Saturn Pushing E-tailing Envelope. Or Not.

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Saturn is planning on launching a new web-based purchasing scheme which will place even more of the buying process online. The plan is aimed at moving functions like checking dealer inventories, applying for credit and scheduling a test drive to a unified Saturn online platform. Down the road, the website could also be used to handle the evaluation of customers' trade-in vehicles and to negotiate price using online chat and e-mail. Although this last goal is particularly strange given Saturn's "No Haggle" pricing. Of course, this program is not being pitched as "the end of the Saturn dealership," although Edmunds AutoObserver notes that it came out of efforts aimed at "developing the Internet as a tool that might someday enable them to eliminate the middleman entirely." Since these efforts were thwarted by legal concerns, Saturn will just be centralizing a few online capabilities which most dealers already offer. At enormous expense.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Seabrjim Seabrjim on Mar 24, 2008

    I smell cost cutting. Disguised, of course.

  • Offroadinfrontier Offroadinfrontier on Mar 25, 2008

    Honestly, I expected Scion to pull this one out of their hat, given their highly Pro-Online (or Only Online) marketing campaign.. they want to eliminate the older folk anyway, and since most of them don't even know what html stands for... Anyway. Saturn? The only thing about Saturn cars that I ever found interesting (or, funny) was the commercial where they threw a ball at their own car. I wondered how many people expected demonstrations at the dealerships...

  • Kazoomaloo Kazoomaloo on Mar 25, 2008

    What's Saturn? That's easy! It's Opel's American brand. It'll take a few years but they've got some snappy cars that might just catch on over here. They won't, of course, and GM will lose billions importing European vehicles to the US with our flimsy worthless dollar, but I rather like the Saturns they have for sale now. Also, I've seen a surprising amount of Vues on the road, I wonder how their sales numbers are...

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Mar 25, 2008

    I really like the Opels, -er Saturns they are selling right now... Only kill off the Saturn name and bring over the rest of the Opels. The Astra is GM's best chance of having me for a customer.