GM to Shutter Saturn Brand

General Motors has decided to phase out the Saturn brand after Penske Automotive Group
announced that it has cancelled plans to acquire GM’s Saturn division. The announcement
comes nearly four months after Penske had agreed to purchase the rights to the 19-year old
brand from GM when the automaker was in bankruptcy. As part of the initial deal, GM would
have continued making Saturn’s three best-selling models -including the Vue and Outlook
Crossover SUVs and the Aura sedan – for the rest of this year and next. Penske, which is
actually an auto distributor and not a manufacturer, would have sold the cars on behalf of
GM, and then would have worked to find another third-party manufacturer to make new Saturns
in 2011. However, Penske says negotiations with an unnamed manufacturer fell through after
an agreement was rejected by that manufacturer’s board. “Without that agreement, the
company has determined that the risks and uncertainties related to the availability of
future products prohibit the company from moving forward with this transaction,” Penske
said in a statement. A GM spokesman said Saturn owners will still be able to have their
cars serviced at GM dealerships after Saturn is shut down completely.

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