California Autos Examiner

Friday, June 05, 2009

Saturn falls into Penske's arms

As previously discussed, racing and business legend Roger Penske is set to acquire GM's Saturn division. While some analysts question the viability of the brand, most concede that if anyone is capable of saving Saturn it would be Roger Penske.

In the short term, Saturn retailers hope that this development will lift the clouds of uncertainty hanging over their dealerships. GM will continue to supply the Aura, Vue and Outlook on a contract basis (it's curtains for the Sky and Astra). As for future suppliers to the brand, Renault/Nissan's Samsung Motors has been speculated as a potential match but Penske says that there have been a number of hand raisers.

If Saturn is to make a go of things, it has to convince customers that it is relevant and worthy of consideration in the car buying process. When I spoke with Saturn's general manager Jill Lajdziak in January of this year, she said that Saturn was looking towards smaller cars. Whether or not Penske shares this sentiment remains to be seen.

As a reminder of what Saturn once was, I have dug up this older TV commercial. No matter what types of vehicles it sells, Saturn would do well to recapture the consumer enthusiasm this commercial portrays.

For more info: View GM's press release. Learn more about Roger Penske. Visit Saturn's website.

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