• Jul 31, 2009
Remember the rumor that Roger Penske is looking to bring Renault back to America via his recently-procured network of Saturn dealerships? Consider it a rumor no more, as the deed has been confirmed by none other than Renault's chief operating officer Patrick Pelata, who said in a recent interview:
"He is looking for cars to sell. He has looked at all car makers, and he has seen that Renault has a nice line-up, sharing power trains with Nissan that are obviously adapted to the U.S. market... He's asking us: 'Do you want to sell us cars?' and we are discussing about how to sell him cars."
Considering that Nissan and Renault have plans to share virtually all new engines and Nissan is already well established in the U.S. market, it may make sense for the French automaker to supply Saturn-badged vehicles to Penske once GM stops producing the current Aura, Outlook and Vue models, which could be as early as 2011.

Previous reports indicated the vehicles in question may actually be sourced from Samsung, Renault's Korean subsidiary. According to Pelata, though, "It's an ongoing discussion," and no deals have yet been finalized.

[Source: Wall Street Journal - Sub. Req.]


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  • 38 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I Think the Renault Samsung QM5 and the new redesigned SM3 that was unveiled at Seoul Motor Show in april 2009 would both make great saturn models plus the renault megan hatchback would be a cool car http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Renault_M%C3%A9gan

      I think if their smart they return to saturn orignal naming of SL1 SL2 SC1 SC2 and for the suv why not SUV1 SUV2
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was thinking the same, but maybe something like S1 (Clio), S2 (Megane), and S3 (Laguna), and maybe V2 (Scenic) and T3 (Koleos).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good choice.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess they learned absolutely nothing from bringing Opels from Europe.

        • 5 Years Ago
        And why did Aura failed? It was very heavily advertised, named NA car of the year.
        Yet, in a first year they only sold ~52,000 of them - far less than 90,000 predicted.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The reason Astra failed was that it basically wasn't advertised. Almost nobody knew it existed, and it sold (or rather didn't sell) accordingly.

        The Sky failed because it was too much of a toy, and Miata beat it at the game.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why not? If Chryslers can be Italian Saturns can be French.

      French cars, for those who have never been exposed to them, are quirky and endearing. Historically the quality has been terrible, but Nissan has probably improved Renault quality.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just amazing how the American auto industry has changed.

      Remember that Saturn was introduced in 1990 as the all-American challenger to the rising threat of imported cars. They built an all-new, all-modern plant from the ground up, trained a whole mess of workers in the most efficient production processes, and built cars that were unlike anything this country had ever built before in both quality and style.

      Now, not even twenty years later, the one-time pride of the Big Three has become a cast-off. Their vaunted plant has become just one more cog in GM's overgrown machinery (it now builds the Chevy Traverse), the cars are loosely-differentiated derivatives of other GM designs, and the whole works is about to be replaced by French designs with Japanese engineering.

      I wish them well, of course, but the shift in American manufacturing is just profound. Hopefully we won't look back in another 20 years and remember when America used to have its very own set of auto companies...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I should also say that if Renault (the brand) is coming back, I'll take a Laguna coupe, in Alpine blue. Thanks. :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I actually won't dispute that creating Saturn was kind of a stupid move. (So was investing in a plant to build Corollas, for that matter.) The biggest problem is that GM made no attempt to really learn anything from Saturn - why it was successful, engineering wins and losses, the reasons its customers found it so appealing, etc. The closest they came was letting Oldsmobile copy the Saturn dealer experience for a while, but that's about it.

        The thing is, when they were on their game, Saturn got the rest of the industry to sit up and take notice - which is something GM had been unable to really do for quite a while. I think as an independent, Saturn's got a lot of work to do to rebuild its once impressive image, but Penske's a person who is used to getting things done the right way. As it was before with Saturn, it will probably be again: everything depends on the product and the marketing.

        Of course, that's true everywhere in the industry, as GM and Chrysler are FINALLY figuring out...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually I don't think the American auto industry changed much at all, which is why GM went into bankruptcy. Saturn was billed as a different kind of car company. This might have been true in the beginning years but eventually they all ended up badge engineered like any other GM make.

        It is ironic though that the different kind of American car company is going to turn into basically a dealer network that sells foreign cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeh, fresh meat!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Since nobody has asked yet, I'll ask. What effect/s would such an arrangement have on Nissan's and Infiniti's US offerings and dealerships?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't think there won't be any genuine Renault sold in the US as the currency exchange rate would make it unworkable.
      Samsung has free capacity in Korea, the deal is a good chance to optimize plant utilization.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh, and supposed Renault plans of Alpine revival is a hoax that has been officially debunked since the rumor surfaced...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the 2010 Renault Alpine Sportscar based on the 370z! that would be a nice new Saturn Sky http://bit.ly/GIbdk
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope the new Megane RS is part of the deal. Yellow please, just like the one at Geneva.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What cars will they sell? Hopefully none of the current Samsung models. They all look about ten years old. The SM3 looks like it's based on a 2001 Kia Sephia, The SM5 and SM7 look very tacky. Good luck selling those here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed, they are all really dated-looking and ugly except for the QM5/Koleos.

        Who says the next Saturn cars need to or should look like the old Saturn cars anyhow?

        Who makes up these silly rules?

        If you want to continue the "boring and dated" lines of the previous Saturns, then by all means import the entire Samsung line-up holus-bolus.
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