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http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060220/SUB/60216019


Saturn: Ad launch timing is crucial

Lindsay Chappell
Automotive News / February 20, 2006 - 6:00 am

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Saturn will step carefully through one of its biggest product launch years in more than a decade, General Manager Jill Lajdziak told dealers at the make meeting.

One critical issue: holding back on advertising until new products are in dealer lots.

Saturn and other brands have seen new product introductions tripped up by slow factory launches in the past. Customers saw new vehicles advertised that were not yet in showrooms, and ad budgets dwindled as dealers waited for allocations.

"Everybody wants to make sure that we have an introduction that goes well, and we're very focused on making sure that happens," Lajdziak said.

Over the next 10 months, Saturn will introduce the Sky roadster, Aura sedan, Outlook crossover and Vue Green Line hybrid SUV. Dealers have been taking customer orders for the Sky for several months, and some dealers asked Lajdziak about how quickly the convertible roadster will get to Saturn's 440 dealerships.

"We're all looking for a flawless execution of these deliveries, and that's not something we have a great tradition with," said Geoffrey Pohanka, president of Pohanka Automotive Group, which owns three Maryland stores. "This could be our comeback year."

Pohanka said some dealers already were unhappy with how the new vehicles are being displayed in public. At the meeting, he contended that both the Sky and Aura were underplayed at the Saturn exhibit at the recent Washington auto show.

"I think we missed some opportunities there," he said.

"They're planning this well," he added after the meeting. "It's up to us to make sure it all works out perfectly."

Lajdziak told dealers that Saturn will fully outline its plans for product rollout and marketing at a full franchise meeting in Dallas in April.

That two-day meeting, she said, will go over issues of marketing, advertising, customer relations and allocation for each product.
 

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May shed some light on why we may not be getting lots of info - sounds like they are trying to avoid the problems with the Pontiac G6 (Oprah intro - then no vehicles available) and the Solstice (Apprentice promotion and pre-order program - then no vehicles delivered for ANOTHER 4 MONTHS).
 

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Sounds like the roll out for the Sky will be in April or later.
 

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nighttripper said:
Sounds like the roll out for the Sky will be in April or later.
Where did you get April from? I must have missed it
 

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Saturn of Houston has had a giant billboard with the Sky on it for about 4-5 weeks and it says Are you on the list. (on Hwy59 @ 288) I talked to my salesman today & I asked did it still look like April to order (#2 on list)... he replied yeah , but did not seem to sure???????? :confused: Also the Sky was on the cover of Businessweek magazine (Jan edition).
 

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If launch is in April, all dealers should have there demos by last week of March, or sooner. Makes sense doesn't it? I am still holding to mid-late March arrival times for dealer SKY's. Anybody else with me? Or I am out there alone, swingin' in the wind?:lol:

ERNEST:thumbs:
 

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Ernest said:
If launch is in April, all dealers should have there demos by last week of March, or sooner. Makes sense doesn't it? I am still holding to mid-late March arrival times for dealer SKY's. Anybody else with me? Or I am out there alone, swingin' in the wind?:lol:

ERNEST:thumbs:

I think you are correct - dealer cars in the show rooms mid to late March. The first customer images just came out which points to an April delivery - prolly late April. If my car is delivered later than April, I can wait. This car is gonna be too much fun :lol:
 

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I'm going to be a bit more optimistic (I have been preaching patience) but lets do some more math....
It took - by estimation 3 weeks to build up a supply of about 500 SKYs to be ready for the Dealers. These are the #1 spots so coveted. Sure the orders were placed Jan – what 26th or so?? But, they sat – as the lines were getting set. We began hearing (and seeing pics) of real cars 3 weeks ago…
If these cars are released (at the dealer) March 21 (Sounds about right!), and many, many people who are #2 have already placed their order, (After Tuesday - we were getting these reports) meaning the images for at LEAST one more car per dealer is in, then they should get their cars in the building stage (on order) in NO MORE than 3 weeks from now or so (I am figuring -- the QC will not be as time consuming and they will be building more SKYs and less Sols - plus they are getting GOOD at it!). Let’s call it March 15... I would imagine another wave of images... and so on and so on.... I think we may be as deep as #4-6 by the end of March. As far as ordering. . . :cheers:
Comments?
 

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I would say that all dealer image SKY are built, or just about built and the first run is completed, The first run is presently being Q.C.'d and in final release at present. Release to dealers could possibly be as early as 1st week in March, that would allow them 2 wks shipping time to deliver to dealer, as west & midwest destinations require rail car delivery, that can take upwards of 2 weeks. The math figures out to 1 wk release, + 2 wks delivery equals 21 days. March 21 you should see SKY's in showrooms. Isn't that coincidental, just what the Sky calendar says. I am still betting the farm & animals that all dealer SKYs will be there. But, only the shadow knows for sure, and the people in the Saturn upper echelon. Or?:rolleyes: :confused: :D

ERNEST:thumbs:
 

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Ernest said:
I would say that all dealer image SKY are built, or just about built and the first run is completed, The first run is presently being Q.C.'d and in final release at present. Release to dealers could possibly be as early as 1st week in March, that would allow them 2 wks shipping time to deliver to dealer, as west & midwest destinations require rail car delivery, that can take upwards of 2 weeks. The math figures out to 1 wk release, + 2 wks delivery equals 21 days. March 21 you should see SKY's in showrooms. Isn't that coincidental, just what the Sky calendar says. I am still betting the farm & animals that all dealer SKYs will be there. But, only the shadow knows for sure, and the people in the Saturn upper echelon. Or?:rolleyes: :confused: :D

ERNEST:thumbs:
Oh....you are right...."the shadow do"...now if I could only get my dogs to whistle the shadow theme..
 

