The typical relationship between automakers and dealerships, of course, is for the dealers to sell the cars that the automaker produces. But with General Motors shedding like a dog in springtime, it's the dealers who have been looking to buy the brands themselves. Following interest expressed by German dealers to acquire Opel and a group of investors including equity firm Black Oak and the brand's own dealers to acquire Saturn, one of the country's biggest dealership groups is stepping up to the plate as a serious contender to take over the no hassle GM division.
Suburban Detroit-based Penske Automotive Group statistically sells the second most amount of new cars in America. It also runs truck leasing, shipping/logistics and, of course, racing operations to great success. But Penske has also got experience shaping the fortunes of automakers, as well, after handling the introduction of Smart cars in North America and the turnaround of Detroit Diesel from a money-losing operation into a profit-generating one. Of course, Penske is just one of many potential buyers for Saturn, but with Roger's business acumen and proven track record, he's one the General can't afford to ignore.
[Source: Wall Street Journal and Automotive News – subs. req'd]