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Saturn, the compact car, was a General Motors Innovation

saturn cars

Table Of Contents:

About General Motors

Founded in 1908, General Motors is one of the largest global automobile companies. In 1985, General Motors established Saturn LLC as a subsidiary.

The idea behind GM’s Saturn Cars

In 1982, Alex C. Mair, VP of Advanced Engineering Staff at GM, came up with a new and compact car concept.

General Motors Chairman and President supported his new concept. The subsidiary company, Saturn, was established as a small car company. Saturn focused on the small car market competition in Japan.

“We are convinced the high quality of Saturn cars, combined with friendly customer treatment and service at our Saturn retailer, will make a difference even for very discerning Japanese consumers.”Keith Wicks, General Director of Saturn Japan.


In 1997, the Saturn model was the first GM car to be introduced with a right-hand drive. In 1999, around 2 million Saturn cars were sold after they entered the Japanese market.

Saturn received numerous awards and was recognized for its features before getting discontinued in October 2009, owing to poor sales. While it was not a happy end, someone wise said, “it’s not the destination that matters, but the journey”. And Saturn cars had one heck of a journey.

And when we are talking about journeys, it makes us think of Alicia Ledlie’s journey of helping get started the in-health clinics in Walmart. Or Anjali Sud’s journey of bringing business model innovation to Vimeo which resulted in great returns for the company. Or Kathy Hollenhorst’s establishing customer loyalty program, at what is now the second largest coffee chain in the US.

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