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Hi folks, I found this on the Automotive news. I am posting relevant parts, not the entire article. Hope I am not breaking any rules by posting it.
Cheers,
Jill

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Saturn dealers have high hopes for new cars

3:15 pm, February 10, 2006

There's no doubt that 2006 will be a memorable year for Saturn. After being ignored for the better part of a decade, the import-chasing division of General Motors gets four new vehicles this year.

First comes the Sky roadster, a low-volume image car due in the spring. Next, the mid-sized Aura sedan arrives in early summer. It uses underpinnings from GM's German Opel division. After that, the Outlook crossover lands in dealerships, and then in late summer Saturn gets GM's first volume gasoline-electric hybrid, the Vue Green Line.

Saturn dealers are depending on GM to deliver high-quality, glitch-free vehicles on time and with competitive prices. They also are counting on GM to craft a marketing campaign that resonates with consumers. Dealers don't want these new products lost in the clutter, says Rob Cochran, chairman of Saturn's Franchise Operations Team. Cochran spoke with Staff Reporter Richard Truett.


At one time Saturn had very loyal customers. Is that still so? How have Saturn's customers changed in the last five years?

It's still a very loyal owner base. Certainly as we have not had products to meet the demand of our owner base, there have been some people who have left the family. But I think for the most part there is a very strong connection between the people who have purchased Saturns and the retailer, more so than the typical retailer or dealer. You are not just purchasing sheet metal. You're purchasing part of the brand. You see that represented in the various J.D. Power surveys.


The Sky roadster could present a touchy situation for Saturn. The brand has never had a vehicle that commanded more than sticker price. Will Saturn dealers be padding the Sky's price?

That's a good question. Saturn has always been one price. But I can't speak for the network. I can speak for our stores. We will sell it for MSRP. I would think the majority of dealers will sell it for MSRP.

Does the Sky have the potential to expand Saturn's appeal to customers who have never shopped the brand?


It's going to be a huge step. But it is in a segment that is not a volume segment. Everyone agrees that the Sky is a great start. But as we get the Aura coming mid-year, the success of the Sky launch will have a good impact on how the Aura does coming out of the box. I think all the arrows are pointing to what should be a breakthrough year for Saturn.

Are Saturn dealers anxious to add the Vue Green Line gasoline-electric hybrid SUV?

I think the Green Line vehicles, starting with the Vue, are just a natural fit for Saturn and what Saturn means in the public eye. Saturn is a responsible, upfront car company. I just don't think that there is any better fit for environmentally conscious cars within the Saturn family. It will further extend Saturn sales, further extend Saturn's credibility and further extend the brand.
 

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Thanks Jill

Thank you Jill, very interesting article. Also, I want to personally thank you for keeping this forum updated on events and what little information you manage to eek out for us. I spoke with my dealer in Canada last week, he has my order so to speak. Chili Red, cloth seats ( too hot here for leather and the top down) automatic, he said that I might be waiting longer for the automatic but it looks like late April/May. I really dont care just as long as I get one sometime this year.

Again thanks for all your updates
Kimberly
ChiliSky :thumbs:
 

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Jill, THANK YOU SO MUCH. we all do appreciate ANYTHING you can offer to us in the way of information. Wow... if she is, or may be getting an automatic at the end of april/beginning of may.. then ..MAYBE.... just maybe the rest of our manual Skys will be here sooner... hmmmmmm..... i will have to chat with the reps at the Chi-Town auto show today.. and see what i can get them to spill.. THANK YOU AGAIN... SkyBaby-07
 
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