Handcuffed Saturn Retailers Consider their Fates

Steve Finlay from Wards AutoWorld: GM says it will shut down Saturn after Penske announced that his plan to buy the brand has failed due to an inability to find a supplier of vehicles beyond GM. Some Saturn dealers have other brands to fall back on. Those that don’t are the hardest hit. One of them is Todd Ingersoll, owner of Saturn of Danbury, a facility that opened last year. At the grand opening, the Danbury, CT, store was hailed as "a vote of confidence in the division's future." When the proposed Penske-GM deal to save Saturn was announced in July, an elated Ingersoll said he was "thrilled." Now that the deal has fallen apart, he somberly considers his prospects. "We can always remain hopeful, but it doesn't look good," says Ingersoll, who in retrospect figures he placed too much confidence in a happy ending. He's scrambling to find a new use for his store, "but we didn't really do our homework there, because the Penske deal looked so good."

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Breaking News: Saturn Continues to Explore Options, Faces Shutdown in 2011 if No Viable Alternative Found

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General Motors Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner announced during a news conference this evening that Saturn will remain in operation through the end of the planned lifecycle for all Saturn products (2010-11). In the interim, should Saturn retailers as a group or other investors present a plan that would allow a spin off or sale of Saturn Distribution Corporation, GM would be open to any such possibility. If a spin off or sale does not occur, it is GM's intention to phase out the Saturn brand at the end of the current product lifecycle.