GM Intends to Save Saturn
Apparently, GM wanted to get rid of the non-profitable brand at that time but according to a recent article on Advertising Age, the Detroit car manufacturer is now struggling to save Saturn by working closely with dealers. One possible solution is to find a non-GM car maker from abroad to distribute cars via Saturn's 400-plus dealers here, explained a GM executive.
More importantly, a Saturn spokesman officially confirmed that GM expects to have an announcement about the brand's future in about four weeks. Yet, he refused to comment on whether one plan would have Saturn dealers selling non-GM vehicles from overseas in the US.
GM restructuring plan to qualify for federal loans includes the sale of Saab and Hummer brands but Saturn benefits from "more of an internal review" said Mark LaNeve, VP-marketing, sales and service in North America. The decision has been taken because the Saturn business "has more options" than the automaker's other vehicle brands, the Saturn spokesman said.
As LaNeve says, the purpose is to think "how to correct the profitability, or the lack of profitability. We don't have the luxury now of putting a 10-year plan in place. We've got to improve it right away."
Even if sales for Saturn vehicles decreased last year, this appears to be GM's fault of not investing enough in the marketing and advertising of the brand.
As a matter of fact, a Saturn dealer in Connecticut said the brand could have sold 60,000 more new vehicles last year if GM had not eliminated the Ion affordable small car. LaNeve admitted that GM "didn't spend enough on marketing to introduce the new products."