• Jun 5, 2009
According to The New York Times, General Motors has come to terms with a consortium led by industry icon Roger Penske to sell its ailing Saturn brand. The agreement, which is expected to be announced later today, will apparently see Penske add Saturn brand and its stand-alone showroom network to his existing portfolio of 310 global dealers.

Penske, as you may recall, already has sole distribution rights to the Smart microcar lineup in the States, and he will apparently continue to sell GM-produced Saturn vehicles initially, after which he is expected to begin importing foreign autos from companies like Renault's Samsung Motors subsidiary in Korea.

[Source: The New York Times | Image: A. Messerschmidt/Getty]


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  • 47 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Penske is LIVE on CNBC right now, 12:33pm EST.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good luck on rebadged samsung cars. In a country famously loyal to the employing chaebol namely Korea, most samsung employees drive hyundai. Even the ruling family of samsung drive merc's and the old caddy. Penske better have been a large contributor to the democratic cause. Otherwise this situation will be reminiscent of that old racing joke: How do you make a small fortune in auto retailing? Start with a large fortune.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This might just work - if I were Penske, I would take advantage of the new Opel situation and import other cars than the Astra. This would give some consistency to the Saturn range in the post-GM transisiton period until viable cars from Asia become available. The Opel-based cars would stay at the high-end of the range. How these cars will all fit together to form one brand will be challenging - although this is really no difference to what Chevy or other brands have been doing for years..
      • 5 Years Ago
      From import-fighter to import-rebadger. So sad. Glad to see GM get a bit of a cash infusion though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, technically speaking, GM turned Saturn into an import rebadger, as most of the current line up are rebadged Opels.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Penske has a great track record. He doesn't lose money.

      If anyone with enough talent to make the city of Detroit look good during the Superbowl can certinally make this work.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I knocked your horrible generalization..... Not Penske!
        It's obvious to everyone involved his benefits to Detroit during that time. But whats more obvious is your bias towards Detroit. And by the way, I don't have to do research I WAS THERE!!

        • 5 Years Ago
        Cerberus probably never lost money before either....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Penske is very a shrewd businessman. I would not bet against him. It's like betting against Lee Iaccoca. Cerberus was treading in "foreign waters", with a boat (read Chrysler) with a leak from it's former owners (aka Daimler), looking to quick sell for a profit. Penske is not, Penske wants to run a business, is familiar with the auto market and has a successful track record and a plan to succeed (Cerberus sat on their hands and let things like the Sebring fester).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Will he return to ALMS competition in a Saturn-badged prototype?

      Will he run Saturns in NASCRAP?

      Does he have to keep the brand name?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I just heard on the news that Penske is buying the sales, marketing and distribution network as well as the rights to the business. GM will continue to produce the cars under contract in existing facilities for Penske.
        • 5 Years Ago
        X2
        thats what i wanna know... are we going to get a Saturn Sky that will compete with the 911?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Huh, looks like Renault Samsung will have to buy Pontiac instead, isn't that sad. And I doubt that Carlos Ghosn will want to give us something like a GTO, Trans Am, a Fiero or the G8.
        • 5 Years Ago
        GM already said that Pontiac is not for sale.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Honestly why would they buy pontiac? The cars are produced in general GM plants and the dealers are packaged with buick and GMC.

        Pontiac would have enough models to sustain the brand while it gets onto it's feet but it would have nowhere to be sold and nowhere to build the cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Please do foward these statistics to back up this "first to none" claim.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the brand and all, but having rebadged Renaults just isn't going to cut it. I really love the current Saturn lineup.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My wild speculation on why GM sold to Penske....

      Seems everyone is looking for that business model with no investment in factories, capital equipment, and employees. So I do not see Penske ever manufacturing a vehicle. However, I do think that GM may have cut a future deal to sell China manufactured vehicles to Penske through GM's joint veture with SAIC. This allows GM to double dip and not create a true competitor. This also brings in GM China vehicles into the US under the public radar.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Saturn started as a "different kind of car company..." and established a solid (single) pricing and service model that is still somewhat represented by the brand image and customer following... this is what Penske wanted along with hundreds of established dealerships at a bargain basement price.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's the hang up, or one of them anyways, Saturn never haggled the price, so you were stuck paying more than you should for crap and you couldn't haggle it lower.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds good.
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