Saturn Car Logo
In the mid-1980s, GM released the Saturn Concept Car. The car, which resembled the first Saturn SL, was not originally meant to start up a brand, however, GM planned to release the Saturn car under one of its brands, which, at the time, were Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac. In the late 1980s, GM changed their plan and founded Saturn as its own brand, with its first cars being the Saturn SC and Saturn SL. Production of both Saturn vehicles started in 1990 as early 1991 model year vehicles. The Saturn SW was later added for 1992. GM had plans for a sedan, a coupe, a wagon, and even a sport utility vehicle; however, Saturn’s first sport utility vehicle, the Vue, did not appear until the 2002 model year.
Saturn Car Logo
Nonetheless, the brand was immediately known for its “no haggle” prices. The first Saturn model, the S-Series, was significantly successful. A year later, Saturn hit the Canadian market. 499,999 Saturns later, “Carla” entered the market in 1993. In May 1995, “Jasper”, Saturn’s Millionth car is produced. In 1996, Saturn Dealerships distributed the electric GM EV1, the first car released under the GM marque. In 1997, Saturn became the first General Motors North American vehicle to be fully built with right-hand-drive on the same assembly line as the left-hand-drive vehicles (the previous right-hand-drive GM North American vehicle were built in the countries with left-hand road rule using the CKD kit and customized dashboard and steering components) as it entered the Japanese market. In January 1999, Saturn rolled out its two millionth car. Also in 1999, Saturn began production of its all new L-Series for the 2000 model-year.
Saturn Car Logo
Results at Saturn, however, were more doubtful than positive. According to The Wall Street Journal, the project was too ambitious, as “everything at Saturn is new: the car, the plant, the workforce, the dealer network and the manufacturing process. Not even Toyota, a highly successful and experienced automaker, tackles more than two new items on any single project.” While Saturn cars proved very popular with buyers, actual sales never met the optimistic projected targets, in part because of a recession in 1990. It also proved cannibalistic as 41% of Saturn buyers already owned a GM car. Its separation from the rest of its GM parent, plus the fact that it drained $5 billion from other car projects, stirred anger and resentment within GM’s other divisions. Also, Saturn opened at considerably higher cost than the Japanese transplants (factories that Japanese automakers established in the United States).
Saturn Car Logo
According to a retrospective timeline on the auto brand’s history, “Phil Garcia, chief designer–Advanced Studio, GM Design Studio–is credited with the selection of the ‘Saturn’ name (Saturn refers to the Saturn rocket that carried Americans to the moon during the space race with the USSR. The Saturn small car project’s goal is to design an American vehicle that can beat the Japanese in the small-car race.).”
Saturn Car Logo
By the end of 2009, GM closed all of its 46 Saturn dealerships in Canada, even for Saturn dealerships also selling Saab vehicles. GM and Penske decided that they could no longer make a business case to distribute Saturn vehicles in Canada after the sale of the brand. Saturn’s customer service, parts, and warranty operations moved to other GM dealerships in Canada.
Saturn Car Logo
On September 30, 2009, Penske terminated its discussions with GM to acquire its Saturn subsidiary. The tentative agreement was for GM to continue to produce the Saturn line until 2011; after that time, an undisclosed third company would assume production responsibilities. Penske’s decision to back out of the sale came after an undisclosed company’s board rejected plans to take over production of the Saturn line. The undisclosed “company” was later reported to be the Renault–Nissan Alliance, reacting mainly to objections from the Nissan side of the Alliance. Subsequently, GM stated they would shut down the division and dealers would have to close by October 2010. Since that date, Saturn vehicles have been serviced at other GM dealerships.
