When GM flew its tin cup to DC on a private jet and submitted its business plan to the government, the company claimed they were "studying" whether the Saturn brand had a future.
For the sake of all those auto industry workers, I hope General Motors does more than leave the fate of a great American brand in the smooth hands of a few Motor City executives with an uncanny knack for making the wrong call.
The combustion engine is on its way to the scrap heap. We all know that. After gas prices eclipsed four bucks a gallon last year, we crossed a tipping point. Today's lower prices won't reverse the direction of the trend.
Back in 1992, when Hal Riney & Partners launched Saturn, they called it "A different kind of company. A different kind of car." Americans bought Riney's folksy pitch. But fat-cat GM bosses never liked Saturn's relatively slim profit margins.
General Motors can no longer afford to care what the C-suite "likes." They need to figure out -- fast! -- how to become incredibly successful selling next-generation technologies to U.S. consumers.
If they structure a study properly, they may find car buyers are most likely to accept these innovations from the brand Hal Riney & Partners helped build from the ground up.
If you ran GM, what would you do?