• Aug 31st 2009 at 8:58AM
  • 19

Roger Penske's purchase of the Saturn nameplate and sales organization from General Motors is intended to make money, and the business case for keeping Canadian dealers is apparently poor. Half of Saturn Canada's 60 dealers had already decided to give up, while the remaining 30 stores were willing to try and keep going. Penske's decision to discontinue sales of the brand in Canada altogether will directly impact 2,000 people.

"Saturn has a passionate customer base and outstanding dealer network," Penske said upon the announcement of his purchase in June. "We want to build onto those strengths," he continued, and the Canadian operation must be more albatross than mint in the scheme of things. Tip of the chapeau to Luc and Pat.

[Source: Radio-Canada (in French)]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Penske is just pissed off that he didn't get to sell the smart cars in Canada.

      Why he got the rights to the entire USA for smart cars is beyond me. MB product mgrs must be idiots.

      • 6 Years Ago
      It kind of doesn't make sense as Magna was looking to bring Opels here to Canada (which Saturn's pretty much are already).

      That and the fact that all Saturn dealers are also Saab dealers.
        • 6 Years Ago
        But the problem there is GM won't be supplying Saturn with any cars beyond a certain date, so Saturn's Opels are soon to be dead. Also, Magna might not get any of Opel, since GM recently decided they didn't want to sell after all.
      • 6 Years Ago

      • 6 Years Ago
      The cars were rebadged Chevys and were as good and any Chevy.

      The key to Saturn is the dealerships. They provided good sales and service. Other than that Saturn was just another GM division.

      Penske has his work cut out with the change over. In the end Saturn will just be a chain of stores selling imported cars no one else is importing from China or elsewhere.

      It will be all sales and marketing with no MFG.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You are mistaken!
        Saturn was a unique product until the end of the S-Series run in 2002. At that point yes, they became rebadged GM cookie-cutter cars that began with the Ion in 2003 being a polymer-paneled GM D-Body (G5, Cobalt) car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Maybe the recent products. The original Saturns that were in production up until 2002 were all on their very own in house developed Saturn platform (Z). It shared nothing with the other GM cars and had quite a few unique features that were ahead of the curve. These were GM vehilces that actually showed signs in their development of listening to consumers. If GM had invested the money to continue to improve and update the Z platform things would have been different at Saturn. An SL car of that period is light years ahead of the Cavalier. Instead they left them to rot with low grade plastic interiors and engines that burn oil for almost 10 years. They then dumped the whole team at Saturn and turned them into the Opel import badge. Now they have left the Springhill plant (one of the most modern and expensive plants GM ever built) basically rotting on the vine. Saturn is a tragic symbol of the old GM and opportunities wasted.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Saturn died when they dropped the plastic body panels...

      So now the brand will be for the 2000's what AMC was for the 80's. In 10 years we will look at Astras like we look at Alliance's and Encore's LOL!
      • 6 Years Ago
      More than the cars, Saturn was liked for its dealership experience and customer friendly service.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wonder if this is enough to get me out of my lease, it is hard enough to get parts for my Astra, it is going to be even harder when I have to go to a GM dealer...
      • 6 Years Ago
      In Canada, that would be "a tip of the tuque" (pronounced TOE-k).
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow. That sucks a LOT! The dealer is about the only place I can get a good many parts for my Vue. Looks like I'll be sourcing a lot more parts from the States now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I guess that this doesn't matter as much now that they don't have those fancy plastic body panels - ideal for our salty roads in winter. Those cars are extremely popular here, and are usually all in great shape.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That sucks.
      Saturns are one of the better GM cars, they are actually pretty good.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What makes anyone think he's not going to flush most US dealers as well? GM dumped billions into Saturn the past few years afterall and couldn't make it work, what makes Penske any different?

      It's not like he has billions to waste on this nameplate, it's a wonder anyone bought it at all. I expect to see a big sweep of the US dealer network by Penske too before all is said and done.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "What makes anyone think he's not going to flush most US dealers as well? "

        Because that is basically all he bought.
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