In 2012, GM reintroduced the VUE compact sport utility vehicle based on the Chevrolet Captiva platform. The resulting vehicle was called the Chevrolet Captiva Sport, though it was only sold for fleet use, and to rental car fleets. The vehicle was unchanged from the old VUE, though V6 and Hybrid engine options were unavailable. The only change was that Chevrolet badges were placed everywhere where there once was a Saturn badge, and it was renamed the Captiva Sport. In a similar fashion, the plant that produced the Saturn Outlook was retooled to produce the redesigned 2013 GMC Acadia. Most noticeable in the rear wraparound glass and lift-gate, many Outlook parts were largely unchanged when recycled into the Acadia, only adding GMC design cues where necessary. No other Saturn models or parts have been reintroduced.
Saturn was launched in 1985 as a subsidiary of General Motors to stave off Japanese imports flooding the North American car market. By emulating foreign market strategies and distancing itself from GM, Saturn quickly became a success. After winning awards and becoming profitable, Saturn was overtaken by GM’s micromanaging, removing the brand from its roots and driving it into closure in 2010.
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The Saturn Corporation, also known as Saturn LLC, is a registered trademark established on January 7, 1985, as a subsidiary of General Motors. The company marketed itself as a “different kind of car company” and operated somewhat independently from its parent company for a time with its own assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee; unique models; and a separate retailer network, and was GM’s attempt to compete with Japanese automakers.
Here you’ll find the answers to all of your Saturn questions. Browse below to find what you’re looking for. If you want additional assistance, feel free to chat with, email or call a Saturn representative.
Following the withdrawal of a bid by Penske Automotive to acquire Saturn in September 2009, General Motors discontinued the Saturn brand and ended its outstanding franchises on October 31, 2010. All new production was halted on October 7, 2009.
Saturn was believed to have had a disagreement with GM and were not very accepting of the company closing. In 2004, GM and the United Auto Workers dissolved their unique labor contract for the Spring Hill manufacturing plant, allowing Saturn operations to be integrated with the rest of GM.
Meanwhile, the Outlook was the last Saturn to be produced, although it is unknown when production ended. Although all Saturn production ended in October 2009, only the Outlook resumed from hiatus by February 2010 for production.
Acura The Acura logo plays with our minds a little. Most observers think the logo is a stylized letter A, for Acura, just like Honda’s logo is a stylized H for Honda. But according to Honda (Acura’s parent company), the image is a caliper, a design instrument used for measuring thickness.
Infiniti In 1989, the firm Lippincott & Margulies created both the name and logo for Nissan’s upcoming luxury line. The company explains: “The name ‘Infiniti’ was chosen to communicate the endless potential for satisfaction among owners of a car with superb comfort, reliability, and luxury.” The logo is a stylized version of the symbol for infinity, which looks like a sideways 8.
Plymouth Plymouth, a division of Chrysler from 1928 to 2001, originally featured the Mayflower as a logo, since the Pilgrims had sailed in the Mayflower in 1620 to the colony of Plymouth. The final Mayflower logo, which premiered in the 1990s, looked more like a sailboat and was considered a bit woosy by many male car buyers.
Originally, the company only made three versions of a single car (SL, SC, and SW), and it actually referred to all three as Saturns. While not identical, the brand’s font strongly resembles the font used on the Saturn V, the biggest rocket of the series.
Cadillac The Cadillac logo is the family coat of arms of Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, who founded Detroit in 1701. Impressively, GM’s Cadillac division has used the logo uninterrupted since 1905. The birds, called merlettes, are in two groups of three, which represent the Holy Trinity. The colors have meaning, too. Blue represents valor, silver is for purity, and red is for boldness. The crowns represents the ancient counts of France.
Lincoln Do you think the Lincoln symbol resembles the Mercedes-Benz emblem? The German automaker did, and in 1955 it pressured Lincoln to use a different logo. That year, Ford revived Continental as its own brand, with the Mark II being the sole Continental model. For the Mark II, designer Robert Thomas created a four-pointed star emblem, which ticked off Mercedes. That company had actually trademarked a four-pointed star to prevent anyone from trying to mimic their iconic three-pointed star emblem. Ford attorneys fended off the legal challenge, and the logo survived—not just on the Mark II but eventually for the entire Lincoln line.