Penske Runs into Saturn’s Historic Wall: Product

More Photos of the Renault Samsung SM3

Lindsay Chappell from Automotive News: Roger Penske's 11th-hour decision to pass on acquiring General Motors' Saturn brand marks a sad continuation of the same problem that has dogged Saturn for a decade: a lack of products. Penske had the bold proposal of keeping Saturn alive by creating a virtual automaker. GM was not going to sell Penske any auto factories, and Penske was happy not to have to own any. In taking over the ownership of the Saturn brand name, Penske would get a logo, parts inventories and a field staff – but no designers, stylists, engineers or r&d labs. That meant Penske's staff would have to perpetually wander the earth seeking other automakers to make cars of Penske's description and specifications for Saturn showrooms. In canceling the deal Wednesday afternoon, Penske told GM that it had become apparent – after a single proposed third-party automaker had nixed the deal – that his "virtual automaker" proposal was too risky and uncertain.

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On the Auction Block: 2004 Saturn Ion Red Line (Blue)

On the Auction Block: 2004 Saturn Ion Red Line (Blue)

This modified blue '04 Saturn Ion Red Line will be auctioned by Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona later this week.