GM Plans to Eliminate Saturn, Saab, Hummer, Shrink Pontiac

Posted: Jan 12, 2009 11:31 a.m.

Keeping a promise made to Congress in its pitch for bailout funds last year, General Motors plans to eliminate several brands of car as part of a reorganization.

Autoblog explains, "In an interview Sunday," GM's North American president Troy Clark, "said that General Motors will be able to make good on its promise to Congress to drastically cut costs. Clarke said that GM will now focus its ‘product and marketing resources' on Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC."  The company plans to "sell or close Saturn."  Hummer and Saab may be in for similar treatment.  In a separate interview, GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said the Pontiac brand would likely continue, but "will have to get by with only four models: the G8, G5, Vibe and Solstice."

Scaling back production and eliminating models will not be the most challenging part of the reorganization, however.  Motor Authority notes, "Part of GM's downsizing efforts will also see its 6,600 dealer network shrunk to around 4,700 dealers by 2012."  Since dealers are independent business, each one of which holds its own contractual relationship with GM, closing Saturn, Saab and Hummer dealerships may prove to the most difficult part of the plan.

Struggling automakers are still heavily discounting many cars.  Research January's Best Car Deals with U.S. News' car Rankings and Reviews.