Saturn Vue Green Line Ending Production ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Saturn Vue Green Line Ending Production

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Saturn Vue Green Line Ending Production

The 2007 Saturn Vue Hybrid is ending production at the end of March. At that time, the factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee will stop building the 2007 model. Sometime in September, a redesigned 2008 model will begin production in Mexico.

The Vue Hybrid is selling around 700 units a month, which puts it at a pace well below the Highlander Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid. The Vue Green Line is the least expensive hybrid SUV on the road, but the old saying about you get what you pay for comes to mind.

The Saturn Vue Hybrid runs off the belt alternator system (BAS) which allows the electric motor to assist the gas engine in propelling the car. It also has regenerative braking to power the battery pack. That gives it the better fuel economy, but unlike the Highlander or Escape, the Vue is not a full hybrid and cannot run on the electric motor alone. And so it's Green Score isn't as high, either.

This change over will result in a sales low point in the spring for the Vue, just as it did for the Civic Hybrid back in October, 2005. The Aura Green Line will be out mid-April, so Saturn won't be completely out of the hybrid market during this six month hiatus.

In other news, Troy Clarke, president of GM North America said he hopes Saturn's US sales could rise more than the 6 percent it did this past year.

"We think we can," Clarke told reporters at the Chicago Auto Show when asked if he thought Saturn could turn in a better performance in 2007 than it did in 2006, when sales rose 6 percent.

"Just look at the portfolio we've laid out here," he added. "These guys have never had anything this good to sell in the past in terms of the quality and the range of vehicles."

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