Let’s remember one of the most underrated American brands ever: Saturn.
Saturn would be in prime position in the market right now. Quirky is in, and Saturn did quirky pretty well. Scion ended up picking up their no-haggle pricing model (for the record Scion would still be alive if Toyota put some effort into it). Take for example the new Chevy Trax.
The car is essentially a non-luxury version of the Buick Encore. Except it takes itself far too seriously to succeed as what it is. What we needed was a car of similar mission, that acts and looks like it wants to have fun. However, the Trax could never be that car, its saddled with being a Chevy truck/SUV. That means it has the incredibly big shoes to fill of vehicles such as the CK truck, Blazer, and S-10 (yes that name used to mean something). Long story short, it has to do it’s best impression of the S10 Blazer, all stalwart and serious. How cool would a Saturn version get to be?
Also, consider the new Cruze. The car is saddled with the mini-Malibu look, which is saddled with scaling down the Impala. Don’t get me wrong, the new Impala is beautiful. But we’ve made a clone of a clone. That never works. The Ion was boy racer, and comitted to the bit. It was the automotive equivalent of having a quote-along with your best buds to the first Fast and Furious movie. And the Astra was ahead of its time, bringing economic hatchbacks with some flavor back to America before anyone wanted them. It was literally ahead of its time. Not to mention that the car it was based on in Europe got a ridiculous performance version. I think a winning recipe.
And that, that’s the thing.