Brand, Retailers, Jobs Face Grim Prospects as Penske Pulls Out of Saturn Purchase

G. Chambers Williams III from the Tennessean: While dealers still hope Saturn might be saved, GM expects all the dealerships will be closed by the end of next year, if not sooner. Asked if GM would seek another buyer, Thomas Pyden, a GM spokesman, said: "I guess never say never, but our focus now is on implementing the wind-down agreements and working with our Saturn retailers to be as transparent and cooperative as possible through the process." The disintegrating Penske deal was especially brutal news for Saturn dealers and thousands of their employees, who believed they had managed to escape the guillotine with Penske's arrival at the negotiating table last June. "It's disappointing, but we haven't heard any details yet, so I really can't comment," said C.M. "Bill" Gatton, a Bristol, Tenn.-based dealer who owns all three of the Nashville-area Saturn stores, in Madison, Cool Springs and Clarksville. "We do want to assure our customers that they will not have to worry about their warranties," he said. "Other than that, we're kind of in the dark right now."

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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."