It Is Official: Penske to Buy Saturn, Transform it Into a Larger Global Brand

Roger Penske

Sharon Terlep and John Stoll from the Dow Jones Newswires: Each of General Motors' 350 US Saturn dealerships will receive offers to continue selling the vehicles under a tentative deal announced Friday to sell the brand to mega dealer Roger Penske. Penske, who runs the Penske Automotive Group chain of dealers, will take over the brands, trademarks, service and parts operations and distribution operations related to the Saturn. "We will have a completely independent company, and it will be lean," Penske said in a conference call with reporters Friday. In addition to taking over the retail network, Penske will strike deals with various auto makers, including GM and Renault, allowing him to buy vehicles from those auto makers' factories to fill out the Saturn vehicle portfolio. GM and Penske have a memorandum of understanding signed, and the deal is considered tentative at this point. Penske declined to disclose the price tag of the Saturn deal. He said the sale is expected to preserve around 13,000 jobs. Saturn, he said, would eventually grow to a global brand with more vehicles in its lineup. Short-term plans call for keeping the Outlook crossover, Aura sedan and Vue SUV. The Saturn Sky roadster won't continue.

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Report: With Retailer Support, Saturn Could Return to its Roots and Get Another Lease on Life at GM

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The headline of an article in the Los Angeles Times two days ago read like many other articles published in newspapers and blogs all over the Web this week: "GM may pull plug on Saturn." But if you read the whole story written by Ken Bensinger, the article painted a much more optimistic picture for Saturn - one that's been overshadowed by the drama on Capitol Hill and the countless reports that speculate Saturn's days are numbered.