General Motors is busy putting the finishing touches on its third (or is it fourth?) viability plan, part of which involves the sale or shut down of the Saturn division. While many were expecting GM to close down Saturn, GM has released a press release to tell the world that the fledgling marquee is on the block, and there are several suitors in hot pursuit. The new owner will inherit the Saturn name and its 400 dealer-strong retail network. Advisory firm S.J. Girsky & Co. has been retained
Saturn was created by General Motors chairman Roger Smith in the late 1980s to be a Different Kind of Car Company. While the first Saturns were generally pretty unremarkable, it was the retail experience that really set the automaker apart from other domestic brands. Saturn was the first marque to adopt a complete no-haggle, no rebate pricing policy and they treated customers like friends. It now appears that the dealers who were the core of the Saturn experience are getting out while the gettin
According to John Perez, CEO of Global Vehicles U.S.A. Inc., his company was approached by a senior official at General Motors to see about selling the Indian vehicles in Saturn's 403 dealerships. Global Vehicles holds the contract to distribute Mahindra's line of diesel-powered pickup trucks here in America. Apparently, the offer was rebuffed, though the possibility remains that Mahindra pickups could be sold at selected Saturn dealerships. Instead of handing over the rights to sell the vehicle
Saturn dealers must be feeling pretty unloved by their parent company right about now. Yesterday, General Motors announced as part of its updated restructuring plan that the interstellar brand would not be getting any new products, meaning that it's left to die on the vine when the current range reaches the end of its lifespan. GM has experience with this routine, having euthanized Oldsmobile earlier this decade, spending enormous amounts of money paying off franchised dealerships along the way.
General Motors' Vice Chairman Bob Lutz may be on his way out to pasture, but that doesn't mean he's going to leave as anything other than the quote machine we know and love. The Maximum One told Automotive News that he wished Saturn would survive the current economic calamity, "But frankly, the reality is that that is probably not going to be the outcome." When the Vice Chairman drops that kind of news, it doesn't bode well for the struggling brand, which posted a 21% decline for 2008. Lutz went