Confirming an earlier report this morning, General Motors has announced that it has reached a preliminary agreement with Penske Automotive Group for the sale of the Saturn brand. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but GM said that it expects the close the transaction in the third quarter of this year. The American automaker said that if completed, the deal will save more than 350 dealerships and 13,000 jobs at Saturn and its retailers in the United States.
Under the agreement, Penske, the second-largest retailer in the States, would obtain the rights to the brand as well as certain other Saturn assets while GM would continue production, on a contract basis, of the Saturn Aura sedan, Vue SUV and Outlook SUV - yes, the Astra and Sky Roadster are 'dead'.
"This is the combination of two iconic teams: Saturn and Penske," said Saturn general manager Jill Lajdziak. "GM had the vision to create Saturn and has the desire to see it succeed in the future. There has been a groundswell of support for Saturn, with our retailers and owners urging us to save the brand," Lajdziak continued. "We heard their call loud and clear, and it inspired us as we worked to secure Saturn's future.""Saturn has a passionate customer base and outstanding dealer network," said Roger Penske, chairman of Penske Automotive Group. "For nearly 20 years Saturn has focused on treating the customer right. We share that philosophy, and we want to build on those strengths."