Saturn takes strong exception to "Suddenly, Saturn's orbit is getting wobbly" (Top of the News, Feb. 28).
Unfortunately, it is not sensational enough to simply report that we turned an operating profit for 1993 and continue to lead the automotive industry in customer satisfaction, initial quality, and resale value. Instead, you resort to a convenient sleight-of-hand (sales data from June through January) to illustrate that Saturn is in trouble. Manufacturers sell more cars through the spring and summer than during the fall and winter, so had the sales figures been portrayed correctly, they would show that Saturn sales increased 9.2% for January, 1994, as compared with the same period in 1993 and, in fact, increased an average of 17% for calendar year 1993 as compared with calendar year 1992.
We are confident that with increased advertising and additional open retail facilities, these sales increases will be even greater in 1994.
Don Hudler, Vice-President
Sales, Service & Marketing
Editor's note: Year-to-year comparisons are appropriate for car sales, but Saturn's improvement relative to a year earlier was weaker than competitors, resulting in a decline in its share of the small-car market by four percentage points, to 9.6%.