Collapse of Deal for Saturn Stuns GM
Tim Higgins from the Detroit Free Press: On Tuesday, General Motors Co. thought it had a deal to sell its storied brand Saturn. But Wednesday afternoon, a day before the deal was to be announced, the Detroit automaker was blindsided by the news that businessman Roger Penske's deal to acquire Saturn had collapsed. The news sent shockwaves through the GM organization. While dealers still hope Saturn might be saved, GM expects all the dealerships to be closed by the end of next year, if not sooner. Saturn vehicle owners are to be able to have their vehicles serviced at remaining GM dealerships, and the company plans to continue to provide parts for those vehicles. Internally, GM had planned for the final deal to be announced today. GM and Penske had reached their end of the agreement Tuesday, but Penske still needed to close a deal with a third-party manufacturer to build vehicles for the Saturn dealers after GM stopped providing product. According to Penske, the company had reached a deal with a third party, but the manufacturer's board of directors rejected it. That third party was the Renault-Nissan alliance. At 1pm Wednesday, it became clear to GM officials that the Penske deal wasn't going to happen, a person who worked on the deal said.