Saturn and what GM should do
GM is killing Saturn. I know that isn't new, but is sad. Here is what GM should have done with Saturn.
Saturn was designed to be GM's import fighter. In the early 90's it did just that and stole sales from Honda, Toyota and Nissan. GM neglected the brand and didn't update product fast enough and it also didn't add new models and technology soon enough to save it.
What GM should do is this, don't kill Saturn, green Saturn.
Remake the line.
Saturn is all green products. The plant that builds the cars is green using recycled steel glass and plastic for 93% of all parts used in the car. The plant also recycles it's waste, even it's waste water which is used for irrigation.
The product line is all green. Why do people buy an underpowered odd looking car called the Prius??? Because it makes a green statement. You instantly know it's green. The Ford Fusion gets almost as good gas mileage and is a lot better car than the Prius, but the Prius outsells it and is more expensive. Same thing with the Civic, much better car but it doesn't make the Prius statement.
Well how about a whole line of green vehicles.
The Saturn Aglia. Think of a car slightly smaller than the Honda Fit powered by a 1.3l Ecotech turbodiesel. It gets 42mpg city and 48hwy. Saturn could sell this car for under 15,000 nicely equipped. They could also make a version of this car with a 700 cc 3cyl gas motor and a hybrid system that could be the most fuel efficient hybrid. 54 city and 42 hwy.
Saturn Astra. Import the real deal from Europe, the 1.4l turbo diesel that gets 33 city and 42 hwy. No gas version. Along with your purchase you get a biodiesel kit so you can make your own biodiesel for it and a nav system that has updates that include all the locations in the US that sell biodiesel. The car would be priced just under 19,000 nicely equipped.
Saturn Vue. Hybrid only. Rework the hybrid system to be a full hybrid that gets 36 city and 34 hwy mpg.
Saturn Outlook. Hybrid only. 34 city and 31 hwy.
Saturn Aura. Hybrid with 36 city and 35 hwy mpg. Or turbodiesel with 30 city 38 hwy from a 2l turbo diesel. Again the biodiesel kit and the nav system to find biodiesel.
The Saturn Sky. The first mass produced diesel hybrid sports car. It has a 2.0l turbodiesel that has 175hp and a hybrid system that combines for 300 hp. The car is able to hit 60 in less than 6 seconds and gets 30 mpg city 30 mpg hwy.
The whole car line is either hybrid or turbo diesel and every model gets more than 30 mpg city.
Every person that buys a new Saturn gets a tree planted in the Saturn Forest. The Saturn forest will have trees for every vehicle sold and a name plaque will be affixed to each tree with the owners name. This will remove carbon for years to come helping to offset your carbon footprint for a lifetime.
Every new Saturn you see on the road would be green and would make that statement. Someone like me that drives 36 miles each way to work would like a car like the Astra or even the Aglia.
Each of these cars are available in Europe as Opel models or in the US so there wouldn't be much engineering costs except for the Sky and true hybrid drive systems which GM doesn't have.
When the Volt becomes available you make a version for Saturn that adds to it's green cache.
You make the Saturn symbol a tree with the earth in the background.
You now have the most fuel efficient line of vehicles and the company that cares about the environment. They could sponsor Earth day parties in every major US city and have special environment events that taught people how to protect the environment.
Green the color of money.