GM created Saturn over two decades ago to do things differently than the status quo. Saturn was intended to compete directly with the Japanese imports. Little remains of the original Saturn infrastructure, as Saturn has become just another GM brand, sharing architectures and products with other divisions. GM has linked Saturn's current and future products to Opel, bringing a European flair and sensibility to the American market.
The compact VUE crossover adds a second hybrid powertrain option for 2009. This new model pairs a 3.6L V-6 with GM's two-mode hybrid system for improved fuel economy. There are few other changes to the Saturn lineup for 2009. The Aura drops the 3.5L V-6 and gains more four-cylinder models to boost fuel economy. The Outlook crossover improves power and fuel efficiency with an updated 3.6L V-6.
The future for the Saturn brand is unclear. GM stated their intention to shed the brand in 2009. General Motors reached an agreement with the Penske Automotive Group to acquire the Saturn brand and unspecified assets including most dealers. In the short term, the Saturn lineup will remain largely unchanged as GM continues to produce vehicles under contract for the new owners until 2010 or 2011. It is thought that Saturn will eventually market vehicles imported from other global manufacturers.