Wednesday

Cadillac XLR Dies and Saturn Lives


GM has announced that the Cadillac XLR will halt in the second quarter of 2009, as part of its cost-cutting efforts to impress Congress and get more bail out funding. At the same time, GM's budget still includes funding for Saturn so apparently the brand will live on --- for now.

Bringing the XLR to an end was expected and the move will mean layoffs for 40 workers at the Bowling Green, KY, GM plant, which also makes the Chevrolet Corvette. XLR sales are reported to have recently fallen 28.6% to a mere 1,250 vehicles. While a unique luxury 2 seater, its place in the lineup just isn't supported in the marketplace.

Cadillac hopes to keep buyers interested with a smaller sporty 4 seat car, the CTS coupe, which promises more power.

Meanwhile Saturn dealers are exhaling a sigh of relief at GM's dealer announcement that it won't kill the brand yet, in spite of promises to Congress that Saturn's days were numbered. Some dealers had reported that showrooms quickly emptied out when work got out last month that GM was thinking of either selling or closing down the entire Saturn operation. One dealer reported, off the record, that he hadn't sold a single car in the first 3 weeks of January.

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