Saturn Deal Didn’t Meet Renault’s Return Requirement

Sharon Terlep from the Dow Jones Newswires: Auto magnate Roger Penske believed he was taking over General Motors' Saturn brand until the very last moments, when France's Renault shocked both Penske and GM by backing out of an agreement to provide vehicles. Penske addressed the failed deal Friday as he announced Penske Automotive Group's quarterly financial results. The company also disclosed it took a $1.9 million third-quarter charge on the Saturn deal. "We believed we were making substantial progress toward an agreement," Penske said during a conference call with investors. At the last minute, he said, Renault decided the Saturn venture "did not meet their return requirement." Under their novel agreement, Penske would have taken over GM's network of Saturn dealers. The auto maker would have continued producing Saturn vehicles for about two years after which time Renault would take over production.

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Sources: Saturn to Discontinue Vehicle Exchange Program in the New Year

SaturnFans.com has learned from several reliable sources that Saturn will discontinue its Vehicle Exchange Program (VEP) on December 31, 2008 in an effort to cut costs and help create a more profitable business model for the company in the future. The program will reportedly continue to be offered on new Saturn vehicles sold and delivered through the end of the month.