Saturn Needs to Rethink "Rethink American"

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

TTAC's writers and readers have been saying GM's biggest problem is a massive identity crisis. Now marketing guru Laura Ries is telling the RenCen bunch the same thing about Saturn at The Origin of Brands. Ries takes The General to task saying "Saturn doesn't have a product problem, Saturn doesn't have an advertising problem, Saturn has a ginormous branding problem. What is a Saturn? What does it look like? Who is it for? Who knows." With a few notable exceptions like Corvette, her comments could apply to any vehicle that has come out of Detroit for the last, oh… 40 years or so. Maybe Motown's marketing mavens will listen to one of their own. Look! There goes a pig-shaped flying car!

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  • Whatdoiknow1 Whatdoiknow1 on Aug 24, 2007

    It is a big stretch to move from selling absolute junk like the ION to attempt to now sell $30,000+ cars! GM needs to overcome the image that it made for Saturn over the last 10 years. Saturn was interesting with a bit of protential in its beginning but GM let that little bit of promise fade into oblivion with the usual EXPECTED GM missteps. Now here we go once again with the General and its delusions of grandeur. Only the execs at GM could forget about such disasters as the LS, ION, and the last gen Vue. Come on the ION was the WORST car on the market for the last few years! It sad because it is obvious that GM is capable of building very good cars but its corporate culture will be its death. GM and Ford will continue to pay the price for saying F@*K cars during the stupid SUV craze. Why would any satisfied current Honda Accord owner want to shop an auto company that is being force to produce those dreaded less profitable than an SUV passanger cars. Just like folks here love to claim that Acura/Infiniti/Lexus can never make a better drivers car than BMW, why on earth would we believe that GM can make a truely competitive alternative to the Accord or Camry?

  • Akitadog Akitadog on Aug 24, 2007

    "GM seems to be trying to turn Saturn into Oldsmobile. That’s going to be challenging to make work." That's explicitly what they're trying to do. A few years ago, the morons chose to kill Oldsmobile, their best line of mid-size cars going at the time, in order to keep the small car brand instead. Now, they're making Saturn the mid- size car line that they just killed. It took them a few years to realize their mistake, and this is what they have to do to correct it. What they should be doing at the same time is positioning Chevy down-market and smaller to fill that econo-niche, since this is what needs to happen (besides losing customers to the Fit and Yaris) but, no. Chevy's big rear-drive cars are coming, to compete directly with Pontiac (again), the next-gen Deltas will be bigger, the next-gen Epsilons will be bigger. Leaving the Aveo (hah!) as GM's one-and-only econo-entry in the US to satisfy that whole market.

  • Kjc117 Kjc117 on Aug 24, 2007

    The New Saturn, ebadged Opels!!! Saturns for everyoone!!! Come see the new Saturns!!! America is back fighting the imports with our new Saturns!! Better fuel economy, style, and cheaper than the imports!!! Foreign brands bad, GM imported brands good. Saturns for everyoone!!! Come see the new Saturns!!! Don't buy an import save America!!!! Come see the new Saturns!!!!

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Aug 25, 2007

    Outside of the automotive press and gearhead worlds pretty much nobody cares about Saturn. The brand is already dead. Everything other than Chevrolet and Cadillac should be done away with, then make ever darn Chevy and Cadillac product the very best in their field.