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In early 1980s, automobile imports enjoyed a huge success in the U.S. market. General Motors responded to that by establishing Saturn Corporation in January 1985. This automobile marquee was born out of GM's project that started in 1982, which aimed to determine the potential for manufacturing a small car of superior quality and value in the most efficient way possible and by combining the most up-to-date technology with modern management approaches.
With its own assembly plant in Tennessee, Saturn marketed itself as a different kind of car company. while operating fairly independently from its mother company for a certain period. Check out some of its models that help it live up to its marketing tag line:
Produced in three generations (from 1991-2002), the brand's first series of vehicles is actually a family of compact cars with Z-body platform. These vehicles are developed in-house, and they shared too little with other GM vehicles. Among the remarkable Saturn parts and features that were used in the S-Series are the dent-resistant polymer side panels. These panels remained as one of Saturn's selling points until the brand's demise.
This compact crossover SUV was, at one time, the marquee's best-selling model. Launched in 2002, this vehicle was the first model in GM to use the GM Theta platform. The VUE was produced in two generations and was offered in several special editions including the high-performance VUE Red Line and the environmentally oriented VUE Green Line. The Red Line versions were fitted Saturn performance parts including a powerful engine, sportier suspension, unique power steering calibration, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a whole lot more. The Green Line, on the other hand, came with GM's belt alternator starter. (BAS) Hybrid system. This feature automatically shuts the engine down when the vehicle stops and restarts it right away when the vehicle needs to move again. Since it is slotted on the Green Line, this edition of VUE sported Saturn car parts and systems that are green and environment-friendly.
Launched for the 2005 model year, the Relay took pride in being Saturn's first and only minivan. It was available in three trims.the 2RWD, 3FWD, and 3AWD.and was able to accommodate seven passengers. Among the Saturn auto parts and features that come standard with the Relays are folding/removable second-row captain chairs, 50/50 third-row bench seat, OnStar assistance, and a DVD rear entertainment system. The Relay was the first Saturn that didn't use the polymer side paneling.
The only roadster from Saturn, the Sky, shared its Kappa automobile platform with the Opel GT and Pontiac Solstice. Its aggressive styling, which was based on the design of the Vauxhall VX Lightning Concept, garnered praise as it was considered as a departure from the traditional Saturn design. Fitted with top-quality Saturn parts, the Sky was also available in Red Line and Green Line models and in several limited edition models for 2008 and 2009 model years.
This is said to be an important model not only for Saturn but for GM as well as it was part of the marquee's product rejuvenation to make the brand profitable and at par with European imports. Though the Aura received positive reviews, enjoyed good market run, and won the 2007 North American Car of the Year Award, it was discontinued in 2009, along with the termination of Saturn.
Despite the brand's demise, Saturn replacement parts will still be widely available for owners who will need them for replacement and upgrades.