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Old 03-05-2009, 09:25 PM   #1
saturnplace
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Default Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

Automaker hires well-known N.Y. consultant to work on deals


Jamie LaReau
Automotive News
March 5, 2009 - 5:21 pm ET
UPDATED: 3/5/09 5:37 p.m. ET


DETROIT -- Saturn is attracting interest from a "few" parties that might want to acquire the brand, a General Motors spokesman said today.

GM has hired Steve Girsky, formerly senior auto analyst for Morgan Stanley, to help advise on any possible Saturn deals.




Saturn spokesman Steve Janisse said, "There is interest from investors in doing a spinoff, and there are other entities interested in just buying it." He said he does not know whether the interested parties are other automakers.

In its Feb. 17 viability report to the U.S. Treasury, GM said it would supply product to Saturn through the 2012 model year. It said if it did not find a buyer or other solution for Saturn before 2012, it would phase out the brand. GM formed a small task force of dealers and some GM employees to look at how it could spin off or sell Saturn.

In a March 3 letter to Saturn dealers, Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak said GM hired Girsky to help the team study the options for Saturn. Janisse said Girsky started work "a couple of weeks ago."

"He has extensive knowledge of the financial side of the equation and so he's helping evaluate the different options," Janisse said. "But he's also there to build the business plans for the options."

Janisse said the Saturn task force wants to have a clear proposal for Saturn dealers by mid-April.

Saturn's U.S. sales, meanwhile, continue to plunge. Its sales in February fell to 6,338 vehicles, down 57.2 percent from February 2008. Total GM sales fell 53.1 percent for the month, and industrywide, sales slipped 41.4 percent.

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Old 03-05-2009, 10:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

I wonder what price GM will set for Saturn and what assets beyond the name will come with the rights to Saturn. Beyond that you have to wonder what future conditions will be attached to the sale if it happens.

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Old 03-06-2009, 06:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

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I wonder what price GM will set for Saturn and what assets beyond the name will come with the rights to Saturn. Beyond that you have to wonder what future conditions will be attached to the sale if it happens.

Even if they sell it for a dollar. It takes this entity of GM books. And at this time that is a plus.

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Old 03-06-2009, 07:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

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Even if they sell it for a dollar. It takes this entity of GM books. And at this time that is a plus.
Are you assuming that GM books Saturn as a liability on its balance sheet? I doubt it.

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Old 03-06-2009, 12:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

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Originally Posted by saturnplace View Post
... Saturn spokesman Steve Janisse said, "There is interest from investors in doing a spinoff, and there are other entities interested in just buying it." He said he does not know whether the interested parties are other automakers. ...
Does "interested parties" mean it could just be a kid somewhere in New Jersey who book-marked Saturn on his ebay watch list?

Do you think it will bring more than a special-edition set of Spiderman trading cards?

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Old 03-06-2009, 12:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

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Originally Posted by Kooler King View Post
Does "interested parties" mean it could just be a kid somewhere in New Jersey who book-marked Saturn on his ebay watch list?
Do you think it will bring more than a special-edition set of Spiderman trading cards?
Nasty. I bet you're going to get spanked for that one. Funny, though.

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Old 03-06-2009, 02:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

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Are you assuming that GM books Saturn as a liability on its balance sheet? I doubt it.
No, I wasn't using this as an accounting term.

I meant, GM, just get rid of Saturn. One less mess to clean up.

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Old 03-06-2009, 04:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

In many cases with M&A's, interested parties have to ante up cash to gain access to the books. It would be interesting to know if that's the case with Saturn.

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Old 03-07-2009, 02:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

I wonder who the "interested parties" are. Maybe Kerkorian? Maybe someone that GM also neeed to hire some translators for? BTW, anyone else hear some rumbling that GM neeed more loans by the end of the month again? I heard it from a co-worker that read it online, but I hadn't read anything about it, so I figured it was probably old news that he had at the wrong time.

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Old 03-07-2009, 05:22 AM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

Whatever the decision, hope Saturn did the right choice.

...
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:54 PM   #11
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

>anyone else hear some rumbling that GM neeed more loans

Last Friday their (GMs') auditor reported that bankruptcy was nearly inescapable; GM has approached multiple foreign governments for help/$ ; SAAB went bankrupt after Swedish gov't refused; some figures bandied about ... GM needs $30 billion for next time period. The German gov't gave notice that Germany will survive if Opel fails ... and GM will have to do better to earn any aid.

