Penske and Saturn Aim to Create a New Car Universe

John Ketzenberger from Roger Penske may drive the auto industry back to the future in a Saturn if his deal for the General Motors subsidiary goes through. If Penske's gambit succeeds, the companies that control product distribution will supplant the actual manufacturers for primacy in the auto industry. The changes will take place over several years, but it could mean a wider variety of cars that get to market much faster. "With all the turmoil in the marketplace, (Penske) sees an opportunity to take one piece of GM that he thinks has great value and build on it," said Nate Feltman, an economic development attorney with Baker & Daniels and former state commerce secretary. "And we know how successful he's been." Penske will pay GM to build Saturns for two years. After that? It depends on whether Penske is satisfied with the quality and price it pays GM. If another assembler can maintain quality at a lower unit price, the industry has changed. Cars then become just another commodity to move through a distribution channel. That makes sense to Lynn Kimmel, president of Lockhart Automotive Group, which has Saturn dealerships in Indianapolis, Greenwood and Fishers. GM conceived Saturn outside the normal big auto infrastructure and captured the fancy of young buyers. The problems started when Saturn failed to develop new models.

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Start of Production Dates for 2007 Saturn Aura, Ion, Vue

GM Canada's Fleet and Commercial website has published start of production dates for the 2007 Saturn Aura midsize car, Ion sedan and quad coupe small cars, and the Vue sport-utility.