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Retail sales at Saturn were up a solid 12% in 2007, thanks to new models like the full-size Outlook. But critics have charged that its sales should have been even higher. The Outlook's sales results for last year are often referenced to make their point.

You'll hear them say that Saturn only sold 34,768 Outlooks during the 2007 calendar year, a far cry from GMC which sold 72,765 Acadias during the same time period. The Outlook, Acadia, and Buick Enclave are built in the same Michigan plant and share the same GM Lambda architecture.

But there's more to the story. Saturn has a fraction of the retail stores that GMC has around the country. According to the most recent Automotive News Dealership Census data from May of 2007, there are more than five times as many GMC dealerships (2225) as Saturn stores (428). Using these figures, on a store-by-store basis, SaturnFans.com calculates that Saturn sold on average more than 6.7 Outlooks per facility per month in 2007, compared to about 2.7 Acadias per month at each GMC dealership.

Even more amazing is that Saturn accomplished this feat with an Outlook ad budget that was less half of the Acadia in 2007. In 2007, Advertising Age says that GM spent $56 million to promote the GMC Acadia compared to $25 million for the Saturn Outlook. A similar argument could be made for the often touted "hot selling" Buick Enclave whose 2751 dealerships sold 29,286 models in the seven months that it was on sale in 2007. Following the same methodology, when adjusted to a seven month scale that equates to roughly 1.5 Enclaves per dealership per month. Its advertising spend was more than $20 million more than the Outlook's at $45 million.

So is the Outlook really selling that bad? Not given the circumstances.

But despite Saturn's "per store" successes when compared to other GM makes, the brand still has some catching up to do when it comes to its primary competition. While Ford only sold 2.9 Edge crossovers per store per month, Saturn's Japanese rivals did better. Honda and Toyota each sold more than 9.5 Pilots and 7.2 Highlanders per store per month last year, respectively.

Advertising figures for the Pilot or Highlander weren't available at the time this article was posted, but based on the GMC and Buick ad comparison above, boosting Saturn's ad spend on the Outlook certainly would be a quick way to give the Outlook more exposure and add some pizazz to its sales. General Motors has given Saturn some great product to sell, but it should give the brand the extra budget it needs to get the word out. Challenge the growing brand to show what its capable of doing. Will GM do it?

Source: http://saturnfans.com/cars/outlook/analysis-shows-saturn-stores-are-better-selling-crossovers-gmc
 

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Imagine if Saturn had the 2225 stores that GMC had and sold 6.7 Outlooks per store. That roughly translates to 179,000 per year.
So people are willing to pay a no haggle price and do like the Outlook's appearance.
Either GMC and the rest of GM needs to overhaul their selling practices or Saturn needs more representation.
 

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For me it was the vehicle design, rather than the no haggle price. They will haggle if you have a vehicle to trade. Fortunately for me there are 3 Saturn dealerships within 40 minutes of my house and I use that to negotiate a much better trade-in price.

It may make an interesting poll to know what drove our decisions more: The no-haggle price, the vehicle design, or the proximity of the dealership.

Key1
 

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I actually like both the Outlook and Acadia. For me, it comes down to price & features. I'd rather have the Outlook's tan interior w/wood trim. GM really needs to let its customers use their GM card points at Saturn too. This would be the main reason I buy a GMC - I have too many points to lose buying a Saturn. Also, the Saturn dealer where I live charges a lot for service. They do good work, but I have friends that have never had a bill less than $300 when servicing their car at Saturn.
 

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So people are willing to pay a no haggle price and do like the Outlook's appearance.
Either GMC and the rest of GM needs to overhaul their selling practices or Saturn needs more representation.

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Travesti.
 

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williamsmith518 said:
So people are willing to pay a no haggle price and do like the Outlook's appearance.
Either GMC and the rest of GM needs to overhaul their selling practices or Saturn needs more representation.

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Travesti.
Seeing as how there are no longer Saturn dealerships nor are there any Saturn's being built are you referring to other GM dealerships selling used Saturn Outlook's?
 

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key1cc said:
For me it was the vehicle design, rather than the no haggle price. They will haggle if you have a vehicle to trade. Fortunately for me there are 3 Saturn dealerships within 40 minutes of my house and I use that to negotiate a much better trade-in price.

It may make an interesting poll to know what drove our decisions more: The no-haggle price, the vehicle design, or the proximity of the dealership.

Key1
A vehicle design was the most important factor for me as well. I suppose design drives the decisions in most cases, but it would be really interesting to check if I'm right with a poll.
 
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