Penske Envisions Saturn as a Global Motors, Says Electric Models May be "First Vehicles Produced in the U.S." Under Agreement

Michelle Krebs from Edmunds Auto Observer: In light of the U.S. government's emphasis on available funding for alternative-powered vehicles, Penske said "electric vehicles will be right at the forefront" and "might be the first vehicles produced in the U.S." under this new Saturn arrangement with foreign partners. A former racecar driver and still a race-team owner, Penske said performance, which Saturn tried to highlight with its Red Line models, will take a backseat for now. "We need to be focused on the core volume before we become a specialty house. We need to generate volume," he said, noting that Saturn's volume has fallen to less than 100,000 vehicles sold annually. "We need to get back to a 150,000-200,000 run rate. Then we'll look at specialty items. "Performance is close to my heart and adds value to attract certain customers," he continued. "But first we have to be sure the customer base is satisfied with low-cost and efficient models."

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Spied! Next-Generation Astra Inside and Out

Leftlane News has amassed a rather sizable collection of next-generation Astra spy photos. At this point though, automotive blog reports that there is "no word on when the next Saturn Astra will hit U.S. shores." We do know, however, that GM will build the compact hatchback somewhere in North America to avoid suffering from any adverse changes in the exchange rate.