Defunct carmaker Saturn's 2003 ad explains how absurd cars are

Originally published at: Defunct carmaker Saturn's 2003 ad explains how absurd cars are | Boing Boing


My dad worked at Saturn in Spring Hill, TN and it was my first new car I bought in college. I drove that car for EVER! Looked great till the end! The plastic body panels bounced back after being hit by carts in parking lots. Miss that car!


I always thought Saturns had six wheels and nuclear power.


… it was a brand name being used by GM

General Motors still exists :confused:


… I think they used the same materials for the Pontiac Fiero :thinking:


At the start Saturn was more than a brand name- it had much more of an independent existence as a company than Chevrolet or Pontiac. It was set up as an attempt to compete with the Japanese, with its own plant in Tennessee making cars that shared relatively few parts with other GM products. I think there was some unusual relationship with the UAW local as well.

By the end, though, they were essentially selling rebadged Opels.


But, why is everyone walking//jogging around when they could be using bicycles or horses? Just because “no cars” doesn’t mean that includes other modes of transportation. :man_shrugging:

I Dont Understand Tim And Eric GIF by Adult Swim


My parents own two. A '98 and an '01. THEY ARE STILL ALIVE! Still daily drivers. Lost a few HP and burn a bit of oil but still alive. They were good little cars.


Pretty much the best cars you could buy from GM between, say the mid-1960ies and the mid-2010s.


The automobile—all of them, not just those ones—is a mistake



Very well put, there is some truly accidental “truth in advertising” here, isn’t there?

At about 35 seconds we see what is now thankfully becoming increasingly popular, albeit very slowly: a “walking bus”


Nah. Too many of the cars have more than one person in them.


This was how I got to school in the early seventies – when I lived in a small city and my school was within walking distance (and I was very young). Even then, there was a major state road that we had to cross, which meant taking a detour a couple of blocks to the nearest street light, and back on the other side.

Then we moved to an outer suburb. The school was two miles away, along a road with no sidewalks, blind curves, and a 45-mph speed limit. That meant the motor bus.

Then I went to a high school that was 15 miles away (private high school – the schools in my town were tax-starved – as a scholarship student). And that meant carpooling.

Nowadays, I live hundreds of miles away, up the road from a high school – and the traffic is bumper to bumper with parents dropping off and picking up their kids every day because they don’t want them on the bus.

I’d love to live in a walkable part of town – but we don’t make the $300K/annum you need to make to afford anything larger than a closet.


One of the big things that Saturn did differently initially was pricing. They determined a sticker price that was reasonable, and then that was the price. There was no haggling. I wish that had caught on and all car sales were like this, but apparently most people actually like haggling. I do not.

I did recently inherit a 2008 Saturn Vue. I also drive a 1995 Volvo 850. I used to be kinda into cars, keeping up with new models and dreaming of owning a Corvette or a Ferrari or whatever. I now view them as a necessary evil and plan to only buy used when I need a new car. I got the Saturn for $100 and it runs fine. I did have to heavily deodorize the interior (previous owner smoked), but that was easier than I had feared.


Pictured: Saturn’s new self-driving models.


Not really, but car salespeople seem to prefer it. The best car purchase experience I ever had was buying my 2004 Scion Xb. Reasonably priced, well-equipped and no haggling.


If you’re buying a new car, specifically contact their internet sales. I got mine with a phone call, no haggling and a notably lower price than any dealer offered in person - often, internet sales is more concerned with driving up the dealership’s quantity of sales rather than the price per sale.


Blockquote @beschizza
feel ill-equipped to know what’s real anymore.

No. You? Maybe you can paste a couple of wrong people into the video to reorient yourself.

Was this an Opel ad in Europe?

I’ve told this before, but I’ve vowed to never let it go. Off-topic, mostly, but I hope Saturn stays defunct…

I wanted to believe in the Saturn “story” when I bought a coupe in 1997. But my car was a lemon, and my Saturn dealer pulled every dirty trick in the book to avoid taking it back.

Its first year saw 13 different issues. Each was a fight for repairs, and the last/worst (most dangerous) one I escalated to regional mgmt, then to Spring Hill, where I was given the same weasel words of avoidance while I literally cried.

The car was unsafe, so I sent letters to .gov safety agencies, and my local reps. The only response was from Bernie Sanders’ office, asking the dealer for a reasonable compromise to check the issue, which they actually complied with, and it was finally fixed.

Immediately I put it up for sale, where it sat a while before selling at a deep loss (trade-in offers were even worse). Meanwhile, I bought a trouble-free '92 Honda CRX, and cursed Saturn’s existence. Danced when they closed.

It’s easy to sell a car. It’s harder to stand behind its problems, and they failed roundly. I remain a HUGE fan of Bernie, though. :hugs: