Penske Will Not Buy Saturn, GM Says Brand Will Be Shut Down
An abrupt end to Saturn’s salvation
By Brendan Moore
In an announcement that has taken everyone by surprise, Penske Automotive Group has stated that it is ending its effort to buy Saturn, citing problems with lining up a supplier for future vehicles after its initial agreement with GM regarding vehicle purchases ends in 2011.
Penske said they had reached an initial agreement with a manufacturer, widely believed to be Renault and its affiliate Samsung Motors, to sell cars produced by them, but that agreement was subsequently not approved by the manufacturer’s board.
“Without that agreement,” Penske said in the statement, “the company has determined that the risks and uncertainties related to the availability of future products prohibit the company from moving forward with this transaction.”
The news was immediately followed by a statement from GM that they would shutter the Saturn brand.
“Today’s disappointing news comes at a time when we’d hoped for a successful launch of the Saturn brand into a new chapter,” G.M.’s president and CEO, Fritz Henderson, said in a statement. “We will be working closely with our dealers to ensure Saturn customers are cared for as we transition them to other G.M. dealers in the months ahead. I’d also like to thank every G.M. employee and Saturn retailer who worked so hard to try to make this new beginning happen for Saturn.”
Saturn has 350 dealers in the US, and approximately 13,000 jobs in parts, service and retail entities are dependent on Saturn’s existence.
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