GM to phase out Saturn division


G.M. said Tuesday that it would phase out its Saturn division by 2012. Until then it has no plans to develop any more new vehicles for Saturn, which launched almost 20 years ago. G.M. also said it was considering its options for the Pontiac division. The Pontiac name could remain on some models, but may no longer be a separate division. G.M. said Pontiac would be a “focused brand” with fewer models, reported The NY Times. The disclosures by G.M., contained in a viability plan submitted to the government, means that G.M. plans to cut its brands in half, to four: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC. It said last fall that it would try to find buyers for Hummer and Saab. On Tuesday, GM said it would decide on Hummer’s fate by March 31.

RBR/TVBR observation: So this is how the automakers have to grovel for government bailout money—shut down divisions. The bad news for media is it will mean less ad dollars as well. The automotive category has already taken a huge hit and this means more to come.