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Saturn: The No Hassle Car Company

Saturn was founded by GM in 1985 as an attempt at copying the “Japanese”
model of auto manufacturing. Known for their highly simplified construction
and simple designs, they were intended to be a low cost competitor and
alternative to other American cars. Saturn focused mostly on small commuter
vehicles, although they made a few light sports cars, most notably the
Saturn Sky. Saturn was ultimately dissolved as part of GM’s reorganization
in 2009, but it was successful at capturing the small car market.

5 Remarkable Facts about Saturn

  • The company dealerships had a strict “no hassle, no haggle” policy,
    with the sticker price being the only price the car could be sold at.
  • The company was responsible for producing the “low emissions” vehicles
    that kept GM’s fleet averages within EPA limits.
  • The company never sponsored a racing team or offered tuned versions of
    their car.
  • They were the first company to allow customers to order their cars
  • All their domestically engineered cars were assembled at a single
    factory in Tennessee using union labor.
  • Saturn Car Models

    Most Saturn cars were intended to be inexpensive alternatives to what else
    was offered on the market. For example, the Saturn Astra was a
    badge-engineered Opel Astra. Simple and basic, the Saturn Astra was one of
    the least expensive four door sedans on the American market for most of the
    1990s. The Saturn Astra was assembled from a complete “knock down” kit made
    in Germany, and thus was inexpensive and quick to be put together.

    The Saturn Vue was the first Saturn car to be classified as an SUV.
    Intended to be smaller and lighter than the rest of the GM line, the Saturn
    Vue was nonetheless very large by general consumer standards. A compact
    crossover, it offered the carrying capacity and light off road capability
    of an SUV while only costing a bit more than the average family sedan. The
    second generation Saturn Vue was actually an Opel Antara, sold as a
    complete knockdown kit and assembled in Mexico. The Saturn Vue was also
    offered in a sporty “Red Line modification which tightened the suspension
    and offered a 250hp engine.

    The Saturn Sky was the sportiest Saturn car that was ever offered by the
    company, as well as the only roadster. Intended to compete with the Mazda
    MX-5, Honda 2000 and other “inexpensive sport” roadsters, it had a
    convertible top and a 177 horsepower engine, giving it a modest horsepower
    to weight ratio. The “Red Line” Saturn Sky was much more powerful, with a
    full 260 hp under the hood. This gave it a better horsepower to weight
    ratio than the competition, although it was still slow when compared with
    more expensive sports cars.

    GM discontinued the Saturn and Pontiac brands October of 2010 and Daewoo in 2011.


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