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GM President & CEO Fritz Henderson: Penske Discussions Terminated, Brand to be Shutdown

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General Motors Media Statement Attributed To President & CEO Fritz Henderson: Today we learned that Penske Automotive Group (PAG) has decided to terminate discussions with General Motors to acquire Saturn. This is very disappointing news and comes after months of hard work by hundreds of dedicated employees and Saturn retailers who tried to make the new Saturn a reality. PAG's announcement explained that their decision was not based on interactions with GM or Saturn retailers.

Penske Automotive Terminates Discussions with General Motors to Acquire Saturn

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Penske Automotive Group today announced that it has terminated its discussions with General Motors to acquire the Saturn brand, citing concerns directly related to the future supply of vehicles beyond the supply period it had negotiated with GM.

Developing Story: Penske Backs Out of Deal, General Motors to Close Saturn

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With negotiations expected to finalize tomorrow, Roger Penske shockingly announced to GM and the public today that he is backing out of the deal after failing to secure a manufacturer for the brand. For a couple of months now, Penske has been courting Renault-Nissan in an effort to outsource a model for the Saturn brand.

Detroit Free Press: Penske to Close Saturn Deal Wednesday, Jill Lajdziak Said to be Retiring from GM

Tim Higgins from the Detroit Free Press: Detroit businessman and booster Roger Penske is on track to close a deal to buy General Motors' Saturn division on Wednesday, the Free Press learned today. The official announcement could come Thursday. Several signs point to a final deal soon: Jill Lajdziak, Saturn's general manager, has asked for an early retirement package from GM, an indication that she is leaving, a person familiar with her decision said.

Retailers Have Plenty of Resolve

Saturn of Decatur

Tom Walsh from the Detroit Free Press: At Saturn of Warren, general sales manager Kevin Bilski said people were stunned in December when GM said it would sell or discard Saturn. "It was like being told your parents don't love you anymore," he said. But folks perked up a few months later when Roger Penske expressed interest in Saturn. Penske hasn't closed the purchase deal with GM yet or gone public with his plan for the brand's future, "but just that name Penske brings a lot of positive press," Bilski said. "GM never knew what to do with Saturn. We were the redheaded stepchild," said Carl Galeana, 57, vice president of the Galeana Auto Group that his father, Frank, founded in 1974.

It Really is a Different Car Company

Steve Finlay from Ward's Dealer Business: The GM-Penske deal that saves Saturn is considered good news for an industry seeing too much unpleasantness lately, from vehicle sales in a free fall to auto makers in bankruptcy. But few people realize the full implication of the reprieve. One who does is Jack Nerad, Kelly Blue Book's executive market analyst and editorial director.

Penske Bets Legacy on Saturn

Lou Whiteman from thedeal.com: Penske is a believer in Saturn, and has put his money where his mouth is. His Penske Automotive Group over the summer struck a deal to pay an undisclosed sum (believed to be less than $200 million) to acquire Saturn, hopeful of reusing a strategy that has worked for its Smart car unit: becoming a "virtual automaker" that contracts out manufacturing to a foreign supplier while focusing on sales, service, and marketing. Smart has succeeded in part because it offered a product (an ultra-compact and fuel-efficient vehicle) that was largely unavailable in the marketplace.

GM Adds Third Shift at Three Plants

General Motors will add a third shift at its Fairfax, Kansas; Ft. Wayne, Indiana; and Lansing Delta Township, Michigan plants - restoring 2,400 jobs and enabling GM to increase its manufacturing plant utilization in the U.S.

NY Times: Detroit’s Mr. Fix-It Takes on Saturn

In Mr. Penske's view, Saturn is a potential jewel to be plucked from the scrap heap of GM's bankruptcy. By early next month, his company, the Penske Automotive Group, is expected to complete its acquisition of Saturn from GM. After that, it plans to try to reinvent the brand as an independent chain of dealerships.

Retailers Say Penske Close to Buying Saturn

Roger Penske

Robert Snell from the Detroit News: Saturn dealers nationwide have received new sales and service agreements from Roger Penske, a sign the auto icon is close to finalizing a deal for the castoff General Motors brand. The two-year agreements, which are subject to completion of a deal for Saturn, were sent to about 340 U.S. dealers, who had until September 11th to sign and return them. The agreements have one-year automatic renewals if dealers meet certain conditions.

Random Article from the SaturnFans.com Archives

Have You Experienced the Ignition Switch Issue?

Key Plug and Ring

We're interested in talking to owners of 2003-2007 Saturn Ions who have had their ignition replaced or have experienced the engine shutoff problems. In addition, according the NBC News, there were also about 500 people in the country who were given one of the plastic plugs (shown above) a few years ago to put into their key ring from GM. Did anyone get one of these?