Renault to Help Mercedes with New Smart Vehicle, Plans Return To U.S.

Richard Read from the Car Connection: No one can deny that French automaker Renault is on the move these days. In addition to its work with Nissan on electric vehicles, the company is in talks with Mercedes-Benz to develop a new model for Mercedes' Smart brand. And here in the U.S., the company is chatting with Roger Penske about selling Renault-badged vehicles on American lots alongside Saturn automobiles - vehicles that Renault's Samsung subsidiary may begin producing after General Motors pulls the plug in 2011. Not only is Penske interested in having Renault's Korean arm, Samsung, manufacture Saturns in the future (after they stop rolling off the GM line in 2011), but his dealerships may also sell Renault-badged vehicles alongside them. These discussions are very, very preliminary, but we wouldn't be surprised if they firmed up in the near future.

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GM Employee Discount Promotion Set to Return

General Motors will once again offer an employee discount incentive to help drive traffic into showrooms and boost August sales. The promotion, according to an Automotive News report published this afternoon, will start August 20th and will apply to all GM brands, including Saturn. It will reportedly run through the end of Labor Day weekend.