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.
The congress on Friday on a unanimous vote passed the popular “Cash for clunkers” program by infusing two million dollars to keep alive the popular program which has been running out of funds. In a quick response within hours, Obama administration approved it when they came to know from Transportation secretary, Ray Lahood.
According to President Obama, “ I was encouraged by the house action to keep alive the program which was very successful beyond our expectations”. The senate is also ensuring the program wouldn’t be affected by shortage of funds.
The program called the Car Allowance Rebate System, aka CARS was designed to boost the auto industry and increase the car sales. Car drivers can get federal subsidies in terms of electronic vouchers up to $4,500 to trade in old cars for new cars which give better mileage.
The funds for the program would be met by economic stimulus bill which was sanctioned earlier. Some dealers complain continuous rejections and have to be satisfied with chaotic clunker program. The program which was launched officially last week with one million dollar budget has been heavily publicized by government and automakers
There had been a $1 billion budget for rebates for new car sales in the program that was officially launched last week and has been heavily publicized by government and automakers, and the program was short of funds in the first week itself.
It is still very vague how many cars have been sold under this program and congress has asked the transportation department on the program progress to determine the future plan. The government assured the consumers that the program would run and be alive and encouraged buyers to buy new cars this weekend
Amid confusions over the suspension of cash-for-guzzlers popular government program by auto dealers last night because it was approaching the one billion dollar limit, a white house spokesman confirmed that the program has not been suspended and continues to operate, however continuous assessment is being carried out to assess the budget and the program. ‘Transportation Department told us to cancel the program after just six days’ revealed Bailey Wood, the spokesman National Automobile Dealers Association.
‘Administration department is in regular touch with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and sponsors of the cash-for-guzzlers legislation in to find a solutions. We are concentrating on getting results by this program a successful one’, said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill. However, this statement was declined by Rae Tyson, the spokesperson of Transportation Department. Wood was not available for comment. Wood said ‘NADA is planning to send an advisory to members on how to react to the expected defect’. Members of the Michigan congressional delegation also are set to discuss how to increase funding for the program.
Wood came up with a revelation “The proof for a backlog of around 200,000 pending claims, which may exhaust the program’s budget of $1 billion, was found by the survey conducted by NADA”. It must be noted here that NADA conducted a survey of 2,000 dealers.
.The program started processing the claims of the dealers for repayment of a sum of $3,500 to $4,500 consumer credits on 24th July. The program was supposed to continue through 1st November.
With Roger Penske’s pending purchase of Saturn from GM, it could be the beginning of the biggest change in how vehicles are sold. When the purchase is made final Penske will be able to shop around globally for the lowest cost auto maker to build his vehicles quickly. Fast turnarounds and lower costs could keep it profitable in brutal times. “What if we’re first? What if we win this race?” Marcy Maguire of Saturn of Bordentown and Saturn of Toms River said in response to low-cost, fuel-efficient vehicles. Marcy Maguire, a director of the National Automobile Dealers Association, foresees “fresh, distinctive” Saturns “from whatever area of the world” that can build to suit. “We live in a global community and buyers don’t seem to care who makes a car if it suits their needs. It truly is revolutionary.”
With Roger Penske’s pending purchase of Saturn from GM, it could be the beginning of the biggest change in how vehicles are sold. When the purchase is made final Penske will be able to shop around globally for the lowest cost auto maker to build his vehicles quickly. Fast turnarounds and lower costs could keep it profitable in brutal times. “What if we’re first? What if we win this race?” Marcy Maguire of Saturn of Bordentown and Saturn of Toms River said in response to low-cost, fuel-efficient vehicles. Marcy Maguire, a director of the National Automobile Dealers Association, foresees "fresh, distinctive" Saturns "from whatever area of the world" that can build to suit. "We live in a global community and buyers don’t seem to care who makes a car if it suits their needs. It truly is revolutionary.”
The 2011 Chevrolet Volt has recently given a few impressions to those journalists who have been aloud twenty minutes inside one. The first impression is the silence. It is one thing to coast along doing 15-20 mpg, but to accelerate from 0-60 mph with no noise other than that of the wind and tires is incredible, and Tony Posawatz said that the sounds will be even less noticeable on the final product. Secondly, the best way to decrease speed in the Volt is by lifting off the gas pedal. When the car is shifted into low mode, the motor then charges the batteries while also slowing the car. Thirdly, acceleration is impressive, GM is aiming for the feel of a 250-hp V6 sedan, and expects to have a sub-nine second 0-60 time. The Chevrolet Volt could very well be the next big hit that GM needs.