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Old 11-02-2009, 10:33 PM   #1
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Default Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

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Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

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Below a partial transcript detailing comments made by Roger Penske pertaining to his failed acquisition of the Saturn brand during the Penske Automotive Group's (PAG) third quarter 2009 earnings call held this past Friday, October 30th.

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Old 11-02-2009, 11:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

That article/transcript says it all. He was NOT interested in SATURN as it used to be; but simply a brand name nothing more. The whole fiasco has the appearance of an ego-trip more than an real investment in a once-proud car company. If he had been truly interested in "saving SATURN" he would have negotiated for the Spring Hill facility. Probably could have picked it up far a song, told GM to get their junk out of there, and turn it back into what it was intended to be...

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Old 11-03-2009, 08:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

The last piece of the puzzle... I needed to hear from The Captain on this matter.

It doesn't hurt any less, and it will for some time, but I have the closure I need. Now I can move on with keeping the 2 SL's going, and seeing who can actually earn a Saturn loyalist's business in the future.

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Old 11-03-2009, 08:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

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That article/transcript says it all. He was NOT interested in SATURN as it used to be; but simply a brand name nothing more. The whole fiasco has the appearance of an ego-trip more than an real investment in a once-proud car company. If he had been truly interested in "saving SATURN" he would have negotiated for the Spring Hill facility. Probably could have picked it up far a song, told GM to get their junk out of there, and turn it back into what it was intended to be...


Renault/Nissan's CEO Charles Goshn rejected Penske's offer. Keep in mind that GM would have supplied Penske with Saturn models until 2011/2012; at that point, he would have had to find a manufacturing facility to build the cars, which after 2011/2012 would have been rebadged Renault/Nissan/Samsung models. Penske has been in the auto world since the 1960s, he wasn't going to go into this blindly. Considering that while Spring Hill was the original Saturn facility, and was retooled to make the Chevy Traverse, the cost prohibitions in buying the facility BACK from GM were probably more than Penske could pay for...

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Old 11-03-2009, 08:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

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Originally Posted by SC2SkyVue View Post
That article/transcript says it all. He was NOT interested in SATURN as it used to be; but simply a brand name nothing more. The whole fiasco has the appearance of an ego-trip more than an real investment in a once-proud car company. If he had been truly interested in "saving SATURN" he would have negotiated for the Spring Hill facility. Probably could have picked it up far a song, told GM to get their junk out of there, and turn it back into what it was intended to be...
None of this is a surprise. He was buying the brand and the dealer network. His business plan all along was to outsource the cars. He's been up front about his intentions since the first. He never intended to exhume the Saturn that used to be and never said that was the goal.

Several million dollars spent on an "ego trip" is not what a smart business person does. That is a real "investment" he took a bath on in terms of time, energy and real money.

Put to rest the conspiracy theories now, please.

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Old 11-03-2009, 08:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

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Originally Posted by SC2SkyVue View Post
That article/transcript says it all. He was NOT interested in SATURN as it used to be; but simply a brand name nothing more. The whole fiasco has the appearance of an ego-trip more than an real investment in a once-proud car company. If he had been truly interested in "saving SATURN" he would have negotiated for the Spring Hill facility. Probably could have picked it up far a song, told GM to get their junk out of there, and turn it back into what it was intended to be...
That was very obviouis since day 1 when it was known his plans were to sell rebadge import models.

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Old 11-03-2009, 09:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

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Originally Posted by Citation84 View Post
None of this is a surprise. He was buying the brand and the dealer network. His business plan all along was to outsource the cars. He's been up front about his intentions since the first. He never intended to exhume the Saturn that used to be and never said that was the goal.

Several million dollars spent on an "ego trip" is not what a smart business person does. That is a real "investment" he took a bath on in terms of time, energy and real money.

Put to rest the conspiracy theories now, please.
Very well put Citation84. I totally agree with you.

It is definately time to put the conspiracy theories to rest. Those that still want to lay blame on Penske for the end of Saturn are either ignorant, or don't know Penske's history in the automotive world.

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Old 11-03-2009, 11:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

And when comes to renting a moving truck or using penske auto products
i have other choices, it seems the best thing to do.

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Old 11-03-2009, 11:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

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And when comes to renting a moving truck or using penske auto products
i have other choices, it seems the best thing to do.
U-haul isn't anything to write home about...at least the idiots I have dealt with in Cincinnati.

