Penske: Saturn Sale Complete By September, Compelling By 2012

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Well, possibly more compelling. But first the sale. “I think that we’re past midfield with GM. There are always issues that you have to deal with, but I think we’re progressing well,” Roger Penske tells Automotive News [sub]. The bad news is Saturn’s rebirth isn’t going to be as simple as loading a boat with fun, quirky, never-before-seen-on-these-shores foreign cars and slinging Saturn badges on them. And while the details are being worked out (just how foreign and how quirky are we talking?) Saturn will be doing business as uninspired, uh, usual. “Under the terms of the tentative deal between GM and Penske, the automaker would supply Saturn with Aura sedans, Vue SUVs and Outlook crossover vehicles until at least 2011,” reveals AN. Epsilon, Theta, Lambda, oh my! Saturn hasn’t so much been saved as it’s been frozen in time. And Roger Penske won’t even discuss Saturn’s post-GM future. It looks like Saturn’s dealers are going to have to curb their enthusiasm just a little bit longer.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Dolorean23 Dolorean23 on Jul 30, 2009

    I was hoping that Mr. Penske would be bringing the OPC Astra here. A diesel option for it would have been stellar as well. So much for hope. pacificporn2, I couldn't agree with you more.

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Jul 30, 2009

    Saturn's malaise is somewhat mystifying - the brand has a great rep for customer service, and the cars are all good-looking, decently priced, and thoroughly up to date. Problem is, all this good stuff happened right as the economy tanked and GM went belly up. To me, this is the most shameful part of the GM bust-out...they really squandered an opportunity with this brand. And it happened because they didn't make what Saturn needed so desperately - a solid midsize or compact car in time. Sad.

  • RedStapler RedStapler on Jul 30, 2009

    Penske has has a proven track record of turning around the failures of GM. See Detroit Diesel Saturn's malaise is that is was mishandled like most of the GM brands by the Ritalin addled folks RenCen. The basis of Saturn was a "different" fighter brand that could beat Toyonda at their own game of compact cars. Between the Z-body, some goofy yet effective advertising and polite dealers that didn't haggle that had a good run. At one point in the mid 90s they had almost obtained the holy grail of Apple or Harley like levels of brand loyalty. However like much in the portfolio of the General the Z body grew long in the tooth. After the flop of the L series and the Ion they attempted to move upmarket and fizzled. Today they are just another sad peddler of cloned platforms. Much like Detroit Diesel, Saturn is being bought distressed on the cheap. The dealership network has a proven track record of performance when given proper product with marketing support.

  • George B George B on Jul 31, 2009
    Saturn’s malaise is somewhat mystifying... Saturn's no haggle pricing doesn't allow them to respond to lower prices for the equivalent Chevrolet or other competition. Take it or leave it pricing doesn't work when the customer chooses "leave it" over "take it".