Don Hudler: "I Didn’t Expect to Finish this Way"

Peter Brown from Automotive News: At 75, Saturn megadealer Don Hudler figures he's going to stick with the brand till the fat lady sings. "We're diehards. We'll probably go to the bitter end," Hudler, the former chairman of Saturn Corp., said last week after the shocking news that Roger Penske's deal to buy the Saturn brand had collapsed. Hudler owns three Saturn dealerships in Houston and three in Dallas. The day after the deal collapsed, floor traffic "all but stopped," he said. Hudler's history is intertwined with the once-promising brand. He was its marketing chief in the early 1990s as Saturn became the industry's leader in customer service and loyalty. Then he became chairman, briefly ran a GM subsidiary that bought more than 20 Saturn dealerships, and then bought the Texas stores in 2001. Now he's looking at an empty cupboard and a slow death for the brand. "I never like to admit that I don't have a plan," he said in a phone interview. "But I was stunned by it. It sounded like it [the sale to Penske] was just waiting to close."

Random Article from the SaturnFans.com Archives

Former Chrysler Executives Involved in Bidder Efforts to Save Saturn

Tags:
Save Saturn

Last week, Penske Automotive Group disclosed to the media that it had secured former Chrysler President, Tom LaSorda, as an advisor for the deal. Similar news was unveiled yesterday by Telesto Ventures. The investor group has hired a team of advisors which are all, oddly enough, former executives at Chrysler. According to Telesto's CEO, John Pappanastos, "The Saturn brand has the opportunity to serve a significant role in transforming the auto industry. We have carefully selected a team of proven innovators who not only bring powerful thinking to the table, but also the critical execution skills that have enabled us to make significant progress in such a short amount of time."