By Brendan Moore
Roger Penske, CEO of Penske Truck Leasing, owner of Penske Racing and chairman of the second-largest dealership chain in the US, told analysts and reporters on a conference call yesterday that he and a group of investors is on track to buy Saturn by the end of September.
The business magnate stated that the only hiccup in the process so far was GM’s bankruptcy proceedings, which have concluded.
Penske announced his intent to purchase Saturn in June, and GM exited bankruptcy on July 10.
Penske also noted that Saturn may be interested in selling their vehicles outside of North America in the future, but intends to have his future acquisition focus on North America in the short-term.
Saturn has an agreement to continue selling Aura sedans, Outlook crossover vehicles and Vue SUVs through 2011, and perhaps longer. The new Saturn will buy the complete inventory of parts now maintained by GM so as to be able to service the 3.5 million Saturns on the road currently.
Penske would not comment on what other manufacturers might supply vehicles to Saturn in the future.
Penske stated that the new Saturn would be a stand-alone company, and would offer new dealer agreements to all existing Saturn dealers, which, from his point of view, would all remain independent businesses.
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