GM Prez: Saturn Has an "Awareness Problem"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
gm prez saturn has an awareness problem

First there was a "perception gap"– the alleged discrepancy between the quality of GM's products and public perception of the quality of GM's products. Now, for GM's import-fighter-turned-importer Saturn brand, we have an "awareness problem." GM NA Prez reached this conclusion based on some pretty solid evidence. As Automotive News [sub] helpfully points out, "Over the past 15 months, Saturn has launched a complete line of vehicles including the Aura sedan, which won 2006 North American Car of the Year. Yet Saturn sales are down 15.4 percent through April." So does Troy recognize the connection between Saturn products and the brand's disappearance off the consumer's radar? As South Africans say, ja nee. "In GM research of coastal markets, consumers who saw pictures of Saturn vehicles could not identify them," Clarke said, revealing that he regularly reads TTAC. On the other hand, “If you look at the purchase funnel, you ask, 'Do we have a consideration problem on Saturn or a conversion problem?' The fact of the matter is we have a basic awareness problem.” To sort this shit out [paraphrasing], Clarke says… lots. "Saturn's advertising must start over with something 'a little more basic' than the current 'Rethink' theme… Just as if you're introducing a new brand, we'll probably spend about the same amount of money, but we'll repurpose it so that it's more focused on awareness than consideration.” Sure; that'll do it.

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  • Oboylepr Oboylepr on May 12, 2008
    Not many Euro contries are besieged by Immigrants. For a reason… Wrong! but I would be interested to hear your reason. How much money has Saturn cost GM since it started? How much profit has it earned for the mother ship?
  • Motownr Motownr on May 12, 2008

    Having kicked the tires on several Saturn points, I'll contribute the following observations: 1. No Haggle is a myth. Your local Saturn slinger is likely a well-established GM dealer with other GM brands. The "one price" bleat is nonsense...they simply pack the trade-in value to try and keep you from buying a Chevy. 2. Customer friendly? Compared to what? I was amazed at the games Saturn dealers engaged in, from mandatory glass etching to universal pinstripes applied by the dealer. These, btw, were at GM-owned stores! The warm and fuzzy stuff was just a cover for some good ol' tomfoolery, IMO. No, we didn't buy the franchise.

  • Rtz Rtz on May 13, 2008

    What's the reason to buy one?

  • Hwyhobo Hwyhobo on May 13, 2008

    @KatiePuckrik: duly changed to reflect the level of culture in America! Katie, can we keep this discussion to cars, please? Being of European descent (although calling USA my home now), I am embarrassed by such ill-cultured comments.