Saturn once produced a range of small- to mid-size cars and sport utility vehicles, including the Saturn VUE sport utility vehicle and the Saturn Aura sedan. Saturn also produced the sporty Saturn Sky, which is very similar to the Pontiac Solstice. Saturn pioneered the domestic "no haggle" pricing policy to create a low-pressure, non-threatening sales environment for customers who may not like the negotiations that take place at a traditional dealership. This "no haggle" policy has created a high level of customer satisfaction at dealerships.
The Saturn Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors. The Saturn concept was established in 1982, announced in 1983, and finally incorporated as a company in 1985. The well-known Spring Hill, Tennessee, manufacturing facility was chosen in 1985 and in 1990 the company began producing automobiles. Saturn was originally formed to compete in the small-car segment, with emphasis on competing with foreign cars. To do this, Saturn employed a community-friendly sales structure and management philosophy, including visible activity in community events, the establishment of no-haggle dealerships, and treating customers as members of the Saturn "family." The mission of the company was reflected in its early tag line, "A Different Kind of Car Company." The Saturn brand is exclusive to North America, however similar cars with shared platforms in the GM fleet are available around the world.
Evolution of Saturn
Early on, the Saturn Corporation designed and manufactured its own vehicles. As a cost-saving measure, Saturn now shares platforms and components with other GM brands. In 2005, Saturn started using more traditional manufacturing materials in lieu of the polymer body panels it had become known for. The polymer body panels were very dent-resistant and a unique selling point for Saturn. Saturn has since moved into the mid-price sedan segment and also produces mid-size sport utility vehicles. This move is in-part to compensate for the loss of the Oldsmobile brand. Initially set up as a fully-independent company, over the past decade the Saturn Corporation has been slowly integrated into the General Motors fold as consistent long-term profitability has remained elusive. In 2009 GM closed down Saturn but many good used examples still exist out there.