Saturn-Penske Deal Exites Employees

Ned Hunter JacksonSun.com: If the deal between Penske and General Motors closes, Penske's group would obtain the rights to Saturn's brand name and acquire certain assets as well, according to the company's website. "General Motors would continue to provide Saturn Aura, Vue and Outlook vehicles, on a contract basis, for an interim period," the Web site states. Wolkonowicz believes GM will supply cars to Penske through 2011; then the new Saturn owner will likely take production overseas. "It could be a joint venture between Renault and Samsung," Wolkonowicz said. "That could provide inexpensive small cars for sale in the U.S." Penske eventually would bring production of the Saturn brand back to the U.S. if it becomes financially feasible, Wolkonowicz said. But for that to happen, Americans would have to end their love affair with big cars and trucks - something Wolkonowicz said won't happen until gasoline returns to $3.50 a gallon or higher.

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Battery Supplier Issue Plauges Saturn, GM Hybrids

TheCarConnection reports that troubled battery maker Cobasys threatens to continue to limit the availability of Saturn and General Motors hybrid vehicles. The 2008 Saturn Vue and Aura Green Line hybrids, as well as the Chevrolet Malibu hybrid, use Cobasys' nickel-metal-hydride batteries. The company is also one GM's key suppliers for its new 2-mode hybrid models.