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Saturn's Potential Questioned
May 24, 2009

Saturn has been an interesting case study. In this recent article, Tom Libby questions the service strategy Saturn long clung too.  His challenge of service, in and of itself is fair, but in isolation service can never stand alone.  It is linked at its very center to a product.  What a company,  product or service does is their reason to be.  How that product is serviced can be their differentiator if it is at or above the acceptable standard for its competitive set. As a fundamental, what you do ( manufacture a car) needs to satisfy the fundamental hard needs of the the buying public broadly, in what they look for in a car.  Service in and of itself, in satisfying soft needs, generally does not trump product unless that product is a commodity.

Toyota, in what they do, surpasses most automobiles out there; they are perhaps short on service, (save their luxury brands) as has been pointed by Mr. Libby.  Saturn is inferior to Toyota in what they produce, but in servicing their car they sure gave the industry something to think about.


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