Breaking News: Saturn to be Spun Off from General Motors, Brand to Return to Its Roots as a Different Kind of Car Company

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Hot on the heels of Rick Wagoner's announcement yesterday evening that Saturn faces an uncertain future at General Motors, comes news that plans have already been set in motion to separate the import-fighting brand from the faltering auto giant. The resulting entity will be a new, independent car company that's able to source cars from other automakers built to Saturn's specifications.

A reliable source tells that a small subcommittee, operating under the Saturn Franchise Operations Team (FOT), has been created to guide the formation of Saturn Distribution Corporation and its separation from GM. An outside consultant has reportedly been hired to work with investors and retail store owners to take Saturn private. Saturn's customer-friendly, consumer-focused, and right-sized retail network is attractive to outside financiers who are interested in helping return Saturn to it's former glory as a "different kind of company." As Wagoner confirmed during a news conference Monday evening outlining GM's updated restructuring plan, the newly independent Saturn will continue to sell GM-sourced vehicles until 2011.

In the meantime, has learned that one of the brand's first orders of business will be to add a new small car to the Saturn fleet. Additional vehicles will be added to the lineup before the current GM-built models reach their end-of-life. A letter and video has been sent to Saturn retail store owners describing the new plan.

This most recent turn of events caps more than two months of uncertainty surrounding the Saturn brand. During that time, several thousand fans signed's "Save Saturn" petition, pleading GM to keep the company. While that scenario didn't exactly play out, we now have a situation that presents even more promise and opportunity: Saturn's lineup will no longer be a function of whatever other GM brands are selling. This new development opens a new chapter in Saturn's history with a renewed focus on the mission and values originally put in place by the company's founders. Retailers' vested interest in the success of the new company means that they'll continue to take care of customers in the same award-winning way that the original Saturn used to revolutionize the auto industry almost twenty years ago.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

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