Will Moderate For Cigars
Date registered: Apr 2005
Vehicle: 2002 ML320, 2005 S430 4MATIC, 2010 F150 Crew Cab
Location: City on the TN River
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 200 Post(s)
Penske Motors Company
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Bankrupt automaker General Motors Corp. announced Friday that it will sell its Saturn unit to car dealership operator Penske Automotive Group.
Penske (PAG, Fortune 500) is owned by former race car driver Roger Penske, who owns NASCAR and IndyCar racing teams. The deal would give Penske the rights to the 19-year old brand, but GM would continue production of Saturn's three highest-selling models, including the Aura sedan, and the Vue and Outlook cross-over SUVs.
The deal, which GM expects to be completed in October, would save more than 13,000 jobs at Saturn and its nearly 400 dealers nationwide. All of Saturn's dealerships sell only Saturn vehicles, so they are reliant on the brand's continuation for their survival.
"There has been a groundswell of support for Saturn, with our retailers and owners urging us to save the brand," Jill Lajdziak, Saturn's general manager, said in a statement. "We heard their call loud and clear, and it inspired us as we worked to secure Saturn's future."
The sale is part of GM's strategy to shed its four "non-core" U.S. brands -- Saturn, Hummer, Pontiac and Saab -- as it restructures the company.
On Tuesday, GM (GMGMQ) announced a deal to sell its Hummer line to China's Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company Ltd.
The Saturn brand has been highly rated in customer satisfaction surveys for its no-haggle policy. Though Saturn sales have slumped badly this year, the brand actually far outsold Buick and Cadillac in 2008, when it was GM's fourth highest-selling unit. GM has sold more than 4 million Saturns since 1990.
"Saturn has a passionate customer base and outstanding dealer network," Roger Penske said in a statement. "For nearly 20 years Saturn has focused on treating the customer right. We share that philosophy, and we want to build on those strengths."
GM has said it would stop producing Saturn vehicles by 2011, but it was not yet clear how the unit's sale would impact that timeframe.
Shares of Penske rose 3% in morning trading.
2005 S430 4Matic 'Morton' W220.183 • 722.671 Rest in Peace
Bells and whistles are thorns and thistles.