Missing Saturn Already: Consumers Nostalgic Over Auto Brand

Saturn has been a part of Jeanne Geb's life for 17 years. Fed up with mechanical problems and poor quality service she experienced with better-known cars, Geb said she "took a chance" on Saturn in 1992.

She never looked back, eventually buying a second Saturn in 1997 and then trading both cars in for a third Saturn in 2006.

Today, Geb, 62, of Franklin, Tenn., is joining the many Saturn fans in mourning the end of the beloved brand.

"I'm very upset," she said. "Not only did I have good quality with the cars but every time you go into a dealership, they're nice to you, they take care of you right away."

VIDEO: GMA announces construction of Saturn plant in 1985.
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General Motors announced yesterday that it was ending production on the brand after a tentative deal to sell Saturn to Penske Automotive Group fell through. GM has been shedding brands as part of larger effort to restructure and revive the bailed-out automaker. Earlier this year, it announced that the Pontiac brand, among others, would also be phased out.

As with Pontiac, the end of Saturn has prompted an outrcy from drivers like Geb. 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.

VIDEO: GM gets rid of Saturn
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"I honestly don't know what other car company I would choose," two-time Saturn owner Judith Lyons, of Saginaw, Mich., wrote in a message to ABCNews.com.

Saturn customers are among the latest to watch their favorite stores and brands bite the dust.

As the recession continues to challenge American businesses, many aren't surviving. More than 43,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy in last year, up 54 percent from 2007, according to the Federal Judiciary. As many Americans continue to struggle with job losses, foreclosure and declining savings, the demise of familiar brands can add more stress to their lives, said Lars Perner, an assistant professor for clinical marketing at the University of Southern California.

"You have the recession going on, and this is just one more thing that makes it harder to bear," Perner told ABCNews.com earlier this year.

Perner said that consumers' attachments to businesses can range from the practical -- they appreciated low prices or convenient locations -- to the nostalgic.

For instance, he said, "I imagine it could be a little disillusioning if the place where you bought your wedding ring went out of business."

ABCNews.com readers across the country shared a range of reflections on the closure of some of their favorite companies. Certain stores and brands drew stronger reactions than others. To see what readers had to say, see the next page.

Smith & Hawken

Plant buffs across the country mourned the demise of major garden retailer Smith & Hawken in July, 2009, when the 30-year-old chain's parent company, Scotts Miracle-Gro, announced it would shutter all 56 Smith & Hawken stores in 22 states. The company decided to close the stores after finding that "the combination of a weak economy and the lack of scale proved too great to overcome," CEO Jim Hagedorn said in a written statement.

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