Saturn Likely to Return its to Its Roots as a Lower-End, Competitive-Priced Car Company

Samsung SM3

David Goldman and Peter Valdes-Dapena from GM has said it will stop producing Saturn vehicles by 2011. GM would continue production of only the three highest-selling models: the Aura sedan, and the Vue and Outlook cross-over SUVs, for the next two years. The Saturn Sky and Astra models will be discontinued. To replace GM as the brand's manufacturer, Penske is in discussions with several global automakers. One likely replacement is Renault Samsung Motors of Korea, Automotive News reported. "We have been in discussions on a worldwide basis with many people that have an interest in this marketplace," Penske said. Still, much will depend on the quality of cars that it sells. "It's really going to depend on who Penske partners up with," said Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of "Even if it sells good, global-standard vehicles, Saturn will need to stand for more than just the retail experience." Penske said he wants Lajdziak to stay on at the company, and he also offered former Chrysler President Tom LaSorda a top spot at Saturn. Penske hired LaSorda in May as a consultant for the Saturn deal.

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AMP Taking Orders for Electric Sky Conversions

Electric Saturn Sky

After one year development, an Ohio company is now taking orders to convert a gasoline-powered Saturn Skys to 100% electric power. The company, Advanced Mechanical Products (AMP), is replacing the combustion drivetrain with electric motors, safe lithium batteries, and proprietary control software. "The prototype is in the final stage, and production will take place later this year, with deliveries beginning in 2009," said Jack Kuntz, AMP CEO.