General Motors is busy putting the finishing touches on its third (or is it fourth?) viability plan, part of which involves the sale or shut down of the Saturn division. While many were expecting GM to close down Saturn, GM has released a press release to tell the world that the fledgling marquee is on the block, and there are several suitors in hot pursuit. The new owner will inherit the Saturn name and its 400 dealer-strong retail network. Advisory firm S.J. Girsky & Co. has been retained by GM to facilitate a deal.

The biggest of the Detroit 3 isn't putting a timetable on a Saturn sale, but the General is hoping to get something done later in the year. GM also isn't identifying any potential buyers at this time, but the Saturn dealer body has expressed interest in saving the marquee.

What isn't known is how much GM would be involved in future Saturn planning. All Saturns currently share platforms and are built in factories with other GM products. Unless GM also sells the new owner a factory (there will likely be a few open facilities to choose from), it will have to provide product for several years.

We'll likely find out more about Saturn's fate when GM submits its viability plan to the U.S. Auto Task Force on June 1. Follow the jump to read the brief GM press release.

[Source: GM]


PRESS RELEASE:

GM to proceed with efforts to sell Saturn

DETROIT - General Motors is proceeding to the next step with respect to the sale of Saturn. A number of potential buyers have surfaced and expressed interest in the Saturn brand and retailer network. GM will be reviewing expressions of interest from the potential buyers and will look to secure an agreement with a specific buyer later this year. S.J. Girsky&Co. has been retained by GM as advisor for this transaction. Saturn will continue to keep its retailers updated on its progress throughout this process.

About Saturn:
Saturn markets vehicles in the U.S. and Canada through a network of about 400 retailer locations, with a focus on providing innovative products with solid value and excellent customer service. The brand has one of the freshest lineups in the industry: the Sky roadster, the Aura midsize sedan, the Vue compact crossover, the midsize Outlook crossover and Astra compact car. Saturn currently offers two of the most affordable hybrids on the road, the Vue Hybrid and the Aura Hybrid.