Manufacturing Plants Included in the Deal?

2009 Saturn Sky

In a morning press conference, GM's President and CEO, Fritz Henderson, updated the media on the state of the financially tapped company. He also added another interesting twist to the ongoing Saturn saga. According to Consumer Reports, "Henderson said GM would entertain offers on Saturn manufacturing plants and models in addition to the dealer and distribution network."

When asked specifically about the Wilmington, Delaware plant, he responded that the company would be "very open to this and would encourage it." The Wilmington, Delaware plant currently produces the Saturn Sky, Pontiac Solstice and the Opel GT (produced in the US but exported to Europe). All three models are based on the Kappa platform that produces small, rear-wheel drive cars.

One of the parties reportedly interested in Saturn is Roger Penske. Will Penske think this a viable selling option? His company's success is tied to distribution, not manufacturing. If Penske teams up with Renault/Nissan to bid on Saturn, Nissan might view this as a more lucrative offer but probably not. According to Motor Trend, "Nissan already has plenty of unused automaking capacity in North America."

Henderson also stated that there are several parties interested in Saturn but no offers have been made for any of the manufacturing plants at this time.

There was no mention of whether Saturn's former Spring Hill, Tennessee facility is also up for grabs. It is rumored that GM may move production of the Chevrolet Traverse to it's Lansing Delta Township plant in Michigan when the production of the Outlook ends. This could leave Spring Hill, a modern and up-to-date plant, without a product.

Sources: Consumer Reports, Motor Trend

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