According to a report from the Wall Street Journal
, General Motors is working on a deal with Renault to hand over Saturn, providing the French automaker with a "launching pad" to expand into North America. The WSJ's sources say that the deal with GM would allow Renault and its South Korean subsidiary, Samsung Motors, to sell its wares in the States though the existing retailers, possibly marketing the new vehicles as Saturns and building some of the vehicles using the General's underutilized plants. How the deal would flesh out financially remains to be seen, but there's a chance that Renault would acquire Saturn for no cash down – not surprising considering GM said it essentially plans to cancel the brand – but the French automaker would need to take on Saturn's liabilities and production costs. We're not entirely sure how acquiring a brand that could compete with Renault-owned Nissan in the U.S. would be in the best interests of the company overall, not to mention Saturn's track-record of marketing "European" vehicles in North America.
On the Geely front, the Chinese automaker is one of "three to four" serious bidders for Saab (as opposed to the ten reported yesterday
), and comes a few weeks after Geely's bid for Volvo. Geely execs traveled to Trollhatten in the last few weeks, joined by nine other suitors, and the WSJ
hypothesizes that Geely could be pushing for a deal with Saab as a way to put pressure on FoMoCo to get serious about the Chinese automaker's bid for Volvo. Regardless of Geely's apparent love of Sweden, expect a deal to be inked on Saab's future owners early this summer. Top tip throwback.