WardsAuto: Once-Radical Idea to Become Reality

Steve Finlay from WardsAuto.com: Auto makers sometimes veered into the guardrails of paranoia in the 1990s as they watched AutoNation grow fast by buying up scores of dealerships. Manufacturers worried that if Wayne Huizenga's new enterprise got too big, it would start telling them what to do, rather than the traditional other way around for the automotive retail franchise system. Such a U-turn from business as usual didn't occur. Yet something like it is about to take place. But AutoNation won't be the one making it happen. Another dealership chain, Penske Automotive Group, will do so, with the full cooperation of General Motors. Penske wants Saturn not so much for its vehicles but its 350-store dealership network. During its 19-year GM run, many of Saturn's vehicles – especially the early ones – got so-so grades. But most of its dealers got straight A's for treating customers right, one of the brand's original missions.

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Press Release: General Motors Corporation Restructuring Plan for Long-Term Viability


General Motors today submitted a plan to use Federal bridge loans to create a leaner, more competitive company, one that is profitable and self-sustaining for the long term. The plan, submitted in response to Congressional hearings in November, includes a detailed blueprint for a successful, sustainable General Motors.