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I wish we could find the shadow, I for one am curious if I am on the beam, or way out there in left field:confused: :willy: :crazy: :crazy: i guess I will just have to wait & see. :rolleyes: :jester: Would someone just shoot me and put me out of :banghead:

ERNEST:thumbs:
 

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Rick Tinley Park said:
I'm going to be a bit more optimistic (I have been preaching patience) but lets do some more math....
It took - by estimation 3 weeks to build up a supply of about 500 SKYs to be ready for the Dealers. These are the #1 spots so coveted. Sure the orders were placed Jan – what 26th or so?? But, they sat – as the lines were getting set. We began hearing (and seeing pics) of real cars 3 weeks ago…
If these cars are released (at the dealer) March 21 (Sounds about right!), and many, many people who are #2 have already placed their order, (After Tuesday - we were getting these reports) meaning the images for at LEAST one more car per dealer is in, then they should get their cars in the building stage (on order) in NO MORE than 3 weeks from now or so (I am figuring -- the QC will not be as time consuming and they will be building more SKYs and less Sols - plus they are getting GOOD at it!). Let’s call it March 15... I would imagine another wave of images... and so on and so on.... I think we may be as deep as #4-6 by the end of March. As far as ordering. . . :cheers:
Comments?
That sounds pretty realistic to me! After the first batch get delivered to the dealer, the second batch should be well on there way to 038 as the rythmn of production get rolling, they should be kicking them out quickly, I would sure like to know the start to finish actual production time for one unit, boy would that get the old calculators buzzing:jester:

ERNEST:thumbs:
 

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KappaMan said:
One critical issue: holding back on advertising until new products are in dealer lots.

Lajdziak told dealers that Saturn will fully outline its plans for product rollout and marketing at a full franchise meeting in Dallas in April.
From what I read here Jill is saying Saturn is not going to advertize the car until dealers have cars in the lots and that they will talk more about marketing and rollout in April. My guess is they plan to have cars in the dealerships in April and I'd bet the marketing launch will be at this meeting with media promotion during or after the meeting.

Anyone know the date of the meeting?
 

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I dont see the need to advertise, seems like they are already sold out of the first years allocation. Personally, I hope they dont produce a lot of this car. I remember the Fiero - seemed like everyone & their sister got one in the mail or something. It was just another car after a while.
 

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rwood411 said:
I dont see the need to advertise, seems like they are already sold out of the first years allocation. Personally, I hope they dont produce a lot of this car. I remember the Fiero - seemed like everyone & their sister got one in the mail or something. It was just another car after a while.
According to my dealer today, they are sold out thru January! Yikes! Looks like we're the lucky ones!:D
 

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rwood411 said:
I dont see the need to advertise, seems like they are already sold out of the first years allocation.
If I understand it all the advertizing for the Sky won't be about selling the Sky. That job is going to be easy... the advertizing is going to be about selling Saturn and selling a new design direction.:cool:
 

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Ernest said:
If launch is in April, all dealers should have there demos by last week of March, or sooner. Makes sense doesn't it? I am still holding to mid-late March arrival times for dealer SKY's. Anybody else with me? Or I am out there alone, swingin' in the wind?:lol:

ERNEST:thumbs:
I agree with you there! Got my image in on Tuesday so I'm thinking positive!
 

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Ernest said:
I would say that all dealer image SKY are built, or just about built and the first run is completed, The first run is presently being Q.C.'d and in final release at present. Release to dealers could possibly be as early as 1st week in March, that would allow them 2 wks shipping time to deliver to dealer, as west & midwest destinations require rail car delivery, that can take upwards of 2 weeks. The math figures out to 1 wk release, + 2 wks delivery equals 21 days. March 21 you should see SKY's in showrooms. Isn't that coincidental, just what the Sky calendar says. I am still betting the farm & animals that all dealer SKYs will be there. But, only the shadow knows for sure, and the people in the Saturn upper echelon. Or?:rolleyes: :confused: :D

ERNEST:thumbs:
Got a small monkey wrench to through in your possible gears. Delivery time to Florida or Cali can take upwards of 25 days for the shipping part alone. We dealt with the long waits for our Sols. Now if GM puts some sort of priority on these above Sols for delivery they might get them there quicker.
 

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Head em up move em out :lol: :lol: :lol:
 
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