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. Saturn dealers have been asked to sign new franchise agreements with Penske. Joe Serra, who owns two Saturn dealerships, believes everything is on track. "It looks like they are probably on the two-yard line," Serra said.

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Saturn Sales Decline in July Inline with Industry; Aura, Sky, Astra Sales Increased Last Month

Saturn sales were down 13.6% in July, despite higher sales of the brand's newly revitalized and fuel-efficient car lineup. The jump in sales by the Astra, Sky, and Aura, though, wasn't enough to offset the sales gap left by the discontinued Ion sedan and quad coupe. As a result, Saturn's car sales fell 12.7% last month compared to July 2007.