the market. The are worse than everything else.


RE: Thanks God!!
By quiksilvr on 10/1/2009 1:10:26 PM , Rating: 1
I wouldn't go THAT far. Their QuietComfort headphones are really great, but alas, they need to chop off $100 from it to be realistic.


RE: Thanks God!!
By Motoman on 10/1/2009 1:14:48 PM , Rating: 3
I would. There's a reason that Bose will not allow ANY qualified industry source, like an audiophile magazine, to review their products. Bose categorically will NOT let you review their products if you are qualified to do so.

...at least, not without you just going and buying the product on your own and testing it. Which has been done a few times - to laughably awful result.

It's also the reason why Bose forbids retailers from placing their products anywhere near competitor's products...that way you can't make a direct comparison.

Find any qualified audio authority and ask them what they think.


RE: Thanks God!!
By Motoman on 10/1/2009 1:25:28 PM , Rating: 3
http://www.intellexual.net/bose.html

An oldie but a goodie. Just one example of WHY Bose doesn't want qualified people looking at their products. Also, at the bottom of that article is a bunch of links to various places on the internet populated by audiophiles.


RE: Thanks God!!
By Motoman on 10/1/2009 1:47:01 PM , Rating: 2
http://thx.com/products/home/search.html?f=h

...also, notice that no Bose product, ever, has been THX certified. I'm pretty sure they've never bothered trying. When you know you are fail, no point in the attempt.


RE: Thanks God!!
By Manch on 10/1/2009 2:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
I got the quiet comfort headphones for 150$ new at the Lackland BX. THe BX/NEX stores are the only places i ever see them on sale. When you're flying from San Antonio to Misawa Japan on a regular basis those headphones are worth it. I got the virtual surround sound for the PC as a christmas present. My pops picked them up for 185$ at the NEX in Norfolk. Like I said, they're nice but just not at full price.


RE: Thanks God!!
By The0ne on 10/1/2009 2:17:51 PM , Rating: 3
Many people are so bought by the marketing and sales campaign/ads. My co-worker absolutely loves Bose and he's a freaking engineer. He knows better but his brain doesn't want to register.

I don't blame the mass consumers for this fault but rather the company. Of course there are those that should be blame for ignorance by continuing to support something they really don't know about. Apple fans I think might be the biggest. I count MS in there too but then again choices are limited due to applications, support, compatibility.


RE: Thanks God!!
By TechIsGr8 on 10/1/2009 12:37:16 PM , Rating: 5
Certainly off-topic, but I've been a DOS/PC/Windows guy since 1986. I just got my first Apple product a month ago, an iPhone 3GS 32GB, and I absolutely love it. I'm quite happy to be a new brainwashed Apple zombie, thanks very much.


RE: Thanks God!!
By kkwst2 on 10/1/2009 1:33:47 PM , Rating: 1
Well of course you are. You wouldn't be a brainwashed zombie if you weren't happy about it.


RE: Thanks God!!
By Mitch101 on 10/1/2009 2:49:07 PM , Rating: 2
I dont think anyone can deny that the iPhone is a nice piece of kit but the competition is closing in hard and fast and there are very few tricks Apple can implement with as much wow factor as they did when the iPhone launched. But its running out of steam even the Apple fans are starting to say so and if your a smart business you know that an iPhone is a problem waiting to happen. Sure it will get there but it wont happen soon enough. As a consumer device its still a great product holding its own for now.

The Storm 2, Palm Pre, Windows Mobile 6.5 and soon enough Windows Mobile 7. Plus a number of other products are coming. Many like to preach iPhone killer but there have been no real takers. None need to be an iPhone killer but each will take a bit of that iPhone market share away. I wouldn't be surprised if Google is looking to take a bite out of Apple too. Apple is not making many business friends. Or should I say Apple hasn't learned to swim with the sharks and because Apple hasn't been playing nice the sharks are starting to circle Apple. In the next 6 months your going to see a feeding frenzy.

I would say watch out for the Windows Mobile devices. Mobile phone manufacturers will make it cheaper than Apple will agree to sell devices for and Microsoft will drive the apps people want.

Blackberry software for Mac is not a recognition of Apple growth its a way of keeping Apple out of Blackberry's space. Now that you can get Blackberry for Mac those are people who wont be buying the iPhone. Zune HD for mac would be interesting.


RE: Thanks God!!
By 91TTZ on 10/1/2009 10:37:30 AM , Rating: 2
Incorrect.

Unlike the other brands which were just rebranded Chevy's, Saturn had vehicles unique to the brand. Whereas the other GM cars were made of sheet metal and rusted, Saturns used space frames and had plastic panels which never dented. Even the 1.9L DOHC engine was purely Saturn and not used in other models. Only towards the end when GM gave up on the brand did they go to the typical sheet metal construction and use major parts from other brands.

I had a 1992 SL2 with 235,000 miles on it. The handling was was nimble like an import and didn't have that typical GM "slushy" feel.


RE: Thanks God!!
By sebastianem on 10/1/2009 12:49:20 PM , Rating: 2
You got it. Too many vehicles in the GM portfolio are just re-skinned for the different brands. I feel bad for the folks losing jobs, though.


RE: Thanks God!!
By Hiawa23 on 10/1/2009 10:15:22 AM , Rating: 2
not surprised at all. Sister had one with nothing but problems & you knew if the Penske deal fell through this one was headed to graveyard. RIP, If you can't make em profitable then don't make em at all...


RE: Thanks God!!
By Ratinator on 10/1/2009 11:09:18 AM , Rating: 4
My personal experience with GM as whole says the exact same thing, not just Saturn.


RE: Thanks God!!
By Hiawa23 on 10/1/2009 12:14:11 PM , Rating: 2
My personal experience with GM as whole says the exact same thing, not just Saturn.

I think your response is in response to my if you can't make em profitable then don't make em at all. Well, I hope GM gets it together cause We, America needs GM to get it in gear as they make some pretty good vehicles, & I hope their costs have finally come down or inline with the industry so they can thrive when the market swings back around. I think America needs a profitable GM along with Ford to compete globally. I own a Honda & a Mitsubishi, since I have always liked the foregn vehicles, but the next car I buy I think it will something from GM cause contrary to what many think they now offer pretty amazing vehicles, & cadillac has always stood for quality in my mind.


RE: Thanks God!!
By Manch on 10/1/2009 1:00:42 PM , Rating: 3
If you're going to buy American then go buy a Ford. They didn't take any bail out money and their quality rivals Toyota's. I for one will not buy Government Motors vehicle, ever. Government Motors still can't stop the bleeding, and since the unions own a huge stake that's even more incentive for me not to buy.


RE: Thanks God!!
By 67STANG on 10/2/2009 3:23:11 AM , Rating: 2
People are doing exactly that. Last months sales figures show it. Both GM and Chrysler's sales dropped over 40%. Ford dropped 5%.


RE: Thanks God!!
By BaDaBooM on 10/1/2009 11:52:50 AM , Rating: 2
We love our Saturn Outlook... that is my only experience with Saturn but it was a very positive one. I am sorry to see it go as I viewed Saturn as GM, but better.


RE: Thanks God!!
By FITCamaro on 10/1/2009 12:35:07 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah three cheers for 13,000 more unemployed!!!

Seriously. Cheering a company failing and people losing their jobs is pure stupidity. I didn't like every company thats gone out of business in this mess (Circuit City) but I didn't look forward to seeing them fail either.


RE: Thanks God!!
By thurston on 10/1/2009 1:07:42 PM , Rating: 2
Are you bi-polar that was an awesome post, I'm very surprised.


RE: Thanks God!!
By FITCamaro on 10/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: Thanks God!!
By thurston on 10/1/2009 4:53:04 PM , Rating: 2
That's more like it, you shouldn't leave your computer logged on, somebody might leave a post while you're away.


RE: Thanks God!!
By The0ne on 10/1/2009 2:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
I can't tell if your comments were sarcasm or not :D but...

I don't like to cheer for what's going on but seriously GM needs to die. They are ALREADY going back to their old ways after being handed tax payer money. Why the hell should they and any of their brands survive only to do the same fcking business/mangement model again?

I was a supporter of the big3 surviving initially but now I say fck them and let them die. They more than well deserve it. To me they are a joke for manufacturing and quality, areas where I excel in.


RE: Thanks God!!
By Reclaimer77 on 10/1/2009 5:02:27 PM , Rating: 1
Don't you get it ? Obama bought GM and fired their CEO so we, the American taxpayer, could keep the union payola going. The same people who got him in the White House. Think about it, the ENTIRE country knows the Unions slowly killed GM, but did the President ONCE even hint that they were a problem ? Hell no.

It's not a conspiracy it's just how politicians, especially from Chicago, work.


RE: Thanks God!!
By Ammohunt on 10/1/2009 3:00:49 PM , Rating: 1
Union jobs; its karma


RE: Thanks God!!
By Jalek on 10/1/2009 8:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
Initially at least, Saturn had a different union contract system more in line with the Japanese companies it was competing with.

In recent years, GM's been taking everything that made Saturn different away, which might have included labor contracts.


RE: Thanks God!!
By 67STANG on 10/2/2009 3:24:35 AM , Rating: 2
The 13,000 out of work employees could always find a job at Blockbuster. I hear they're hiring...


RE: Thanks God!!
By Yawgm0th on 10/1/2009 1:58:08 PM , Rating: 3
My experience has been pretty different. My parents and several of my uncles and aunts together have owned five Saturns, including three Vues. They're all been pretty pleased, with relatively few problems. One of the Vues is nearing 200,000 miles now. One of them has whatever Saturn's 90s eco compact sedan was, and it's got around 200,000 miles and has been pretty reliable to date.

My own 2007 Ion has been wonderful. I've put 60,000 miles on it, averaging 28-31MPG pretty consistently at differing highway/city mile distribution. I haven't had any real problems, and it's actually about the most enjoyable eco compact you'll drive. It's got great turning, pretty good handling for such a small car (important when I'm driving on six inches of snow and they haven't plowed yet), and it actually accelerates pretty respectably.

A friend just bought an Ion with 150,000 miles and he seems pretty happy with it.

The problem with Saturns, IMO, is the price. I wouldn't go as far as the Mac analogy (that's reserved for Volkswagen), but you do pay a premium for a brand name. At $19,000 and change, my Ion sure feels like a $16,000 car.

Oh well. RIP, Saturn. I wasn't going to buy a government car anyway, so Ford might be my next choice.


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