The General Motors’ decision to wind up the production of the brand, Saturn, dealt a major blow to many of the dealers countrywide. According to the GM’s reports, the U.S. sales for Saturn from January to October this year marked a collapse of 62 percent from the same period of 2008, which is down to 63,839 vehicles. The sales in October fell to 57.8 percent or 3,623 vehicles.
Today the company has around 9,400 Saturn cars as inventory as reported by the GM’s vice president of U.S. sales, Susan Docherty during a sales conference call. She said that the company does not expect any obstacle in the sales of the outstanding units.
Docherty had said: “Starting next week, we’ll have a print campaign which features that product. In the next 90 days, we’ll have cleaned up that inventory. I’m not worried about it at all.”
However, the dealers are more worried on selling the remaining units after the Saturn sales came to a screeching halt last month when Penske Automotive Group withdrew from the deal to take over Saturn.
A Saturn dealer at the Motor City Auto Center in Bakersfield, Calif., who had sold 21 new Saturns in September, however, managed to sell only seven units the last month. The General Manager John Pitre who has 51 Saturns in stock thinks this fall will take a minimum of five months for him to sell off the remaining units.
“We’re in a holding pattern,” Pitre said. “It’ll probably take six months to locate and secure another franchise for that facility, so we want to keep it up and running for that amount of time.”
The GM, in the meantime, has initiated a new incentive program until the end of the month wherein the consumers can get either $4,000 off of any 2008 or 2009 Saturn or 0 percent financing for 72 months to augment the sales of the inventory. They also have introduced a loyalty mailing to current Saturn owners that offer an additional $1,000 in cash, not considering whether they trade in their Saturn vehicle