Why were Saturn cars discontinued?

Q. Why did they stop making Saturn cars?

Adam answers:

In 2008, in the midst of a financial crisis that threatened the future of General Motors, GM decided to streamline its offerings, and discontinued production of the Saturn brand as well as Pontiac, Hummer, and Saab vehicles. (It focused instead on just Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GMC makes.)

Why Saturn was chosen as one of the brands to discontinue is not entirely clear, but several possible reasons exist:

  • GM needed to show the United States government that it had a solid plan going forward if it wanted the government bailout that it desperately needed at the time. Saturn was not a big enough seller to justify keeping it.
  • The Saturn brand was popular enough that GM thought it could get something for it, so it decided to sell it, but its proposed sale with Penske Automotive Group fell through, causing GM to cease production immediately.
  • It didn’t make sense for GM to continue making Saturn cars that competed with their flagship brands such as Chevy, especially as Chevy began manufacturing cars that were similar to those of Saturn.

Saturn discontinued production in late 2009.