This Friday GM again reports it still seeks avoid bankruptcy , but .... well now we have brinkmanship {familiar to observers of traditional collective bargaining agreements} that will probably run out the month , when ... they will go bankrupt.
Few articles:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...030500526.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...d=sec-business

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/...s-outlook.html

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/...many-opel.html

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Old 03-07-2009, 07:57 PM   #12
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

Quote:
Originally Posted by FGCA_XRL View Post
I wonder who the "interested parties" are. Maybe Kerkorian? Maybe someone that GM also neeed to hire some translators for? BTW, anyone else hear some rumbling that GM neeed more loans by the end of the month again? I heard it from a co-worker that read it online, but I hadn't read anything about it, so I figured it was probably old news that he had at the wrong time.
It could be TaTa...

If GM can get the Volt to market, I believe the company will survive and turn things around.

...
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

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It could be TaTa...

If GM can get the Volt to market, I believe the company will survive and turn things around.
At this point survival probably has a lot less to do with product than it does with the rest of the economy. If people don't buy cars, it doesn't matter what G.M. produces. Right now it does not look good for the auto industry in general. If G.M. closed all of it's factories, laid off everybody and "hunkered down" to weather the economic storm, they would still lose money without any income. If they build cars, they get income from what they sell, but at what level of sales is the "break even" point? G.M.'s current financial position is that they need to make big profits to recover. Is it likely that there is any scenario where they make a profit of any kind in the near future? $30 billion buys them how much time? If they got $200 billion that might buy them enough time to weather the storm, less only prolongs the agony. I think the best hope for the Saturn brand is if a viable buyer takes it off of G.M.'s hands so that Saturn survives when the rest of the G.M. products die with the company.

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Old 03-08-2009, 12:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomM96 View Post
>anyone else hear some rumbling that GM neeed more loans

Last Friday their (GMs') auditor reported that bankruptcy was nearly inescapable; GM has approached multiple foreign governments for help/$ ; SAAB went bankrupt after Swedish gov't refused; some figures bandied about ... GM needs $30 billion for next time period. The German gov't gave notice that Germany will survive if Opel fails ... and GM will have to do better to earn any aid.

This Friday GM again reports it still seeks avoid bankruptcy , but .... well now we have brinkmanship {familiar to observers of traditional collective bargaining agreements} that will probably run out the month , when ... they will go bankrupt.
Few articles:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...030500526.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...d=sec-business

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/...s-outlook.html

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/...many-opel.html

Not only does GM want more money, at the end of this month, the monies from December's loan will come due. At least that is my understanding.

...
No more Saturns! :(
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

>If people don't buy cars, it doesn't matter what G.M. produces.
>G.M.'s current financial position is that they need to make big profits to recover.

Agreed , Russ. Probably only with bankruptcy will enough slack be secured ... and with that comes further lost confidence in GM's survival , and less market share. The Big3 have finally come up with quality safe cars that have emissions clean enough to breathe , and all the forces arrayed against them won't buy the legislated vehicles. The Volt is only affordable for buyers of Lexus, etc. The consistently dwindling market share held by the BigThree now threatens the national IndustrialBase , should further shrinkage occur.

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Old 03-11-2009, 05:45 AM   #16
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

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Originally Posted by FGCA_XRL View Post
I wonder who the "interested parties" are. Maybe Kerkorian? ...
better "Kerkorian" than "Kevorkian" ...

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Old 03-11-2009, 09:34 AM   #17
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

I think Mahindra was a good option.

Sadly, they already have paid in dealers.

Would have been smarter for GM to have approached them early on.

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Old 03-11-2009, 01:06 PM   #18
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

The service guy I talked to this morning ( I know.. real reliable source here ,haha) told me they had a meeting this morning and the owner told them that the dealer network was going to try and buy Saturn themselves.

So it might be kind of like when Saturn first started again ?

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Old 03-11-2009, 06:44 PM   #19
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Default Re: Saturn has interested buyers, GM says

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Are you assuming that GM books Saturn as a liability on its balance sheet? I doubt it.
They've essentially declared it a worthless asset, and if a spin-off doesn't materialize it will be a signifciant future liability. Any retailer still standing if/when they close the franchise down will be entitled to significant compensation per existing franchise agreements.

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