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.