Telesto Reiterates Interest to Save Saturn

Telesto Ventures, an investor group that includes private equity firm Black Oak Partners and a number of Saturn retailers, reiterated its intent to acquire Saturn Distribution Corporation (SDC) in its ongoing effort to save more than 440 US and Canadian Saturn retailers and preserve an iconic American brand. The group originally put forth its intentions to GM on April 9th.

The goal of Telesto Ventures is three-fold:

  • Save more than 10,000 auto retailer jobs and enhance the original Saturn model for delivering a best-in-class customer experience;

  • Save the American taxpayers and General Motors hundreds of millions of dollars and avoid the significant negative impact to local economies that shuttering Saturn dealerships across the US would create; and,
  • Successfully deliver a model that enables more fuel efficient and greener automobiles to come to market and meet the growing demand in America.

"This as a win-win for everyone involved. It keeps more than 10,000 Americans productively working at a time when it is critical to keep our economy moving. Our plan costs GM and the American taxpayers nothing; and, it alleviates one of the major problems GM is dealing with," said John S. Pappanastos, a spokesperson for the investment group. "The beauty and early success of Saturn was that it was a model built very differently than anything in the auto industry to date – it put as much weight on the customer experience as on the physical product. We’ve assembled a team that has the experience and track record that can successfully de-couple it from General Motors and operate it as it was originally intended."

The "new" Saturn Distribution Corporation (nSDC) will leverage Saturn's brand and focus on product sourcing, quality assurance, distribution, competitive analysis/positioning and national branding. nSDC's low-asset, lean-distribution model will offer a number of advantages in the current environment, and the Saturn network will provide the ideal platform for creating this model instantaneously.

"These unprecedented times are putting significant financial pressure on the Saturn retailers, and time has become of critical importance to them," said Pappanastos. "We can appreciate the challenges that GM is facing under dire economic circumstances and very short timeframes. We are positioned to work with them in a very expeditious manner to put in place a mutually agreeable plan that will save critical American jobs through a viable ongoing Saturn."

Source: Telesto Ventures

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