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GM To Kill Saturn As Penske Breaks Off Purchase

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2009 Saturn Sky Redline

2009 Saturn Sky Redline

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The decision has come down swift and hard, but without a buyer, Saturn will go the way of Pontiac and Oldsmobile before it, according to General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson. The news comes as Penske Automotive Group (PAG) has broken off talks to buy Saturn.

"This is very disappointing news and comes after months of hard work by hundreds of dedicated employees and Saturn retailers who tried to make the new Saturn a reality," said Henderson. "PAG’s announcement explained that their decision was not based on interactions with GM or Saturn retailers; rather it was because of the inability to source new products beyond what it had asked GM to build on contract."

That means Saturn is now going to begin the wind-down process of its brand and dealer network: the beginning of the end for the Saturn brand.

GM says Saturn vehicles will still be sold through Saturn dealerships through the winding down process, and Saturn vehicles will still be serviced by other GM dealerships even after the brand is gone.

Both GM and Penske had hoped to move the Saturn brand forward through parts sourced intitally from GM, and later through a third-party contract with another manufacturer. That contract was rejected by the unnamed manufacturer's board of directors, however, leaving Penske without a parts supply for the period after the GM supply was due to end.

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Comments (6)
  1. Thats a shame - Saturn started off rather nicely as a different kind of company.
     
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  2. "Saturn started off rather nicely as a different kind of company."
    Saturn was never a different kind of company - It was a different kind of division of a company lead by a CEO who didn't know what kind of company he wanted to run. Had GM implemented the same initial types of practices to one or all of his existing divisions, GM might not have gone down the tubes - then again, GM rescinded it's commitment to this division by withholding product development for a decade and eliminating the elements that made this division unique...
     
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  3. I toured the Saturn plant in Tennessee in the late 1990's. Being from Canada I was shocked that the average wage was $55000 per year and skilled maintenance people made $110000 per year. At the time the average wage in our Canadian factory was $30000 CDN. Saturn was a UAW facility and they were quite proud of their factory etc. My impression at the time of the tour was that this was an unreal situation ... took a while for reality to set in. I actually wrote down all of my findings in a trip report at the time and still have it. Once again UAW members get decimated. I am not anti-union ... all our plants are unionized ... but you have to be real. And those wages made by the people at the Saturn plant in Tennessee were totally UNREAL!!!
     
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  4. jittqm, if you don't mind, I'd like to see your findings on the Tennessee plant. I think it would make for a great primary evidence on a paper I'm writing.
     
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  5. Good riddance. Nobody is proud to own a damn Saturn anyways. Kids with parents who pick them up from school in a Saturn always try to slouch in their seats to avoid being seen in it. *yawn*
     
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  6. Why doesn't Magna buy Saturn...since they have Opel...haha...or maybe Fiat...it might be a good way for the Chinese to get an outlet in the American Market tho...
     
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