According to GMinsidenews.com, Saturn is Dead.
For those that don't know, GMinsidenews.com is a forum site that reports on rumors and actual news. However they do have several insiders and have broken news in the past before others. IMO, they are probably right on this one.
The intreguing part for me is that they might "merge" Saab and Caddy on a global level. Caddy has had difficulty establishing itself outside the US. This would be helpful. Lord knows Saab isn't exactly breaking sales records.
There has been word from other blogs that an American investment group is interested in buying Hummer. We'll see how that pans out...
It is sad to see Saturn go. GM is 100% at fault for its demise. They have THE best product lineup in the company but GM did barely any marketing. A lot of people don't even know what the Saturn Aura is. It is sad to know that the next generation Aura was to be a rebadged Opel Insignia. That car just won Europe's Car of the Year. We may still get it here as the Buick Regal.
Last week news broke that Saturn “could be dead within the week.” General Motors, who has received billions in federal loans for the U.S. government must report to the Administration tomorrow with a detailed business plan. Part of that business plan must include what GM plans to do with their buffet of brands. GM executives have made one thing quite clear in regards to their brand management plan: Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick are going to be their “core brands” that get most of the attention. Executives claim that Pontiac will be reduced to a “niche brand” and the rest of the North American fleet will up for grabs. It’s already well known that Hummer is for sale and GM would desperately like to unload Saab, but what about Saturn?
GMI has been told by sources very close to the situation that management and the Board of Directors have approved closing the Saturn brand as part of the plan for viability. Several options were considered for the brand, as evident with the influx of statements from various GM executives as of late about Saturn. One option was to merge the brand into the Pontiac, GMC, Buick sales channel (as GMI broke several months ago). GM also looked into selling the Saturn brand to their Chinese joint-venture in order to get the brand out of the GM umbrella.
Ultimately it sounds as if Saturn is going the way of Oldsmobile. GMI was told that the brand will be phased out down to three products; Aura, Vue and Sky. The final plug will be pulled sometime in the 2012 era. We also do not expect any future product from the brand from now on.
One of Saturn’s next flagship vehicles was supposed to launch this year; the 2010 Saturn Aura. That car was going to be a rebadged Opel Insignia for the North American market. Back in July, however, GMI broke news that the next-generation Aura had been placed on hold and was ultimately canceled. That alone led grave signs of the brand’s future.
Back in 2005 GM announced a huge reinvestment into the Saturn division. Within 18 months the Saturn brand had an entirely different lineup; a larger one to boot. Initially sales rose steadily, but the brand never has met GM expectations for sales numbers. Due to Saturn’s relatively low dealership base (just over 400 dealers in the U.S.), the costs of closing the division will not likely hit numbers that the closing of Oldsmobile did.
GMI has also been updated on the status of the other “non-core” brands. The Hummer brand is expected to be sold. GM supposedly still has interested buyers; they are just in negotiations and awaiting the outcome of the federal loans.
In regards to Saab, we’re told that if the Swedish government does not offer a bailout plan for the Saab division GM will morph the brand with Cadillac globally and eventually remove it from the division lineup. The “morph” process would be similar to how GM merged Daewoo and Chevrolet globally, which has been quite successful. If the Swedish government offers a bailout, GM will use that money to separate Saab from the rest of GM in order to make it more attractive to sell off as an asset sale.