Penske Bets Legacy on Saturn

Lou Whiteman from Penske is a believer in Saturn, and has put his money where his mouth is. His Penske Automotive Group over the summer struck a deal to pay an undisclosed sum (believed to be less than $200 million) to acquire Saturn, hopeful of reusing a strategy that has worked for its Smart car unit: becoming a "virtual automaker" that contracts out manufacturing to a foreign supplier while focusing on sales, service, and marketing. Smart has succeeded in part because it offered a product (an ultra-compact and fuel-efficient vehicle) that was largely unavailable in the marketplace. Similarly, Saturn must figure out a way to differentiate itself in the markets for midsized sedans and crossover vehicles already crowded with traditional competitors as well as rapidly growing new entrants like Hyundai.

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GM Employee Discount Promotion Set to Return

General Motors will once again offer an employee discount incentive to help drive traffic into showrooms and boost August sales. The promotion, according to an Automotive News report published this afternoon, will start August 20th and will apply to all GM brands, including Saturn. It will reportedly run through the end of Labor Day weekend.