Regardless of what entity General Motors eventually unloads its network of 380 Saturn dealerships upon, it's not planning to continue supplying vehicles to the displaced automaker past 2011 at the latest. This being the case, the majority of prospective Saturn bidders will need to find an alternate source for cars and trucks to stock its newly purchased showroom floors. But who?
According to The Detroit News, both Mitsubishi and Nissan are in talks with various parties that are considering making a bid for Saturn. Of those two options, Mitsubishi seems to make a bit more sense as it only has about 430 dealerships in the U.S. and it is therefore not nearly as well represented as Nissan. However, Nissan has a much deeper product portfolio and it already demonstrated that it is capable of selling in significantly higher sales volumes. At this point, it's unclear whether the Nissan or Mitsubishi-supplied vehicles would be badged and sold as Saturns, but given Mitsubishi's damaged reputation in the States (save the Evo), selling its wares under a brand with a reputation for strong customer service and ownership satisfaction could be just the opening it needs to find success in the U.S. market.
In related news, the DetNews is also reporting that the list of potential bidders for Saturn has been whittled down to "two or three," which likely includes Penske Automotive Group, Magna International and investor group Telesto Ventures.
[Source: Detroit News]