One little-discussed consequence of taking Saturn out of the General Motors equation: GM loses just over a quarter of its sales of fuel-saving hybrids -- just the type of vehicles the Obama administration wants automakers to build.
Saturn sells hybrid versions of the Vue crossover and Aura sedan, and last year was second among GM's divisions in hybrid sales with 3,205. Chevrolet, which sold 5,838 of GM's 11,454 hybrids, was tops.
Saturn had planned to add a more advanced hybrid version of the Vue this summer. But that vehicle, which uses a front-wheel-drive version of GM's Two Mode transmission, has been canceled. So was the plug-in version of the Vue, which had been scheduled for 2010.
After Saturn goes, GM will offer only one hybrid car: the Chevrolet Malibu. GM's other hybrids will be the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups and the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade SUVs.
GM said last week that all Saturn production will end with the 2009 model year.