Ad Astra

By the mid-2000s, Saturn was starting to lose its way. Originally conceived to compete with the Hondas and Toyotas in the late 80s, the once-unique brand had quickly become an outlet for more badge-engineered GM products.

One such shared GM car was the Saturn Astra. Unlike other badge-engineered Saturns (looking at you, Relay, Outlook and Sky), the Astra did not have an equivalent model sold in the United States (as a Chevy, Pontiac, etc.).

Instead, the Astra shared its body (and name) with the Opel Astra, part of GM’s German company (and the Astra was sold through other international GM divisions as well, actually).

Saturn ad from Dec. 2007

This ad from a December 2007 magazine wants us to focus on the simple pleasures of driving, preferably in a brand new Astra. The ad makes no mention of the car’s international roots, but that’s likely because Saturn was always supposed to be a red-blooded all-American alternative to “them ‘ferin’ cars.”

Way over in the bottom right-hand corner of the ad is reference to a specific subdomain:

Now, we’ve already discussed as an old domain of a dead GM brand. But here we’re presented with a subdomain on that old site. That can get a bit tricky but good web management should be able to handle the old subdomain.

So where is the /AllNewASTRA today?

This is not terribly surprising. As we saw before, the old site goes to a generic GM site meant to direct owners of those dead GM brands to service and sales of current GM brands. The fact that the /AllNewASTRA subdomain also brings up this page is expected and actually a good thing, as it is possible for dead subdomains to return 404 Page Not Found errors, which this one doesn’t.

I think it’s been months since I’ve seen a Saturn Astra on the roads – they weren’t terribly popular when new and they don’t seem to have been well-maintained since. But at least the Astra’s subdomain has a glimmer of life still left in it.

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