Will Saturn-Penske Become the New Template for Auto Retailing?

From DealersEdge: In most retailing industries, the people who are closest to the customers, the retailers, tell their various manufacturers what customers want and the manufacturers provide it. Not so in auto retailing, where the manufacturers decide what to produce and then expect the retailers to sell it. That model is about to change with the news that Penske Automotive Group has agreed to take over the Saturn brand from General Motors. As Jack Nerad, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com observes: "The announcement that Penske Automotive Group will buy General Motors' Saturn brand is one of the most significant developments in a month that has been full of significant developments. The proposed acquisition marks the beginning of a new business model in this industry; a model in which the distribution side of the business controls the brand and manufacturing is conducted by one or more sub-contractors."

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GM Will Offer Hybrid Power On More Than A Dozen Popular Models

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General Motors will offer optional hybrid powertrains on several of its most popular models including trucks, SUVs and mid-size sedans starting in late 2003, GM President and CEO Rick Wagoner announced today at the North American International Auto Show.