The year was 1990 when Bob Maguire, started selling Saturn vehicles in Bordentown, NJ, they were the first on the board to open the dealership when Saturn contacted them in 1989 and adds now it is time too think of new business with GM announcement of Saturn closing down.
Bob Maguire says his two Saturn dealerships at Bordentown and Toms River will continue to be open and sell. Maguire, the co-owner of Maguire Auto Group quips, I will try to cultivate new business and confident that something will come up soon.”
With the announcement by General Motors of wind down of Saturn vehicles after the acquisition deal with Penske Automotive failed, it left 350 Saturn dealers across the country have been left in the lurch and trying to find exit strategies including Bob and Marcy Maguire for themselves and also for the workers. The on going events and trends means almost definite death of Saturn brand that was set up by Saturn to fight against the Japanese imports in the 1990’s and currently it is estimated around 13,000 jobs are at stake.
The exact business plan is still vague, and the steps being taken after the shutdown of Saturn operations in October 2010 is still being formulated, but for one thing, the business will be as usual. We are looking for new business and selling new Saturn vehicles to anyone who is interested to purchase the last ones in the breed. He does not close out the option of shutting down the two dealerships at Bordentown and Toms River a year from now and is keeping all options open. Currently the two dealerships employ 25 people each. Maguire further adds that it is not is ambition to close down the dealerships, but would be forced if no viable options come up and says they still provide gainful employment to all their workers.
Saturn launched in 1990 with its own exclusive tag line, “A different kind of Car Company” gained popularity in America by their low-key showrooms and no-haggle pricing. General Motor had launched Saturn with the hope that with the dent free plastic panels, it would attract the young generation with the hipper cars. It built the Saturn plant at Springhill, TN devoted to Saturn vehicles.
Although it attracted and drew huge crowds, the brand could never make enough money, although it was never disclosed how much the company made profit on the Saturn brand.
The Saturn customers brand base we have, have their culture of their own and there were never a customer that was unhappy with their Saturn vehicle they purchased from us and sadly it’s true.
The closedown events have come as a shock to everyone. GM had even agreed to keep 3 models running beyond 2011 and after which Penske have had to come up with their own products made by any other manufacturer.
There is very little hope that talks could be reopened without another supplier in place before the deal was signed according to Anthony Pordon, a Penske spokesperson. It would take several years to design new vehicles, especially foreign vehicles which meet US standards and Penske would beat risk selling no products once the contract with GM expires.
The production of new Saturn vehicles will be stopped as soon as possible. But no layouts are expected according to Sherrie Childers, GM spokeswoman. The Saturn owners can still go to their dealers for servicing and will be able to go to certified GM dealers once the Saturn dealerships close down.
Maguire said it was even true for his NJ dealerships. They would continue to be in business and would take care of Saturn customers who are in need of servicing. The close down announcement has come as surprise to everyone. In this damn economy it is difficult to forecast anything but we are doing the best as we can, according to Bob Maguire.