Saturn Deal Could’ve Been Boost for Renault-Nissan

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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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General Motors Statement Regarding Black Oak Partners Press Release About Saturn

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As noted in GM's viability plan presented on February 17, 2009, GM announced it would review the potential spin-off or sale of Saturn and if those options did not prove viable Saturn's operations would be wound down over time. Over approximately the past 60 days, a sub-committee of Saturn retailers has been studying the feasibility of the sale or spin-off options, and has identified some parties that are potentially interested in a purchase or spin-off of Saturn. We are advised that one of the interested parties is Black Oak Partners. We are not at liberty to discuss any other interested party. With respect to what the eventual outcome concerning Saturn might be with Black Oak or any other interested party, it is simply premature at this time to speculate on what any eventual outcome may be.