Saturn, whose entire lineup was outsold by the Honda Accord sedan last year, may feel a need to justify its existence now more than ever. As GM tries to rebuild after a staggering $10.6 billion loss last year, analysts and investors have clamored for the auto giant to ax at least one of its eight brands.
Today in New York, GM will unveil the first examples of what it is calling the new face of Saturn.
The models — along with the flashy new Sky roadster hitting dealerships now — herald the biggest expansion of Saturn’s lineup to date. Now with three models, Saturn will have double that number in showrooms by the end of the year.
But even with the added firepower, Saturn faces challenges as it tries to fend off foreign rivals in the same vehicle segments and grow beyond its reputation as a seller of affordable, plastic-sided cars with middling quality. GM tried a similar approach to overhaul and revive Oldsmobile in the 1990s, only to drop the brand.