Detroit media reports that General Motors will announce Wednesday or Thursday it has completed the sale of its Saturn division to Penske Automotive Group, though no one from either GM or Penske will confirm the report.
GM and the Penske group have been negotiating the deal since June. In an exclusive interview with Edmunds’ AutoObserver.com then, Roger Penske laid out his vision for Saturn as a different kind of global motors — one that sells GM-made models but also sells vehicles made in other parts of the world by offshore manufacturers.
Initially, Saturn dealers will continue to sell GM-made models — the Saturn Vue compact crossover, the midsize Saturn Aura sedan and the Saturn Outlook full-size crossover. GM will make those vehicles for Penske for at least three years through their current lifecycles. An extension for Penske’s Saturn to buy GM-produced models could be negotiated beyond that.
Meantime, the Penske group has been shopping for other products around the globe that could fill Saturn showrooms in the next 12-18 months. Speculation is those would include vehicles from French automaker Renault and its South Korean Samsung unit.
Longtime Saturn executive Jill Lajdziak, who has been working with the Penske group to close the sale, reportedly has requested an early retirement package and will not be joining the Penske group to run Saturn, the Detroit Free Press reported
by Mircea Serafim
) - Thursday, October 1st, 2009 - filed under Industry
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