Detroit – Sporty performance and looks make the Saturn coupe an attractive buy for young customers. Now, with a new line of Saturn Expression Series accessories, it will be easier than ever for Saturn coupe enthusiasts to add to the performance and personalize the appearance of their vehicles. The new line will feature licensed customization components, which are under development with leading aftermarket accessory manufacturers and expected to be available, this fall. The products, which can be purchased and installed at a Saturn retailer, include a performance air intake and cat-back exhaust system, a ground effects package, rear spoiler, springs that lower ride height, strut tower brace, polished aluminum shift knob and pedal pads, and special 15-inch wheels.
"Saturn Expression Series accessories are part of an overall Saturn strategy to address the specific needs of different groups of customers," said Jill Lajdziak, vice president of Saturn sales, service and marketing. The strategy also includes limited-run factory-built Expression Series vehicles, such as a run of 99 bright yellow coupes last year, and 1,120 10th anniversary silver SL2 sedans that were built early this year. This fall, a Saturn Expression Series build of 1,000 fully loaded black L300 sedans and LW300 wagons will introduce a new DVD entertainment system for the family that travels. Saturn plans to offer additional Expression Series accessories and vehicles tailored to the lifestyle interests of its customers over time. "The ability to personalize a vehicle is especially important to young buyers," Lajdziak said. "More than 20 percent of Saturn coupe buyers are under 24 years of age, and they are attracted by the SC's blend of affordability, quality, safety and sportiness. Our new performance accessories program responds to their desire to further express themselves through their vehicles." Consumers spent $1.2 billion on performance and appearance accessories for small cars in 2000, a 59 percent jump from the $756 million spent the year before. "Young buyers who want to project their personalities have shown a growing interest in Saturn," said Steve Girard, total vehicle planner for the Saturn S-Series. "By working with some of the industry's top aftermarket companies, we'll make it easy for our coupe customers to pick and choose quality accessories that provide a custom look." Under the Saturn program, the accessory manufacturers will provide a three year/36,000 miles warranty on most of the components. The accessories program also will help customers build relationships with their Saturn retailers. Known for setting new benchmarks in consumer sales and service experience, Saturn has finished first in the J. D. Power and Associates Sales Satisfaction Study for five of the past six years.
Manufacturers who are participating with Saturn in the licensed accessories program include:
American Racing Wheels is providing 15-inch alloy wheels, featuring a multi-spoke, sporty design. The wheels will feature the Saturn logo on the center caps and will be available in Polished Speedster and Silver Painted Speedster. HKS is supplying the engine intake and exhaust, both designed with an attractive performance appearance. The easy-to-install intake replaces the original air inlet and air cleaner, and enhances engine performance by helping it breathe more efficiently. The cat-back exhaust features a chrome exhaust outlet. It improves performance by reducing exhaust-flow restriction, while providing a distinct performance sound. GT Styling is providing ground effects and rear spoiler, specifically designed to enhance the Saturn coupe's appearance. Constructed with reaction injection molded urethane for maximum durability, the accessories are designed to be painted the same color as the rest of the car. Easy to install and maintain, they give the car a lower-to-the-ground performance profile when used in conjunction with the replacement coil springs available through the Saturn Expression program. The Progress Group designed the Saturn-specific suspension springs that lower the vehicle's height by approximately 1 1/4 inches front and 1 1/2 inches rear to enhance both appearance and handling characteristics. The strut tower brace from Progress adds chassis stiffness for improved steering response, and features an attractive, simple bolt-on installation. Autotecnica is supplying the polished aluminum shift knob and pedals that provide an added performance-car appearance. The easy-to-install accessories feature the Saturn logo.