The first real German Saturn lands this Fall. Saturn Plans Dealer Refresh Modeled on Apple Stores The Saturn store of the future Date posted: 02-02-2007 WASHINGTON — Inspired by positive customer feedback about Apple Inc.'s retail stores, Saturn wants its customers to enjoy a similar experience, said Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak. The company will announce a new retail strategy at the Chicago auto show press preview in February, and while she would not reveal details, Lajdziak, who openly admires Apple's relationship with its customers and the demographics of those customers, said the new strategy will bear a clear "Apple influence." While acknowledging the importance of having competitive new products — she pointed out that by the end of the year the Sky roadster will be the oldest model in Saturn's lineup — Lajdziak said that it is just as important to give customers the right retail experience. "As many new things as we have going on in product, we have as many new things going on in customer handling," she said. Audi has already pioneered some of these techniques with the Audi Forum, its Manhattan un-store. Outside groups such as architectural firms rent the space to host parties and promotional events, reports Audi Forum Manager Andrew Lipman. The Forum does not actually sell cars; it just shows them off to good effect, and the associates at the Forum answer questions, hand out brochures and can direct interested parties to nearby dealers if they want to buy a car. When they aren't kicking tires, visitors can sip a cappuccino in the Forum's cafe and mooch free Wifi from Audi's wireless router. Saturn dealers will still be selling cars, but they may well adopt some of the other features of the Audi Forum under the new plan. What this means to you: Saturn will maintain its edge in friendly customer relations, and may turn out to be a good place for free coffee and Internet access.