The decision to wind up the production of the General Motors brand, Saturn, has brought in a period of anxiety to the minds of the people in the small town of Spring Hill, Tennessee. The withdrawal of the retailer, Penske Automotive Group, from buying the brand Saturn renders many jobless. Jill Lajdziak is one of those people who witnessed the whole lifetime of Saturn, from its pre-launch era to its death. Lasjdziak, who joined Saturn before the launch of the first car in 1990, continued with her contribution until its demise last month.
Lajdziak will take a vacation until her retirement from the General Motors Company at the end of this year, said the spokesman John McDonald. The job of bringing a great era to a close is left to the GM’s general manager of the retail sales support, Steve Hill.
The last few weeks saw a group of hopeful people keeping a close watch over the deal between the Penske Automotive Group and the GM. The withdrawal of Penske came as a shock to many as it was followed by GM’s announcement to stop the production of Saturn. The show comes to an end when the “dealers are able to sell their inventory and wind their dealerships down,” McDonald said.
Lasjdziak, who is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor of arts in business marketing and management, began her career with GM in the year 1980 as the district sales manager with Chevrolet. She became the manager of the retailer division of Saturn in 1986.
Her passion for cars grew from growing up with her father who was a Chevrolet and Oldsmobile dealer in a small Wisconsin town. She started her small “career” by assisting her father in washing new cars at the age of three. When she was interviewed by Procter & Gamble at the early years of her career, who asked where she sees herself after a period of five years, she commented, “I want to be working for GM.” The interviewers reply to check out this option brought a major break in her career.
Twenty three years of Lasjdziak’s career was spent in the different managerial level jobs with Saturn. In 1999, her contribution got rewarded when she was made the general manager of this brand.
Today, the demise of Saturn brings a glorious end to the career of people like Lasjdziak.