USA: Roadster's Detroit debut signals start of Saturn product blitz
After spending billions to revamp Chevrolet and Cadillac, General Motors has turned $3 billion of attention to Saturn.
Saturn's newest addition, a sporty roadster called the Sky, will make its debut at next week's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
The car is scheduled for production in 2006 at GM's Wilmington, Delaware, assembly plant and is expected to be priced under $25,000, the report said.
AP noted that Saturn also plans to add a new mid-size car and a larger sport utility vehicle by the end of 2006, doubling the size of its range. Saturn also is set to show a concept vehicle called the Aura at next week's show that company officials say provides a sneak preview of its upcoming mid-size sedan.
"This is an aggressive move and growth strategy we're putting behind the brand," Saturn general manager Jill Lajdziak told the Associated Press. "What people want from us is a growing portfolio and a dynamic design."
AP said Saturn's current lineup consists of three models: the Vue SUV, the Ion compact sedan and coupe and the Relay minivan - GM last year stopped production of Saturn's L-300 mid-size car.
To appeal to performance-focused drivers, Saturn created the more powerful, sportier Red Line series for the Vue and Ion models. The Ion Red Line boasts 205 horsepower, the Vue Red Line 250 horsepower, the report added.
AP said the brand, once billed as "a different kind of company" making "a different kind of car," could use a boost as its US sales for 2004 were down 22% from a year ago, though Lajdziak reportedly said the company projected a decline after it decided to end production of the L-Series and stop selling vehicles to commercial fleets and rental companies - in 2003, overall volume was down 3.2%.