Ends Sunday: Register for FREE subscriber access to autonews.com

What car brands can learn from Saturn's rise and fall

/article/20090312/ANA09/903129973/1199

Ok Uistcars lets talk about margin, lets look at Buick, a profitable GM division. From the late 1990's Buick has participated in about 27% of the

market(although I have to confess I have not looked lately). The base Lucerne has about $1200 top to bottom. That includes 3% holdback. This is high markup? Pontiac is no different, and GMC is similar. Each division needs to be able to weather ups and downs. With Saturn there was only downs for GM, the dealers did ok, but GM did not. Now establishing a name plate is expensive, let us look at Hyundai. By the early 90's Hyundai dealers were giving their stores back because they were such losers. Secondary finance would not finance them because the car was so bad. Yet they have rebounded to be a desireable franchise, and it took them less than 10 years and they did not have high markups, nor big truck entries for big profits. Same goes for Kia. Your argument does not hold water. Face it Saturn was and still is just another car, there is nothing there to set it apart from the pack. The product was not the "cutting edge" stuff that GM promised. That is why Saturn has been a loser, and will continue, even with very good Opel product will not change their numbers. One only has to look at the crossover they share with GMC, and Buick. They are third, last, not getting it done, and that is cutting edge product. The other divisions have the same markup, once again your arguement does not hold water. After 30+ years in the retail automobile business I might not be an expert, but I have seen a lot of products come and go. Unfortunately Saturn was not what was promised and as a result has not performed as expected, has lost money every year since it opened, and after just short of twenty years how can one justify hanging on for more? Time has run out for Saturn and GM has no choice.

I doubt you would hold a stock for twenty years that went down a little every year, what makes you think GM should do the same?

Tags:

0

Shares

ATTENTION COMMENTERS: Over the last few months, Automotive News has monitored a significant increase in the number of personal attacks and abusive comments on our site. We encourage our readers to voice their opinions and argue their points. We expect disagreement. We do not expect our readers to turn on each other. We will be aggressively deleting all comments that personally attack another poster, or an article author, even if the comment is otherwise a well-argued observation. If we see repeated behavior, we will ban the commenter. Please help us maintain a civil level of discourse.

Newsletters