The decision to shutter Saturn may help GM’s fiscal future, but it won’t improve the company’s green credentials. According to Automotive News, the “different kind of car company” accounts for nearly a quarter of all GM hybrid sales.
Saturn presently offers both its Aura sedan and Vue compact SUV in mild hybrid (or “Green Line”) form. Although other GM divisions offer similar models, Saturn’s eco-driven models dominate sales. Of the 11,454 GM hybrids sold last year, approximately 3500 were Saturns. Automotive News says the majority of the remainder consisted of GM’s full-size hybrid SUVs and pickups. Saturn’s death also means the Saturn Vue 2-Mode won’t make it into production. Although early pre-production units are currently being tested, the SUV, which uses a smaller version of GM’s advanced hybrid transmission, won’t be sold to customers. Instead, GM may shift the technology into its other vehicles, likely those sharing a platform with the Vue. We’d expect to see it emerge in the new Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Equinox, or GMC Terrain, but not before 2011. Source: Automotive News