As I mentioned before...Don't blame Penske for the end of Saturn. If you want to lay blame, point your anger towards GM for starving the brand over the course of 15+ years. Point the blame at piss poor management that has continued to run GM into the ground for the past 25 years.

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Old 11-03-2009, 12:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

"It's just business...nothing personal." You really can't blame Penske too much. It was all about making money for him.

Maybe, just maybe if the deal went through we Saturn owners would not be happy with the end result! Saturn would never have been Saturn if it survived. Penske wasn't loyal to Saturn or to US, it is all business!


GM failed Saturn by not providing for it's own division. Penske -- its all about the green pieces of paper with dead presidents on them!

Money talks...BS walks! Remember that!

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Old 11-03-2009, 05:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by SC2SkyVue View Post
That article/transcript says it all. He was NOT interested in SATURN as it used to be; but simply a brand name nothing more. The whole fiasco has the appearance of an ego-trip more than an real investment in a once-proud car company. If he had been truly interested in "saving SATURN" he would have negotiated for the Spring Hill facility. Probably could have picked it up far a song, told GM to get their junk out of there, and turn it back into what it was intended to be...
Penske doesn't have enough money to build cars. If you think he does then maybe you should learn more about the car business.

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Old 11-03-2009, 05:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

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As I mentioned before...Don't blame Penske for the end of Saturn. If you want to lay blame, point your anger towards GM for starving the brand over the course of 15+ years. Point the blame at piss poor management that has continued to run GM into the ground for the past 25 years.
Well said; by my current count GM threw Saturn under the proverbial bus 3 times. As bad a job as GM tried to do with Saturn it does seem to say something about the people both @ Saturn and the customers to have a brand starved so badly but able to survive for 18 years.

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Old 11-03-2009, 07:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

One more time...

Penske wasn't the problem. Saturn's toxic parents were. Penske Automotive Group was Saturn's ONLY hope for survival- even as a very changed company. We would have hoped that the Saturn attitude toward its customers remained.

Charlie: Would it help anyone's sense of closure any if Jill, or better yet, Roger Penske spoke to this crowd directly?

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Old 11-03-2009, 07:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

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Penske doesn't have enough money to build cars. If you think he does then maybe you should learn more about the car business.
No one expected him to personally bankroll SATURN; and as a businessman he was trying to pull it off with OPM of course. He did mention in the interview that he blew over $3million trying to make the deal work.

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Old 11-03-2009, 08:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

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No one expected him to personally bankroll SATURN; and as a businessman he was trying to pull it off with OPM of course. He did mention in the interview that he blew over $3million trying to make the deal work.
If by OPM you mean Other People's Money...maybe you should read some of the articles. Penske used HIS OWN MONEY...no one else's money BUT HIS OWN to try and make the Saturn deal a reality.

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Old 11-03-2009, 08:33 PM   #16
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Thumbs Up Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

After reading the letter from the Penski corporation I see that they had a deal that was solid with GM and that the only reason it fell threw is because the Renault Samsung company pulled out of the deal at the last second causing a traumatic situation to occur ( who will build the cars ? ). Penski definitely made the right decision in pulling out if the were no viable car manufacturers to build the cars . Buying an auto company without a manufacturer is like opening a restaurant without any possible suppliers .
Saturn was doomed after GM decided to pull the plug . GM originally started the Saturn company and the Saturn approach/idea , I just wonder where it was lost down the road ? was it lost from pore management ? change in management ? I just don't know . It is obvious however that something happened within the GM management around the time of the GM bankruptcy that killed there baby .
GM was hurting so bad that It had to make some drastic changes quickly . I wish I could have been behind the seen's to see and here for myself exactly why they cut the cord on the Saturn .
Maybe the original person within the company management that really pushed and made the Saturn Idea real either got fired or retired or something -- I really don't know -- its pure speculation , but the whole story is very interesting . THE SATURN STORY -- WHAT BROUGHT IT UP -- AND WHO PULLED IT DOWN , coming soon to a newsstand near you .

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Old 11-03-2009, 08:43 PM   #17
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

All this talk of Penske blowing $3 million of his own money....WAH....WAH...WAH!

You do realize two things, don't you?

1. Roger Penske's personel net worth is $1.4 billion (yes, that's BILLION). Look it up.

2. Penske didn't lose ANY of his $3 million. He'll be able to use the whole fisaco as a tax write-off, thereby making it a zero-loss situation for him.

