Hummer Bummer: Brand's Demise Enrages, Delights


General Motors announced in September, 2009 that it was ending production on the brand after a tentative deal to sell Saturn to Penske Automotive Group fell through. Introduced to the market in 1990 by General Motors, the brand was designed to compete with foreign imports. Along the way, Saturn distinguished itself by establishing a ferociously loyal following as you can see by two of the messages below. But not all drivers have had a good experience with the brand, as the last message illustrates.

"My wife and I are very sad to see this happen. Between the two of us we have happily owned eight Saturns since their inception in 1991. Is was very refreshing to go to a retailer that didn't pressure one into buying a car.The service departments were the absolute best we have ever experienced.

"I currently drive a 2004 Ion and my wife has a 2007 Vue. All of our Saturns gave us reliable service with no problems what so ever. We really liked the polymer body panels. I still see many of the 90's S-series still on the on the road shiny as the day they rolled out of the dealership. I now face an unfamiliar problem ... what do we purchase next?"
-Peter Buri, Wonder Lake, Ill.

"When I got divorced, I had to go out and buy my own car. I had heard such good things about Saturns. They are basically made in our backyard as the Saturn plant is in Spring Hill,TN-about 40 or so miles from Nashville. I chose a 1999 Saturn XL-2-Limited Homecoming Edition.

"Seven and a 1/2 years later, that car now has 171,000 miles on it. I call it "Trusty" as it has only failed me a few times and those were minor repairs. I am especially sentimental about this car because it was there when I started a whole new life and has carried me through countless life challenges, life changes, happy and sad times.

" 'Trusty' has carried sweaty, dirty kids home from baseball and been there as they grew into teenagers and taken us to see family. She has provided quiet time when I needed to think or have a good cry. My son who was 7 when I got divorced is 15 now and gets to drive her every now and then ... I have told people I will have to trade 'Trusty' in for a newer car soon. They keep asking when I am going to do it. In truth, it is going to be really hard to part with my Saturn. She has become a friend. A dependable, trustworthy friend."
-Amy Taylor, Nashville, Tenn.

"My wife and I had one in college and it was the worst car we have ever owned. Like driving a large piece of crappy plastic.Took it to the dealer for a transmission problem and they told us the engine needed to be replaced (out of warranty). Told me it might make it 500 more miles. They didn't know I was an engineer and with further questioning I found that they failed to run any tests to confirm the engine was bad. We drove it 16,000 more miles on that "bad" engine before we traded it in. They never checked the transmission problem. Hey Saturn, have a good funeral! I wonder if the coffin will be made out of the same plastic as their cars."
-Steve, Tallahassee, Fla.

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