Beginning next month, car buyers who visit a Saturn dealer will not only be able to test drive the Saturn line up but will also be able to check out the competition. Dealerships will have a Toyota Camry and Accord available for test drives in the hopes the buyer will end up choosing the new Saturn Aura instead. The Aura was named "Car Of The Year" by automotive journalists earlier this year and it's done well in comparisons with other vehicles, according to Mark LaNeve, head of North American sales and marketing for General Motors. But sales of the Aura have been sluggish.
Part of the reason GM is willing to take this step, said LaNeve, is because the company has little to lose. Midsized sedan shoppers often don't even consider GM products, he said, instead going straight to Honda and Toyota dealers.
GM is also planning to implement a similar plan with the redesigned Chevy Malibu, which shares the same platform as the Aura.