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A different kind of car company, Saturn was set up in the mid-1980’s in response to the Japanese invasion of small, fuel-efficient cars. While technically a subsidiary of General...
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In June of 1982, Alex C. Mair, then vice president of advanced engineering at General Motors developed a concept for an automobile to compete with the popularly priced Japanese and German imports that were selling exceptionally well at the time.
Billed as “a different kind of Car Company” at launch; Saturn’s primary marketing message was its cars could be had with no dealer haggling. Market research had told those in command at General Motors something every car buyer already knew. Consumers’ least favorite aspect of the car buying process was negotiating the price of the vehicle with an automotive salesperson. The idea behind Saturn was to offer the cars at a reasonable price in the first place, then permit no further bargaining.
The first Saturn models off the assembly line at Spring Hill were the Saturn S-Series range of cars. Between 1991 and 1995, Saturn produced one million cars. Those first Saturn were indeed quite different. They used spaceframe designs so the body panels didn’t have to support the weight of the car. This enabled Saturn to use plastic body panels—ostensibly to enable rapid styling changes. It also made the cars cheaper to build. Further, they dent resistant, which meant a Saturn automobile would look new longer.
And while Saturn was shut down in October of 2010, Autobytel Saturn reviews will still provide the findings of our group of knowledgeable and dedicated professional automotive reviewers who drive every new car each year. You’ll find detailed analysis of the Saturn engines, interior treatments, safety equipment, and our honest evaluation of how the cars compare to the others in the category in these reviews.