Founded January 7, 1985, the
Saturn Corporation manufactured cars as a subsidiary of General Motors in response to the success of Japanese automobile imports in the United States. The company marketed itself as a "different kind of car company," and operated somewhat independently from its parent company for a time, with its own assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, unique models, and a separate retailer network.
The plant closed in July of 2009
In June, 1982, Alex C. Mair started discussing a new, small car project using the codename, 'Saturn'". In November 1983, Roger B. Smith General Motors Chairman and GM's President F. James McDonald publicized the Saturn idea. After twelve months, the first Saturn vehicle was uncovered. The Saturn Corporation was officially established. on January 7, 1985. The Saturn was initially created as a private, organization owned by the employees, by previous GM administration. They remained private until General Motors bought them out, and rewrote company history.
In the mid-1980s, GM revealed the Saturn Concept Car. The auto, which resembled the first Saturn SL, was not initially intended to start a new a brand, although, GM planned to announce the Saturn auto under one of its existing brands, which, at that time, were Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet line, GMC, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac. During the late 1980s, GM changed their mind and established Saturn as its own brand, with its first autos being the Saturn SC and Saturn SL. Manufacturing of both Saturn vehicles began in 1990 as 1991 model year vehicles. In 1992, The Saturn SW was later included. GM had plans for a sedan, a roadster, a wagon, and even a sport utility vehicle; in any case, Saturn's Vue, their first sport utility vehicle, was not announced until the 2002 model year.
Video - The Complete History Of Saturn (1991-2009)
The Saturn S series was a family of compact cars from the Saturn automobile company of General Motors. This was the first series of Saturn vehicles. The automobile platform, the Z-body, was developed entirely in-house at Saturn, and it shared very little with the rest of the General Motors model line. It implemented a spaceframe design, which had been used on some Pontiacs during the 1980s. This meant that the side panels did not carry load and could be made of plastic instead of metal. These polymer panels were dent-resistant, something that remained a selling point for Saturn until just a few years before the Saturn brand was discontinued. The S series was sold from the fall of 1990 for the 1991 model year through the end of the 2002 model year. Significant design updates were made in 1995, 1996, and 2000 for all cars, and the SC coupes were redesigned significantly in 1997. Nearly every year of the S series's existence brought at least some minor changes to the architecture of the car.
Saturn S Series (1990-2002)
The first generation S was constructed for model years 1991 through 1995, with
the first Saturn to leave the assembly line in the Spring Hill, Tennessee
factory was on July 30, 1990, the same day that then-CEO of GM, Roger Bonham
Smith, retired. It was maroon with a tan interior.
Saturn ION (2003-2007)
The Saturn ION was a compact car sold by Saturn between the 2003 and 2007 model years. It used the GM Delta platform. The ION replaced the Saturn S-Series in 2002, and was replaced by the new Saturn Astra in 2008. As of 2006, the ION was the longest compact car sold in North America. Production and sales of the ION had both ended in March 2007.
Saturn Astra (2008-2009)
The Saturn Astra is a compact car/small family car (C-segment in Europe) engineered and manufactured by the German automaker Opel since 1991.
It is branded as the Vauxhall Astra in the United Kingdom and the Buick Excelle XT in China. The Holden Astra was discontinued in Australia and New Zealand in 2009, because exchange rates made the car uncompetitive, and was replaced by the Holden Cruze.
Saturn Mid Size
Saturn L Series (2000-2005)
The Saturn L series automobiles, sedans and station wagons, were made by Saturn Corporation in Wilmington, Delaware.
Poor sales of the L-series cars caused GM to cancel the line for 2005. The first L-series car was built in January 1999, and the last one rolled off the Wilmington line on June 17, 2004, after a short run of 2005 models. About 406,300 L-series cars were built in this period. The plant was then retooled to build the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky roadsters.
Saturn Aura (2007-2010)
The Saturn Aura is a midsize family sedan that was produced by Saturn. It debuted as a concept car at the North American International Auto Show in January 2005. The production model of the Aura was shown at the 2006 New York Auto Show in April, with production commencing in North America in the summer of 2006 for the 2007 model year. The Aura replaced the Saturn L-Series, which was discontinued after the 2005 model year Although Saturn had never intended to use the Aura name for the production vehicle, the name ended up sticking as a result of the popularity of the concept.
Saturn Sports Cars
Saturn Sky (2007-2010)
The Saturn Sky is a roadster that was produced by Saturn, and was initially released in the first quarter of 2006 as a 2007 model. It uses the Kappa automobile platform shared with the Pontiac Solstice. The Sky concept was shown at the 2005 North American International Auto Show, with the production version following at the 2006 show. It was built at GM's Wilmington Assembly plant in Wilmington, Delaware, alongside the Solstice. The Sky featured 18-inch (457 mm) wheels and a 2.4 L Ecotec LE5 I4 engine that produced 177 hp, a new straight-4 2.0 L turbocharged direct injected engine that made 260 hp as well as an optional dealer-installed turbo upgrade kit that made 290 hp. Both five-speed manual and automatic transmissions were available.
Saturn VUE (2002-2010)
The Saturn VUE is a compact SUV that was sold and built by Saturn, and it was Saturn's best-selling model. It was the first vehicle to use the GM Theta platform when it was introduced in 2001 for the 2002 model year. The VUE was later facelifted for the 2006 model year. A second generation model was launched in 2007 for the 2008 model year as a rebadged Opel Antara. The VUE production in North America ended as GM wound down the Saturn brand during its 2009 reorganization.
Saturn Outlook (2007-2010)
The Saturn Outlook is a mid-size crossover SUV that debuted at the New York International Auto Show, and was based on the GM Lambda platform, which it shared with the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia. The Outlook went on sale on May 24, 2006 as a 2007 model. The Outlook featured the lowest sticker price among GM's Lambda crossover SUVs, slotting below the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave. The Chevrolet Traverse would ultimately take the place of the Outlook as the family-oriented model following the introduction of the Traverse for the 2009 model year, and the demise of the Outlook, along with the rest of the Saturn brand in 2010, with the 2010 model year being the final model year for the Outlook.
Saturn Relay (2006-2007)
The Saturn Relay is a minivan that was made by General Motors. It was introduced for the 2005 model year, and was built alongside its sisters, the Buick Terraza, the Chevrolet Uplander, and the Pontiac Montana SV6 in Doraville, Georgia. The Relay was the first Saturn vehicle without polymer side paneling, the first Saturn that is a rebadged Chevrolet or Pontiac, and it was the first (and only) minivan produced by Saturn.
GM Electric (1997-1999)
The General Motors EV1 was an electric car produced and leased by General Motors from 1996 to 1999. It was the first mass-produced and purpose-designed electric vehicle of the modern era from a major automaker, the first GM car designed to be an electric vehicle from the outset along with being the first and only passenger car to be marketed under the corporate General Motors (GM) name instead of being branded under one of its divisions.
The cars were not available for purchase, and could be serviced only at designated Saturn dealerships. Within a year of the EV1's release, leasing programs were also launched in San Francisco and Sacramento, California, along with a limited program in the state of Georgia.
Keep Your Car Looking New
Reviewed by Gene Wright on