I. Introduction 3
II. Wake-up call 3
III. Advanced Product Design Team 4
IV. Common Threads of Success 5
V. Business and Marketing Strategy 8
VI. Challenges for Saturn 10
VII. Future for Saturn 12
VIII. Conclusion 13
IX. Bibliography 14 Introduction/Overview:
America did not alone invent automobile, but America had been the leader in the automobile technology and manufacturing for several decades. During that time, American automobiles shared their technology and know-how with Japanese and German manufacturers. And, American companies did not pay a great attention to what Japanese and German manufacturers have learned from their American counterparts. During 1940s, American has produced 80% of the world 's automobiles, by 1960s, this has dropped to 50% and currently, American manufacturers only produce about 25% of the cars manufactured in the world. Since 1980s, there has been increased competition from Japanese and German manufacturers. Along with other American companies, General Motors has recognized this problem and took the challenge and owed to compete with Japanese small car manufacturers. General Motors spun off a separate car manufacturing unit, fully independent entity and named Saturn. This case review focuses on the Saturn Cars, its marketing strategy, pros & cons, competition, and future for the Saturn will be discussed in this case review.
Wake Up Call:
As the competition for car manufacturers was growing, the steady decline as a leader in the small & mid size cars woke up General Motors to do something to stay ahead in the market place. In early 1980s, Alex C. Mair, and two other senior engineers discussed a new and small innovative car project. It was from that idea the Saturn automobile was born.
GM established Saturn as a separate and independent subsidiary in 1985 with a total investment of about $5 billion. Former chairman of GM, Robert Smith thought Saturn as a
Bibliography: Products – referred the pictures and data at the following link: http://www.saturn.com/saturn/SaturnIndex.jsp Saturn strategy referred the information at the following link: http://www.roundtheclocksystems.com/library3_cs_01saturn.html Saturn customer statement and fans referred the data at the following link: http://www.saturnfans.com/Cars/Future/ Saturn Future – referred at the following link: http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/overview.aspx?year=2007&make=Saturn&model=Sky Saturn – referred Case 2 in text book, Marketing Strategy by Ferrell and Hartline, p 330-337