Thursday, December 11, 2008

When the Planets Align

How good is G.M. at creating something new and competing with foreign competitors? Well, not very. Case in point: Saturn.

Micheline Maynard of The New York Times reports that the experiment looked promising at first...
"But Saturn quickly started losing its shine. G.M. executives cut spending, and shoppers flocked to S.U.V.’s. Eventually, many workers resisted the new management style. Now the brand that was once a symbol of G.M.’s future will have a bit part, at most.

"G.M. said Tuesday that it was 'exploring alternatives' for Saturn, which come down to selling it or relegating it to a smaller role in G.M.’s lineup.

"G.M. once hoped it would sell 500,000 Saturns a year. But sales peaked at 286,000 in 1994, according to Unless Saturn sales rise sharply in December, this year the division will sell fewer than 200,000 vehicles, for the first time since 1992."

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