Hopes of maintaining the Saturn brand have fallen through with news that the Penske Automotive Group (PAG) had pulled out of a deal to potentially buy the brand from General Motors.
“We learned that Penske Automotive Group (PAG) has decided to terminate discussions with General Motors to acquire Saturn,” said GM President and CEO Fritz Henderson. “This is very disappointing news and comes after months of hard work by hundreds of dedicated employees and Saturn retailers who tried to make the new Saturn a reality.”
Under the potential deal, Penske would have acquired the Saturn brand from GM and manage the distribution and sale of the brand’s best-selling vehicles, the Aura sedan, and Vue and Outlook crossover vehicles, at Saturn dealerships. The deal, reportedly, went sour when PAG could not reach an agreement with a company to manufacture new Saturns after 2010 when GM had agreed to stop making the cars.
Henderson said an official press release statement that the Penske Automotive Group said that their decision was not based on interactions with GM or Saturn retailers; rather it was because of the inability to source new products beyond what it had asked GM to build on contract.
As a result, GM will be winding down the Saturn brand and dealership network, in accordance with the wind-down agreements that Saturn dealers recently signed with GM.
Saturn customers and owners will continue to be able to purchase and have their vehicles serviced at Saturn retailers during this process. Once the wind down is complete, Saturn owners will still be able to have their vehicles serviced at other GM dealerships. Henderson said GM will be communicating with customers very soon to explain the next steps in this process.
“Today’s disappointing news comes at a time when we’d hoped for a successful launch of the Saturn brand into a new chapter,” said Henderson. “We will be working closely with our dealers to ensure Saturn customers are cared for as we transition them to other GM dealers in the months ahead.”