[Excerpt] In their listing of top news stories of 1985 in the economically depressed Youngstown-Warren area, local newspapers consistently listed "Saturn mania" near the top. In an effort to attract the Saturn project, the local community offered GM a sizable economic development package, organized a 100-car caravan to GM headquarters delivering 200,000 letters from local residents and school children, and bought billboard space and television time in Detroit.

This continuation of Saturn mania belies the belief that it was an essentially harmless exercise in corporate public relations. Rather, there is much evidence to suggest that throughout the Saturn campaign GM misled the public about its intention to build an inexpensive small car; diverted public and union attention from its plans for plant closings, technological displacement and the importing of cars from its foreign subsidiaries; forced additional concessions that have weakened the UAW; and shaped the public debate surrounding U.S. economic decline and future economic development.