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Manufacturers / U.S.A. / Saturn


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Saturn vehicles


1990


SL
Saturn SL   (1991)

When it was launched, Saturn was a significant departure for GM. The company's products used a dedicated platform (the Z-body), a dedicated engine (the 1.9 L Saturn I4 engine), and were made at a dedicated plant (in Spring Hill). In fact, the company's three car models (SL, SC, and SW) were all just a single car in three different body styles, and the company referred to all three as Saturns. All of the original Saturns featured dent-resistant plastic body panels which were also touted as allowing the company to change the look of the vehicles at will. However, in practice, the company kept the vehicles mostly unchanged for years.

The first real change came with the 2000 Saturn L-Series mid-size car. It shared the GM2900 platform with the Opel Vectra, along with its engine, and was built at a GM factory in Wilmington, Delaware.

Today, the company shares GM's Delta and Theta automobile platforms, along with the company's Ecotec engine, and vehicles are built at many GM plants along with the Spring Hill factory. The Saturn VUE even uses a Honda engine, and the plastic body panels will be discontinued on most future vehicles.

SW
Saturn SW  concept (1991)

In recent years, Saturn has been criticized for not keeping pace with the rest of the automotive industry, most recently for the low quality of the new ION series. Sales have been declining, and the ION production lines were halted for two weeks in 2003 to allow dealer inventory to reduce. The L-series line was canceled after production of the 2005 models.



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