Ans1: GM is a giant automaker in the US which has been one of the top car-makers and sellers of the world. It has divided its market into different segments. It was catering to the elite executive class by its Chevrolet sedans, its two door and sporty cars for youth have enough pennies to spend, and also the people who actually couldn’t afford cars before GM introduced some low cost highly innovative cars after partnering with their Japanese counterparts.
Ans2: GM’s Saturn is now taking a U-turn. It is now changing its focus from economical and affordable vehicles to luxury cars. It is now being positioned as a high priced car. It is also extending towards hybrid cars to support the environment friendly “cause”. The Saturn S-series was a car for those who couldn’t afford expensive sedans. It targeted people with limited income and created a huge loyal customer base via their company sponsored gathering where almost all Saturn owners came in to take pride in their cars and celebrate annual occasions/anniversaries.
Ans3: Saturn’s very fundamental strategy was to leverage the social aspect of marketing to target its products and operate in the fierce competition. For example, it focused on employee satisfaction and commitment. For this purpose it paid a salary and not a commission to sales representatives. This reduced the pressure on these sales reps so that they didn’t frustrated the target customer rather spent variable times with every customer. It gave equal opportunities to women and minorities and massive support for philanthropic causes, thus getting good rating in the industry and having an image of socially committed company to the customers. This boosted its sales as shown that only in its 1st 7 years of operation it successfully sold-off 500,000 units.
Ans4: No; because as per the case, GM is still unsure about its future target market. It might be loosing its focus. The top management seems unclear about what should be its target market and where to position Saturn for a longer period to come.
Ans5: GM should retain Saturn as the low cost economical car. Adding the hybrids to the line, it should begin targeting Saturn to the Asian and South American developing economies which is a growing and lucrative market. This would help regain GM’s Saturn its position back and may yield it to become a very prominent supplier of cars to all the developing countries replacing their japans counterparts.
Saturn (2006). Our Story. Retrieved on 8 October, 2008 from www.saturn.com