It would be easy to tell the story of Saturn as a corporate historiography. Yet, there is more about Saturn than just the foundation, the design and production of the company and its products. It is the cultural impact on how a company – albeit a part of General Motors – sought to connect its products, the way they sold them and the extraordinary consumer engagement that spurred on such immense brand loyalty amongst owners.
In the meantime, the automotive retail business has been working overtime to reinvent itself. They are hungry for inventory, while production is ramping up under safer conditions along the assembly lines. Used cars are becoming scarce, with some auction facilities laying off personnel. However, the rental car companies are trying to reduce excess fleet in the pall of financial issues due to a reduction in travel.
Translation: Japanese cars were thought of as cheap tin boxes that would never make it through a Minnesota winter. That was the mentality of the American consumer until the last couple of decades. It does help that several Japanese automakers set up shop building vehicles on our soil to change our collective minds.
It is with historical context, however. It was ten years removed from a war that should have ended all wars. Unfortunately, a spat between Korean partisans turned into an international affair splitting the peninsula in half. The same trouble was brewing in Vietnam, a soon-to-be former French colony. Even those within the Soviet Bloc weren’t buying into the new world order as envisioned by Karl Marx. Hungary was a year away from challenging Moscow on whether it should be their superpower or not.