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Old 09-30-2009, 04:58 PM   #1
Snow Drift
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Default Saturn is dead! Penske backs out of deal.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/01/business/01auto.html

Penske Ends Talks to Buy Saturn From G.M.

By NICK BUNKLEY
Published: September 30, 2009
DETROIT — General Motors said on Wednesday that it now planed to close its Saturn brand after Penske Automotive abruptly called off the agreement.

Paul Sancya/Associated Press
Roger Penske pulled his company's bid to buy G.M.'s Saturn division.

Penske said Wednesday in a statement that it could not proceed with the purchase because another manufacturer, which it did not identify, rejected plans to build vehicles that would be distributed under the Saturn brand name.

The deal between Penske and G.M. had called for G.M. to continue building Saturn vehicles only until 2011. Penske had initially hoped to close on a deal to buy Saturn as soon as this week.

“Today’s disappointing news comes at a time when we’d hoped for a successful launch of the Saturn brand into a new chapter,” G.M.’s chief executive, Fritz Henderson, said in a statement. “We will be working closely with our dealers to ensure Saturn customers are cared for as we transition them to other G.M. dealers in the months ahead. I’d also like to thank every G.M. employee and Saturn retailer who worked so hard to try to make this new beginning happen for Saturn.”

Saturn is one of four brands that G.M. plans to eliminate in the United States. It is shutting down Pontiac by the end of this year, recently sold Saab to a company in Sweden and has a deal to sell Hummer to a Chinese manufacturer.

In a statement, Penske said that it had negotiated an agreement with another manufacturer to make vehicles; however, that agreement was rejected by that manufacturer’s board.

“Without that agreement,” Penske said in the statement, “the company has determined that the risks and uncertainties related to the availability of future products prohibit the company from moving forward with this transaction.”When announced in June, the deal was heralded as a way to rescue Saturn and its dealers from the uncertain future they have faced since February, when G.M. announced plans to shut Saturn by 2012 if no buyer could be found. G.M. subsequently said it would discontinue Saturn by the end of this year.

G.M. said then that the move would preserve 13,000 jobs at Saturn and its dealerships. The company has 350 showrooms, virtually all built to sell only Saturn vehicles.[NYTIMES]


PRESS RELEASES

Penske Automotive Terminates Discussions with General Motors to Acquire Saturn

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE: PAG) an international automotive retailer, today announced that it has terminated its discussions with General Motors Company ("GM") to acquire the Saturn brand, citing concerns directly related to the future supply of vehicles beyond the supply period it had negotiated with GM.

Since announcing its discussions with GM on June 5, 2009, the company has been in the due diligence process to determine the feasibility of developing an independent distribution model for Saturn-branded products and service parts in the United States, including the sourcing of vehicles from GM and other potential suppliers. The company had negotiated a definitive agreement with GM to source vehicles on a contract-manufactured basis for a period of time. After this period, the company would have been required to source vehicles from another third party under a similar contract-manufacturing agreement.

Penske Automotive Group negotiated the terms and conditions of an agreement with another manufacturer; however, that agreement was rejected by that manufacturer's board of directors. Without that agreement, the company has determined that the risks and uncertainties related to the availability of future products prohibit the company from moving forward with this transaction.


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.
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Last edited by Snow Drift; 09-30-2009 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:19 PM   #2
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ouch so much for those Opels or Renault's in the US as Saturns!
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:22 PM   #3
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That sucks.

Didn't GM sell vauxhall? If so, that company should pick up Saturn for a US market.

Nick
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:39 PM   #4
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Just as they were getting the better products in to turn themselves around. I wonder if someone else will come in to swoop them up for cheaper or something.
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White out View Post
That sucks.

Didn't GM sell vauxhall? If so, that company should pick up Saturn for a US market.

Nick
I think they are selling Opel (which is Vauxhall for everyone not using RHD) but talks are less along than Saturn I am assuming.

This is fail for Saturn as a brand. Too bad GM put so much work into overhauling their product line, and doing a pretty good job of it too.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbagger View Post
I think they are selling Opel (which is Vauxhall for everyone not using RHD) but talks are less along than Saturn I am assuming.

This is fail for Saturn as a brand. Too bad GM put so much work into overhauling their product line, and doing a pretty good job of it too.
Not to be a nitpicker, but actually Vauxhall is only in the UK not other RHD countries (in Ireland it's Opel unless it's a model imported from the UK).
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:49 PM   #7
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My next door neighbor is a salesman at a Saturn dealer, he's screwed.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:55 PM   #8
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I just read this on yahoo...

No suprise really.


Do i have this right?

GM gets in trouble (again), The Gov. (we) buy HUGE a huge share of GM.
GM in turn sells off EVERYTHING of value, leaving the tax payers holding an empty bag?
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardiff Giant View Post
Not to be a nitpicker, but actually Vauxhall is only in the UK not other RHD countries (in Ireland it's Opel unless it's a model imported from the UK).
They're in Australia too.
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tim-H View Post
They're in Australia too.
Thanks was not aware of that, thought they just had Holden down there.
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:55 PM   #11
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Lose lose for GM and loyal Saturn buyers.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:55 PM   #12
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:00 AM   #13
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It's a shame but GM didn't advertise the new face of Saturn at all. Most people you talk to still think square, deep set headlights when you mention Saturn.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:49 AM   #14
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Aside from the Sky, there wasn't much of value that couldn't be sold under other brands.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:18 AM   #15
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The astra was a great car, top gear loved it when it was badged as a vauxhall. I really liked the sky since it seemed as agile as a miata but alot beefer looking. Sad to see it go.
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:10 AM   #16
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Good riddance to Saturn, and I loved my 93 SC2 back in the day. They've been going downhill for too long for me to have any confidence in them. I don't know anyone that would've started buying Saturn again even if Penske pulled anything off. That bad history would've been insurmountable for Penske to overcome.
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:18 AM   #17
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The company I used to work for has a huge contract with Saturn. Leased forklifts and fleet management. As well as with Penske. They were really counting on this to take place, so far as to place new orders for forklifts. I knew it wasnt going to happen, and now I have to chuckle. They are stuck with another 300 or so forklifts and nobody to buy them.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:00 PM   #18
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GM should of changed the Saturn badge when they decided to start using Opel vehicles. They had the opportunity to capture more youthful buyers by bringing back the Opel badge or introducing the Vauxhall badge to North America. The Saturn badge just carries the image of cheaper plastic versions of other inexpensive GM cars.

Now I know the argument could be made that the badge shouldn't matter, a good car is still a good car and will sell, so I'll leave you with one of my favorite Simpsons quotes:

Lisa: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Bart: Not if you called 'em stench blossoms.
Homer: Or crapweeds.
Marge: I'd sure hate to get a dozen crapweeds for Valentine's Day. I'd rather have candy.
Homer: Not if they were called scumdrops.

Last edited by Almost a Ghost; 10-01-2009 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:24 PM   #19
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Time to start looking for a Sky Redline and see how low they will go.............
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:26 PM   #20
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sky was nice but not for that price.
Astra is ok, but it was pretty much mainstream European car which nobody values here in US.
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