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Several automakers have gone out of business over the years. However, one that many forget is Saturn. Saturn cars entered the market in the early 1990s, and production ended in 2010. During its successful times, people knew the automaker for producing inexpensive cars that, while solid, weren’t vehicles true vehicle enthusiasts would like.

So, why did Saturn go out of business?

Why Saturn cars are no longer in production

There were Saturn concept cars in the 1980s. However, the first production model came about for the 1991 model year and included SC and SL vehicles. There was a great deal of interest in the automaker thanks to its cheaper cars. However, sales never really matched the manufactured hype around the company.

According to The Truth About Cars, sales peaked in 1994 with 286,000 units. This was below the company’s goal of 500,000 units. Though production lasted until 2009, 1993 was Saturn’s only profitable year while on the market. The automaker sold 300,000 units that year.

The Ion is among the most well known Saturn cars
2004 Saturn Ion | Photo by General Motors via Getty Images

As for why the company finally went out of business, it was largely the result of the stock market crash in 2008. Because of this, General Motors decided to focus on its core brands, which included Buck, Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC. There were plans for Penske Automotive to buy the company, but the deal fell through. As many will recall, Pontiac also went out of business around this time.

It’s also important to point out that the low cost of Saturn cars is also to blame for its demise. This is because the price of the vehicles was never high enough to cover the cost of building them. By 2000, the company was losing about $3,000 for every vehicle customers bought. It’s also notable that these vehicles had very few shared parts with other GM cars, which also increased production costs.

Perhaps it was too much

Many people wonder if there was ever a true need for Saturn cars. As the sales figures show, the automaker never really caught on, with the exception of its initial success. However, it is clear that General Motors believed in the brand as it remained in production for so long. Perhaps Saturn would have faired better if it had been a part of another brand rather than a separate entity.

Today, there are still Saturn vehicles on the road. However, most people don’t consider it the best idea to buy a used Saturn. This is because it’s been several years since the company went out of business. On top of that, these cars aren’t the best for long-term use.

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