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.

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AutoPacific: Penske Gets a "Gem" with Aura

AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Award

The Saturn Aura won the 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) for top Premium Midsize Car, according to automotive research firm AutoPacific. Porsche and Ford Motor Company earned top honors in the 2009 IVA. The IVAs are based on owners' ratings of their new 2009 model year cars and trucks across 15 key vehicle attributes. The cars or trucks that owners would change the least are the most ideal. "In today's economy, car buyers take many factors into consideration - styling, safety features, fuel economy and more," says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific.