GM Asks Saturn to Downplay Penske Deal

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Saturn dealers ignore the plea. Or, so reports the Wall Street Journal. Word is that GM has asked Saturn to keep the Pesnke-fuelled optimism to a minimum “lest it overshadow the Saturn brand name.” After all, the deal isn’t expected to wrap up until Q3 of this year. But The General might as well be whistling into the wind. “We were on death row,” Saturn Marketing Director Kim McGill tells the WSJ. The brand is in “remission,” thanks to Mr. Penske, but “is not yet totally cured” is she adds, for emphasis. Which makes GM corporate the cancer? Someone’s gotta take the rap for the 58 percent drop in sales (and counting . . . June’s results should come this week). But is Samsung ( or???) gonna make buyers glad the Opel era is over? Not that it will be any time soon. And GM is right about one thing: the deal ain’t done yet.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Walkwalkfast Walkwalkfast on Jun 29, 2009

    Yeah, seems Gov Motors is elbowing for market share already... boy, that's fair.

  • John Horner John Horner on Jun 29, 2009

    Saturn as a sales channel for Renault-Samsung cars seems like a very, very long shot to me. Speaking of which, why would Nissan be cool with this plan? All of Renault Samsung's lineup is based off Nissans:

  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Jun 29, 2009

    The local Saturn Dealers in Central Ohio have been trumpeting the Pesnke (if you spell it like Ed does) deal though their pitchman "Jungle" Jack Hanna (Letterman devotees will know him). The old song that this puts me in mind of is "Hold On, I'm Coming".

  • Tpandw Tpandw on Jun 29, 2009

    When I read this in the WSJ this morning it struck me as ridiculous. First, GM has in theory sold Saturn, so what difference does it make to them what happens to the brand? Second, clearly GM doesn't get it (so what else is new?), the Saturn brand name doesn't mean much to most people anyway. And third, this is what got them into trouble in the first place. GM's arrogance that RenCen knows better has not gone away with BK. The one dealer in the story said it well: people don't want to buy a car from GM, but they will buy one from Penske. The sooner that GM goes away forever the better. What bothers me more than most things about this whole mess is that we'll be hearing this kind of garbage indefinitely into the future courtesy of our own tax dollars.