The value of the Saturn franchise took a dip in 1999 with sales of 232,433 in 1999, including its new L Series mid-size vehicle, which didn't sell quite as well out of the gate as the GM division had hoped.

According to this year's NADA annual Dealer Attitude Survey, Saturn is near the top again in the fifth spot. But the value of Saturn could be rising next year as well. It expects its first SUV to hit showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2001.

Even though sales of the L Series weren't red-hot in 1999, Saturn will sell close to 90,000 mid-size cars in 2000, and it did help improve the manufacturer's owner loyalty numbers.

"A lot of people want to grow with the Saturn brand," says Jill Lajdziac, Saturn's vice president of sales, service and marketing. "We realize that we have powerful brand equity."

The company will sell about 180,000 S Series cars in 2000, and log a 19% increase in coupes.

To give Saturn owners something to grow into, the GM subsidiary will introduce at least one new vehicle a year for the next four years. Next year, the yet-to-be-named SUV appears. In 2002, there will be a new S Series and S Series coupe. Beyond that, the company is mum on new-product plans.

"We're looking at a lot of different things," says Ms. Lajdziac. "Our customers will help us decide the next segment we'll be getting into."