The Outlook for Closed Saturn Dealerships

Closed Saturn Dealership in Pompton Plains, NJ

Automotive News estimates that nearly 70 Saturn dealerships have closed this year as a result of the bad economy and GM's decision to sell the brand. What will happen to these 70 stores? There is an interested buyer: Kia. While the South Korean car company is buying up a number of closed dealerships around the country, it has a particular interest in acquiring Saturn dealerships.

Several characteristics make Saturn stores attractive to Kia. One of these characteristics is the way Saturn stores are set up to give each dealership owner exclusive rights to sell in a specific geographical region. Since many of Kia's current dealerships are located in rural and secondary markets, buying a Saturn dealership would allow them to anchor themselves in a region that was previously untapped. The second quality that appeals to Kia is the small size and newness of the Saturn dealerships. This makes them perfectly suited for Kia to sell their brand exclusively. Right now, only 60% of Kia's dealerships sell the brand exclusively.

Automotive News also reports that "Kia is talking to Saturn dealers about keeping their existing stores, adding a Kia store nearby and sharing a parts and service operation." Kia feels that Saturn customers are extremely satisfied with Saturn's service and parts department. Sharing service departments would allow them to improve their service reputation as well.

Source: Automotive News

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