Saturn Cars Deeply Discounted as GM Discontinues Brand

Saturn cars on sale

Bye-bye Saturn cars! Image from Flickr.

Bye-bye Saturn cars! Image from Flickr.

People shopping around for cars and auto loans should take notice: You might have an opportunity to to get a brand new Saturn car for a used-car price. The same thing goes for Pontiacs.

General Motors is discontinuing both brands, so Pontiac and Saturn cars are bascially going into fire sale mode now. I am still trying to understand exactly how this sale works, so perhaps someone out there who is more business savvy could leave a comment to fill in the missing information.

Incentives plus price slashing

First of all, GM says it will pay dealers “$7,000 for every new Saturn or Pontiac on their lot that is moved to rental-vehicle or service-vehicle fleets operated by the dealers,” says the Wall Street Journal. So, basically, GM will pay dealers to take ownership of the cars. So that’s weird and backward. Right?

Then, dealers must label these cars as “used” because technically the dealers are the first owner, not the customer. Of course, most of the cars will not actually be used, and they’ll still have zero miles (or just test drive miles) on them.

A little help?

So, what am I missing here? This strategy really makes no sense to me. Why doesn’t GM just give bonuses for Pontiac and Saturn cars sold? Why not just slash prices instead of going through the process of justifying and slapping a “used” label on there?

I’m still waiting for this to click. The brands are both being discontinued, so it can’t be for the purpose of maintaining value attached to the Pontiac and Saturn names. I’m at a loss. Let me know what you think.

The bottom line

Anyway, regardless of exactly what GM and its dealers are doing and why they are doing it, you could be able to buy Pontiac and Saturn cars for super cheap, so if you’re thinking about getting a new car sometime soon, you might want to set your plan in motion sooner rather than later.

Other recent posts by bryanh