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Unplugged: Saturn dealerships to close in four months

Consumer Reports News: October 05, 2009 03:54 PM

Within hours after the collapse of the agreement to sell Saturn last week, General Motors built its last Saturn. GM says it plans to sell the remaining 12,000 cars on dealers’ lots by the end of January 2010. (Read “ No Penske deal means end of the road for Saturn.”)

Saturn has been known for its customer-friendly dealerships, but when they sell their final cars, it will mark the end of the vaunted Saturn dealer network, following Pontiac into the history books.
General Motors has said that other GM franchises will be able to service Saturns and will honor Saturn warranties. But some Saturn owners have reported problems with other GM-brand dealerships not having parts or training to work on Saturns and not having access to Saturn’s computer system for warranty repairs.
If it’s going to sell 12,000 cars in four months, GM will likely offer sizeable incentives to buy them. But of the five Saturn models for 2009, only the Aura XR V6 performed well enough and was reliable enough to earn our Recommendation.
Our earlier concerns about what the future might hold for those buying a vehicle from a discontinued brand remain. (Read: “ Should you buy a Hummer, Saab, or Saturn?”) Even with significant incentives, buying a Saturn now carries additional risks and there are simply better alternatives from other, more stable brands, including those within the remaining GM portfolio.
Eric Evarts

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