It Really is a Different Car Company

Steve Finlay from Ward's Dealer Business: The GM-Penske deal that saves Saturn is considered good news for an industry seeing too much unpleasantness lately, from vehicle sales in a free fall to auto makers in bankruptcy. But few people realize the full implication of the reprieve. One who does is Jack Nerad, Kelly Blue Book's executive market analyst and editorial director. He calls the arrangement "one of the most significant developments" at a time filled with them. Here's why: "The proposed acquisition marks the beginning of a new business model in this industry; a model in which the distribution side of the business controls the brand, and the manufacturing is conducted by one or more sub-contractors," Nerad says. He predicts the possibility of Saturn dealers eventually marketing Korean or Chinese-built vehicles, or selling products an international auto maker builds in the U.S. Whichever, the main part of the "new Saturn" is not who makes the cars but who sells them. Auto makers won't play the lead role. The dealers will star in this production.

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GM Employee Pricing Returns with a Twist

GM Employee Pricing Logo

If you missed your chance to buy a new Saturn before the "GM Employee Pricing" promotion that ended last month, the Detroit News reports that you have another week or so to take advantage of special vehicle pricing. This time, though, there's a catch. Customers will only be offered the discount who are in possession of a coupon authorization code provided by a GM employee.