Friday, June 5, 2009
General Motors Corporation (GM), an American automaker which has filed for bankruptcy protection, announced on Friday that the Penske Automotive Group (PAG) was selected to purchase Saturn Corporation. The transaction should be completed in October.
The purchase includes rights to the Saturn brand, its five current models and its dealership network. Two models would be discontinued, the Sky and Astra. GM would continue building the Aura sedan, the SUV’s, Vue and Outlook for at least two more years.
Saturn has 350 dealers across the United States. The dealers employ more than 13,000 jobs and sell only the Saturn autos. Canadian Saturn dealers are not included in the deal.
According to Penske future Saturn vehicles will be fuel economy focused. An expert indicated that this would move Saturn back to its roots of a entry level car company. PAG is in talks with several international automakers to replace GM after 2011. Automotive News reports that Renault Samsung Motors of Korea is the most likely candidate.
Penske wants Jill Lajdziak, Saturn’s general manager, and Tom LaSorda, former Chrysler President to head up the company when it is independent of GM.
Serra Automotive in Grand Blanc Township, Genesee County, Michigan, is in talks to take a partial ownership in a new Saturn lead by Penske.