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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Union Warns Aura, Malibu Plant of Possible Strike

From the Kansas City Business Journal: Union employees at the General Motors Fairfax Assembly Plant issued a letter warning the company that they will strike on Tuesday unless progress is made toward getting a new contract. Jeff Manning, president of United Auto Workers Local 31, said the previous contract expired in September.