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Four Cars In One, Trade Journal Reports

July 9, 1986

DETROIT (AP) _ General Motors Corp. plans to add a two-door hatchback and a two-passenger coupe to its line of highly touted Saturn cars, a trade publication says.

The two versions of the Saturn small car will be made within the first three years of production at GM’s high-technology plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., according to a report in this week’s Metalworking News edition of American Metal Market.

GM previously had said only that the first Saturn car would be a four-door sedan followed by a two-door version.

The report, which quoted unidentified sources, was the most detailed yet of GM’s hush-hush plans for the Saturn cars.

″We’re not talking yet about products, processes or timing, said Judith Merriott, a spokeswoman at Saturn Corp. headquarters in the Detroit suburb of Troy.

The newspaper, which reports on toolmaking and industrial equipment trends in the auto and aerospace industries, said GM ″still has not given any engineering or build contract to its metal cutting systems suppliers for the equipment that will be needed to produce the Saturn engines, transmissions or other components.″

The Saturn cars, it said, won’t have the squared-off wedge look of most of GM’s current cars, styling that has come under criticism as other carmakers move toward more aerodynamic lines.

GM and Saturn officials, while refusing to discuss styling specifically, have said the cars won’t look like the rounded concept vehicles the company showed off at news conferences a year ago when three dozen states were vying for the Saturn factories.

The Saturn car bodies will be made primarily of steel, the report said. GM’s current two-seat sports cars, the Pontiac Fiero and the Chevrolet Corvette, have plastic bodies.

GM broke ground April 8 for the $3.5 billion Saturn car assembly and part- making complex in central Tennessee, but hasn’t said when it will be completed or when the first car will be produced.

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