The Penske Automotive Group is the second-largest U.S. dealer group with 156 franchises in the U.S. and 148 internationallyEnlarge Photo
With confirmation Saturn is up for sale
coming from General Motors last week, as well as news that Saab has been given permission to restructure its debts outside of bankruptcy courts, a number of potential investors and buyers have come out of the woodwork recently, confirming interest in the struggling brands.
The first of these was investment group Telesto Ventures
, which is looking to acquire Saturn and use its distribution network to market a range of new vehicles sourced from overseas carmakers. Then Roger Penske
, of Penske Automotive Group, the biggest dealer group in the country, confirmed he too was interested in Saturn. Finally, Fiat confirmed that it was seeking to buy GM’s European operations, namely the Opel and Saab brands.
Now, it has been revealed that Renault-Nissan is also in talks with GM about acquiring Saturn, while China’s Geely Automotive wants the rights to Saab. The information was revealed by a couple of insiders who told the Wall Street Journal
that Saturn could provide the basis for growth in North America for the joint French-Japanese firm. Renault is particularly keen to enter the still-lucrative U.S. market and one possibility is to use Saturn’s sales and distribution network.
To further muddy the waters, Bloomberg
is also reporting that Nissan is considering forming a joint-venture together with Penske Automotive Group and Saturn. The plan is to use Nissan’s manufacturing facilities to start churning out vehicles for Saturn once GM cuts its ties. Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, however, has come out stating that he’s not in any talks with GM.
Separately, Geely Auto, has reportedly submitted a bid to acquire Saab. Purchasing the Swedish carmaker could allow Geely to improve its quality and safety standards ahead of a planned assault on the U.S. and European markets.