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Saturn gets born again!

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Amyot Bachand
Comments gathered by Amyot Bachand
During the 2007 Saturn presentation on August 30thGatineau, Quebec--GM promised its Saturndivision to give them an image and products that would allow them to rival theEuropean and Japanese brands. Since the head office didn't respect itscommitment with Saturn, it's now trying to help them live up to theirambitions, which is to become the conquest division of GM.

That's not a small task. GM Canada Sales VP Marc Comeauisn't hiding the objectives of the Saturn division, and that's reconquering amarket that's been out of reach for over ten years. In the course of the nextyear, Saturn will benefit from a plethora of new products, as the lineup willgrow from three to six models. Personally, I only counted five, if we do themath properly, of course: the Sky, the Aura, the Ion or its replacement, theVue and the Outlook. If we count the Vue Green Line and Sky Red Line versions,we have seven.

According to Mr. Comeau, the Sky is the spark plug for youthand style. The Ion, despite being criticized by many for its plastickyenvironment, remains for us a good entry-level car; it will be replaced thisspring. Again, according to Marc Comeau, don't expect a replacement at the sameprice as the current Ion, since they're offering the polymer-paneled car at aprice that's more than competitive, and its architecture is ten years old.

The L-Series, that always had trouble distinguishing itself,is replaced by the Aura. The Saturn Vue sees its lineup grow with the GreenLine, a green and economic SUV. The Outlook crossover vehicle will also findits way into Saturn dealerships within the next months and will gladly replacethe Relay that was dumped there to answer dealer demand. The Outlook comes fromthe same family as GMC's Acadia and Buick'sEnclave.

This time around, dealers are happy, since they will benefitfrom a pretty complete and realistic model range to satisfy their customers'needs and better face the competition.

Just a reminder that Saturn's clientele benefits from adifferent sales approach; their prices don't vary. So there's no pressure, justsales consultants that will explain their products. It's customer service thatbuilt the dealers' reputation. With this rebirth, an addition of 10 to 15dealers nationwide is also planned.
Amyot Bachand
Amyot Bachand
Automotive expert