News that Penske has backed out of the deal to purchase Saturn will ripple through the industry in a myriad of ways. Detroit’s economy will be effected, thousands will lose their jobs, dealers and their employees are left scrambling. These are the serious consequences of the deal blowing up.
Less serious, but no less real, is the fact that another automotive brand will disappear. There was time when Saturn stood for something: “A different kind of car company.” The promise of no haggle pricing and a dealer experience that was customer focussed and positive. These attributes were foundation stones of a remarkable branding campaign:
These ideas and brilliant marketing created the essential ingredient of an automotive brand…brand advocates…..lots of them: