Fortune senior editor at large Allan Sloan writes about how his family will no longer purchase General Motors vehicles after being loyal customers for more than a decade.
Sloan writes, “My customer relationship with GM ended the very day that GM announced it was closing its Saturn operation — something I learned when I came home from trading in my 2003 Saturn Vue on a new, spiffy 2010 SUV with an Asian nameplate (I won’t name it because I don’t want to look like a shill).
“However, my decision to abandon GM had been made months earlier, after GM made it clear it was going to abandon Saturn. That meant GM was abandoning me and other Saturn owners by sticking us with ‘orphans’ whose resale and trade-in values were greatly diminished.
“My wife and I had bought five Saturns from 1992 through 2003, turning three of them over to our children, one of whom still drives hers. I liked the Saturns’ reasonable price, liked being able to buy them — even our Vue SUV — with manual transmissions. I especially liked Saturn’s famous no-price-haggling policy. I didn’t have to worry about feeling stupid when I found out I’d overpaid.
“But when my wife and I decided to depart from our customary ‘a car is only transportation’ frugality and buy an upscale SUV, which Saturn doesn’t offer, we didn’t consider buying a GM vehicle. Why? Because even though as a numbers-oriented business writer I totally understand why GM abandoned Saturn (and Pontiac and Hummer and Saab and Oldsmobile), as a customer, I’m furious. The old expression goes: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. GM has already fooled me once.”
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