General Motors is killing off the Saturn brand. Prospective buyer Penske had all but acquired the relatively young brand but has backed out because of an “inability to source new products beyond what it had asked GM to build on contract”.
GM is calling this news “disappointing”. As a result of agreements in place with Saturn dealers, the “wind-down” process will begin immediately. Penske Automotive Group isn’t – to the best of our knowledge – blaming GM or Saturn dealers. One thing’s for sure: if you see a new Saturn Vue, Saturn Astra, Saturn Aura, Saturn Outlook, or Saturn Sky on a dealer lot near you, drive a hard bargain and get yourself a good car.
For the full General Motors/Fritz Henderson press release, click through the jump. General Motors Media Statement Attributed President & CEO Fritz Henderson
“Today we learned that Penske Automotive Group (PAG) has decided to terminate discussions with General Motors to acquire 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. 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.
As a result of PAG’s decision, we will be winding down the Saturn brand and dealership network, in accordance with the wind-down agreements that Saturn dealers recently signed with GM. Pursuant to the terms of those agreements, the wind down process will be determined and communicated shortly.
Saturn customers and owners will continue to be able to purchase and have their vehicles serviced at Saturn retailers during this process. Once the wind down is complete, Saturn owners will still be able to have their vehicles serviced at other GM dealerships. We will be communicating with our customers very soon to explain the next steps in this process.
Today’s disappointing news comes at a time when we’d hoped for a successful launch of the Saturn brand into a new chapter. We will be working closely with our dealers to ensure Saturn customers are cared for as we transition them to other GM dealers in the months ahead. I’d also like to thank every GM employee and Saturn retailer who worked so hard to try to make this new beginning happen for Saturn.”