3 Saturn dealerships opening in Baltimore area in February

November 15, 1990|By Meredith Schlow | Meredith Schlow,Evening Sun Staff

Marylanders who want to test drive a Saturn, the car that General Motors recently introduced to meet foreign competition, won't have to travel to Richmond, Va., to find the closest dealership much longer.

Work has already begun on the three Saturn dealerships scheduled to open in Maryland in February.

The site dedication of the Griffith Organization's Saturn of Glen Burnie was to take place today.

Saturn of Owings Mills will service the northern Baltimore area. The Reisterstown Road Saturn will be run by the Heritage Automotive Group, an Owings Mills-based company. Heritage officials could not be reached for comment, but the dealership's opening was confirmed by Nannette Wiatr, a Saturn spokesperson.

Another dealership will be located in Marlow Heights near Washington, Wiatr said.

More than 2,000 established dealerships nationwide expressed interest in obtaining a Saturn franchise, according to Wiatr. Only 123 were chosen to sell the car that General Motors hopes will put the American automobile industry back on its feet.

Construction began at the Glen Burnie site at 10 Holsum Road about a month ago, according to David B. Griffith, retail partner of the Towson-based organization that currently runs six dealerships and 19 franchises.

He said the design of the building will be unique to Saturn dealerships.

"The sales and service centers are side by side to emphasize the importance of standing by the vehicle" with a commitment to service even after it is sold, Griffith said.

The showroom will not be packed with cars, but will allow customers to view just a few vehicles at a time, Griffith said. A waiting area with telephones and desks will be available for work-laden customers whose cars are being serviced.

"The layout will be customer-friendly," he added.

Saturn, a subsidiary of General Motors, hopes to compete with foreign cars in the same price range, including vehicles manufactured by Honda, Toyota and Nissan.

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