Penske Breaks Off Talks with GM for Saturn, Brand to Go Away

Michelle Krebs from Edmunds Auto Observer: In a surprise move, Penske Automotive Group terminated discussions with General Motors to acquire Saturn due to its inability to secure agreements for the future supply of vehicles beyond what it had negotiated with GM. As a result, GM will wind down Saturn much as it is doing now with its Pontiac division. In a statement issued by the Penske Group late Wednesday, on the eve of the expected close of the deal, the auto retailing group cited "concerns directly related to the future supply of vehicles beyond the supply period it had negotiated with GM." Retailers who had signed franchise agreements for the new Penske-run Saturn group were as shocked as anyone. They were scheduled to attend meetings with company founder Roger Penske next week, after the deal was closed, to hear about plans for product and timing. Instead, they head through the media - not the Penske group, Saturn or GM - that the deal had fallen apart. Some are hoping something can be salvaged of the plan.

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Jill Lajdziak Deserves Kudos for Addressing the General Motors Restructuring Plan Directly with the Saturn Community

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Less than 24 hours after General Motors announced it was planning to "explore alternatives" for Saturn, the brand's general manager, Jill Lajdziak, spoke directly to the Saturn community by way of her ImSaturn blog to address the issue. While she couldn't go into too much detail due to the sensitive and complex nature of the situation, Jill did explain what the immediate next steps are for Saturn. And she also promises more updates in the future.