New Saturn Updates and Clarifications Surface After GM Released Its Revised Viability Plan Yesterday

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After yesterday morning's press conference where General Motors outlined its revised "Viability Plan" – a plan that included, among other things, an announcement that the Saturn brand would be shutdown at the end of this year if no buyer emerges – two other rather significant Saturn-related news items surfaced. Both were related to GM's need to move "faster and deeper" with its restructuring.

  • First came word that GM is proceeding immediately "to the next step" with respect to the sale of Saturn. GM will be reviewing expressions of interest from potential investors between now and June 1, 2009. The company will work to have an agreement in place with a specific investor by the end of the end of this year – or sooner if feasible.

  • Secondly, production of GM-built Saturn vehicles will end sooner than originally thought. Production is currently not slated to end of this calendar year, but instead after the 2009 model year later this summer or fall. A final timeline for the build-out of the 2009 models has not yet been set.

That being said, the sale of Saturn is looking increasingly more likely. This new, Government-inspired expedited schedule will help to keep the process – and all parties involved – moving quickly. Saturn is reportedly "moving as fast as possible" to complete the spin-off one source told SaturnFans.com, and the brand will "complete the deal earlier if possible." Once a sale is complete, GM would be willing to consider to continue manufacturing vehicles on a contracted basis should that be requested by Saturn's new owner – which has been rumored to be part of the plan all along.

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