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Saturn No More

By Kevin Robinson in News on Oct 1, 2009 6:40PM

While most of us watched the Olympic drama unfold in Denmark, a deal to buy the Saturn brand out from beleaguered General Motors fell apart Wednesday. The Penske Automotive Group, owned by Roger Penske, had been in negotiations with GM to take over the brand. Penske operates 253 retail automotive franchises, representing 40 different brands, and 40 collision repair centers and markets the Daimler AG Smart Car. The proposed deal would have had GM manufacture Saturn vehicles for two years, while Penske established a foreign manufacturing base. Penske ultimately walked away from the deal because they were concerned that they couldn't find a manufacturer to replace GM.

The collapse of the Penske-GM deal leaves 350 Saturn dealerships and 13,000 jobs in the balance, as well as the Spring Hill, Tennessee auto plant. That includes 17 dealerships in the Chicagoland area. "I don't know where we go from here," said Marty Mollway, sales manager at Saturn of Oak Lawn told the Tribune.