Even if #2 weren't the case, the free publicity he got having his name mentioned at every turn in the national media about buying Saturn was easily worth in excess of $3 million.
(Remember the old advertising slogan that no publicity is bad publicity)

Therefore, I'll personally shed no tears for the man.

I will, however, shed them for the demise of what was...for a time...a truly different kind of car company.

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Old 11-03-2009, 08:53 PM   #18
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

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After reading the letter from the Penski corporation I see that they had a deal that was solid with GM and that the only reason it fell threw is because the Renault Samsung company pulled out of the deal at the last second causing a traumatic situation to occur ( who will build the cars ? ). Penski definitely made the right decision in pulling out if the were no viable car manufacturers to build the cars . Buying an auto company without a manufacturer is like opening a restaurant without any possible suppliers .
Saturn was doomed after GM decided to pull the plug . GM originally started the Saturn company and the Saturn approach/idea , I just wonder where it was lost down the road ? was it lost from pore management ? change in management ? I just don't know . It is obvious however that something happened within the GM management around the time of the GM bankruptcy that killed there baby .
GM was hurting so bad that It had to make some drastic changes quickly . I wish I could have been behind the seen's to see and here for myself exactly why they cut the cord on the Saturn .
Maybe the original person within the company management that really pushed and made the Saturn Idea real either got fired or retired or something -- I really don't know -- its pure speculation , but the whole story is very interesting . THE SATURN STORY -- WHAT BROUGHT IT UP -- AND WHO PULLED IT DOWN , coming soon to a newsstand near you .
It's been discussed on here many times. Saturn died LONG before the GM Bankruptcy; and alot of GM Brass wanted to shut the make down from Day 1; as it was the first new car line that GM had built in 80 years. When Roger Smith retired in 1990, as the first model year went on sale (Oct. 1990 as 1991 model year cars)...there were already GM brass in place that didn't like the car line. Why do you think it was almost 4 years after that Saturn got a redesign on the S-Series? Why do you think it took so long to come out with an SUV (the VUE)....GM had a good idea from the beginning, and simply put, didn't know what the hell to do with it. So, in that regard, they starved Research and Development and pumped it into their other divisions (Chevy, Cadillac, etc.)...and the brand was left to flounder.

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Old 11-03-2009, 08:55 PM   #19
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

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If he had been truly interested in "saving SATURN" he would have negotiated for the Spring Hill facility. Probably could have picked it up far a song, told GM to get their junk out of there, and turn it back into what it was intended to be...
What does "saving Saturn" even mean? To me it is now nothing but a name. Polymer is long gone. Bending over backwards to keep a customer happy, both at the retail and manufacturer's level, is also long gone. He saw a money making opportunity involving rebadged imports. He wanted the Saturn name to try and suck in those Saturn buyers from the 90's expecting a 90's Saturn experience. Again, long gone.

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Old 11-03-2009, 09:02 PM   #20
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Default Re: Roger Penske Talks about Failed Saturn Deal

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All this talk of Penske blowing $3 million of his own money....WAH....WAH...WAH!

You do realize two things, don't you?

1. Roger Penske's personel net worth is $1.4 billion (yes, that's BILLION). Look it up.

2. Penske didn't lose ANY of his $3 million. He'll be able to use the whole fisaco as a tax write-off, thereby making it a zero-loss situation for him.

Even if #2 weren't the case, the free publicity he got having his name mentioned at every turn in the national media about buying Saturn was easily worth in excess of $3 million.
(Remember the old advertising slogan that no publicity is bad publicity)

Therefore, I'll personally shed no tears for the man.

I will, however, shed them for the demise of what was...for a time...a truly different kind of car company.
You do realize as well that Penske is on several board of directors of some major companies (one of which is GE..and has been for several years.)

Which brings to mind a good question. Comparing GE to GM. I wrote an article on this in the off topic section a few months back. Two companies on the exact opposite ends of the financial spectrum...

Not that I am tooting my own horn, as I work as a subcontractor for GE; but Penske actually came to GE in Evendale at the beginning of October to speak to the Aviation division, along with one of the other members on the GE Board of Directors to speak on behalf of David Joyce who is the current GE Aviation President. I had the opportunity to meet Penske; which was nothing more than a hello and miking him up for his speech to the GE Aviation folks, but I can say that someone of his stature would not simply do this "just for the shear joy of doing something like this."

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