Last year was a busy one for Saturn. The company introduced its long-awaited Vue sport-utility. It restyled its slow-selling mid-sized sedan, the L car. And it ended production of its 12-year-old S-series small car and replaced it with a larger car called the Ion.
Product has been a sore spot for Saturn. The sport-utility parade has passed it by for the past decade. And sales of the aging S cars - though persistently finding a market - have dwindled since their heyday in the mid-1990s.
That situation has changed. The Vue puts Saturn in the sport-utility market, and the Ion will be pitched against a whole new Saturn demographic of 18- to 34-year-olds.
It also was a busy year for Ohio Saturn retailer Ron Marhofer. As a member of Saturn's Retail Franchise Operations Team, Marhofer participates in Saturn's advertising and marketing efforts. In 2002, the company turned its account over to a new ad agency, Goodby Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco.
In addition to running two Saturn stores, as well as Chevrolet, Lincoln-Mercury and Mitsubishi dealerships, Marhofer has had the job of reviewing agencies and potential ad campaigns to support the burst of new products.
Marhofer spoke with Staff Reporter Lindsay Chappell.