Saturn Deal Could’ve Been Boost for Renault-Nissan

Samsung QM5 Sport-Utility

Greg Gardner from the Detroit Free Press: French automaker Renault and Japanese partner Nissan have been trying to strengthen their position in North America since forming an alliance 10 years ago, and Detroit businessman Roger Penske's vision for Saturn seemed to be a good fit. Nissan has not grown in the United States as fast as Toyota or Honda. Renault left the U.S. market in 1989, two years after it sold American Motors, which once built Jeeps, to Chrysler. Together, the Renault-Nissan alliance has created the fifth-largest automaker globally, after Toyota, General Motors, Ford Motor, and Volkswagen. Nissan helped improve Renault's productivity. Renault's global purchasing scale helped Nissan pay less for its parts. Renault also owns 80.1% of South Korean automaker Renault Samsung Motors, and Penske had plans to import Samsung vehicles for sale through Saturn dealerships, the trade publication Automotive News previously reported. At least four Samsung vehicles have been engineered from Nissan underbodies. Penske has demonstrated a knack for carrying out innovative strategies in the commercial truck and logistics markets. Renault-Nissan was an attractive partner. Perhaps there was too much overlap between the vehicles sold by Saturn and Nissan. In that sense, Renault-Nissan may have been moving into the similar dilemma that led to many of GM's problems: too many similar products covering too many similar brands.

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2010 Saturn Preview: What Could Have Been, What Might Still Be...

Last month, General Motors announced that it would stop building Saturns when production of the brand's 2009 models ended later this year – unless, of course, Saturn is spun-off from GM and its new owners request GM to produce 2010 models for the brand's retailers to sell. With the sale of Saturn looking more and more likely, it is also looking more and more likely that GM will indeed build 2010 model year Saturns. Here's a look at what was in store for Saturn's 2010 model year – and what will likely be produced once Saturn is formally separated from GM.