General Motors is proceeding to the next step with respect to the sale of Saturn, confirming this week that it’s in talks with up to 16 potential buyers and that it will look to secure an agreement with a specific group by the end of the year.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, GM executive vice president and chief financial officer Ray Young said he did not yet have a date for when a Saturn deal might be finalized. He then went on to characterize Saturn's suitors as some financial investors and certain parties with interests in distribution of vehicles.

"The challenge on Saturn is trying to figure out the business model which will allow us to continue selling vehicles to a prospective purchaser or having a prospective purchaser seek another source of product," Young said. "These are complex issues. This is why the process is taking longer."

While no other details were revealed, late last month we heard about a new investment group by the name of Telesto Ventures reportedly planning to buy Saturn outright and source its own models from several overseas suppliers. Under Telesto’s proposal, the overseas models would not be branded as Saturns, but would rather be sold under various brand names.

Also in the picture is Roger Penske, owner of the Penske Automotive Group. Penske confirmed last month that he has an interest in the Saturn brand and just last week his company hired ex-Chrysler president Tom LaSorda to advise on the bidding process. Like Telesto Ventures, Penske is keen to source models from an overseas supplier to sell in the U.S. through Saturn’s existing dealer network.

GM manager Jill Lajdziak has previously revealed that the struggling automaker was trying to find a new vehicle supplier for Saturn by September 1. Furthermore, Lajdziak confirmed that GM will halt production of Saturn vehicles in August, should a suitable buyer not appear by July.