Your April 21 editorial ("First things first") regarding the introduction of Saturn's Red Line cars has inspired this letter. Of course, I am biased, having worked in a Saturn facility for 11 years.
First of all, your quoting Consumer Reports causes some concern. To call the Saturn Ion "cramped" indicates a lack of understanding that is dumbfounding. It is a small car. "Cramped" compared with what?
Rather than make this a critique of that magazine's review methods, I would direct you to the only people who matter to us: our customers. The car is very well received, yielding some of the best closing ratios I have seen here in some time.
Customers find it roomy, quick. They actually like the electric power steering and the center-mounted gauge cluster, and they think it is a great buy for the money (thanks to GM for those incentives).
Now, to address Red Line: Customers have been begging us and, in turn, we have implored Saturn to produce cars that will excite. I have lists of clients who want to see the quad coupe when it arrives. Give me a Red Line Ion, then a Red Line Vue, and Saturn has gone a long way toward changing the prevailing opinions about our car company.
It's funny: People have called us boring, bland, warm and fuzzy, touchy-feely - like we are somehow on the fringe of the industry. Now, just when we're starting to get some excitement into the mix, you criticize.