Report: Penske most likely to acquire Saturn, announcement expected soon

The Penske Automotive Group is the second-largest U.S. dealer group with 156 franchises in the U.S. and 148 internationally

The Penske Automotive Group is the second-largest U.S. dealer group with 156 franchises in the U.S. and 148 internationally

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GM has picked Penske Automotive Group as the buyer for Saturn. Click here for all the details.

GM's preparations for bankruptcy means the company is looking to sell as many of its 'bad' assets as possible in order to raise capital and streamline operations. One of these is the Saturn brand, which the automaker confirmed would be sold by the end of the year and has already drawn several potential buyers.

One of those potential buyers is Roger Penske, the owner of the second-biggest U.S. dealer association Penske Automotive Group. Penske confirmed last month that he has an interest in the Saturn brand and recently his company hired ex-Chrysler president Tom LaSorda to advise on the bidding process.

It was then revealed that Penske was most likely planning to sell Renault-Samsung vehicles built in South Korea in the U.S. through the Saturn dealerships. According to sources, Penske met with the boss of Renault, Carlos Ghosn, and was keen to start importing several models, one of which is the QM5 midsize SUV. To be successful, Penske would need only about 250 of the total 384 Saturn dealerships across the U.S.

In the latest twist, people close to the matter have revealed to The Detroit News that Penske will be the likely buyer for the Saturn brand and announcement may come within the next 24 hours. The source also revealed that GM only has two or three remaining bids for Saturn and that one of the bidders intents on using Mitsubishi as its supplier for the brand.

Also rumored to be in the bidding for Saturn is investment group Telesto Ventures, Oklahoma City-based private equity firm Black Oak Partners, and Magna International.

GM’s only official comment is that it’s proceeding with plans to sell Saturn and that a number of potential buyers have surfaced and expressed interest in the brand and dealer network. Furthermore, GM will secure an agreement with a specific buyer later this year.
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Comments (11)
  1. How does a guy like LaSorda *still* get a job (that isn't washing dishes or mopping floors)? I'd think after bankrupting a multi-billion dollar company, he'd be the last guy you'd ask for financial advice... apparantly Roger Penske thinks otherwise. Well, I hope he doesn't pay LaSorda in advance.

  2. This is interesting if GM shares platforms with Saturn, Saab, Opel and it's own vehicles then that is good and bad. Economies of scale without the overhead and management responsibility but with a watered down product? Who knows but it sounds interesting and good for us the consumer! GM has to return to an affordable line I believe that is Chevrolet! Give me an Impala, that get 32 mpg for 20 grand! The future can also be in algae based bio fuel and small clean diesel engines until nano battery tech becomes affordable.

  3. That's the true benefit in linking up with Euro companies and tapping into small clean diesels and 2 clutch transmissions! Now lets get rid of corn fuel and go bio! Wake up American we can't afford to blow this one!

  4. Don't we already get some re-badged Renault as Nissans?

  5. We get only some Nissans built on common platform with Renault models, but no rebadged Renaults. The model in the picture is a Samsung built on the Nissn X-Trail platform

  6. I hope they bring in the Twingo

  7. How Pesnke gets the Kappa platform in the deal to keep the Sky alive

  8. How Pesnke gets the Kappa platform in the deal to keep the Sky alive

    GM is looking to sell the Solstice/Sky by themselves.

    @Jim, Penske isn't bringing Renault to the US, he's only bringing that Renault-Samsung model.

  9. I hope Penske's bid wins, it would be nice to see Saturn run by car guys, I still think the brand has a lot of potential.

  10. ..... I still think the brand has a lot of potential.

    Recently, their lineup was quite respectable (using the Germany designed chassis and models will do that). I hope the days of the goofy designs and terrible plastic body panels, with the panel gaps wide enough to stick my thumb in past the first knuckle, are over.

  11. Agreed. The Opel/Vauxhall models were really quite nice, and unlike the SL, SC2, and Ion, were actually very attractive. I would've definitely bought an Astra OPC (had they sold it here), and would love to own a Sky Redline; it really looks like a mini C6 Corvette, but with a nicer rear end. Even the old Saturns of the late '90s are dead reliable(I have a friend whose entire family drives Saturns and loves them).

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