GM, Retailers Begin the End to Saturn

Robert Snell from the Detroit News: Dealers have until the end of October 2010 to close, but many will be gone by January because inventory is low, dealers said. The automaker will begin winding down Saturn dealers, who are being offered between $100,000 and $1 million to stay open and gradually sell inventory. Saturn dealers this year signed wind-down agreements that provide for the orderly closing of their stores instead of seeing their dealerships left in bankruptcy court. GM late last month sent Saturn dealers a letter extending the retailer agreement until November 30 — a precautionary move in case the Penske deal didn't close by Wednesday. The letter left some wondering if the extension left some room to salvage a deal. But GM spokesman John McDonald reiterated plans to shut down Saturn. "The deal is dead," he said.

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Lutz Tells Automotive News that the Poor Currency Exchange Rate is Hurting Saturn Astra Sales

General Motors says the imported Saturn Astra has become a victim of the weak U.S. dollar. The Belgium-built 3- and 5-door hatchbacks, while critically acclaimed, have suffered from slow sales since their North American launch last January. GM vice chairman Bob Lutz bluntly told Automotive News in an article published this morning that "the car is priced too high."