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DATE News (chronologically)
09/30/09
automotive
Shocker - Penske backs out of Saturn deal  UPDATE In a statement, Penske cited that the deal had been called off because of concerns related “to future supply of vehicles beyond the supply period it had negotiated with GM.”

Bloomfield Hills-based Penske said it had negotiated a deal to get products manufactured by another company but that agreement had fallen apart.

“That agreement was rejected by that manufacturer's board of directors,” Penske said in a statement. “Without that agreement, the company has determined that the risks and uncertainties related to the availability of future products prohibit the company from moving forward with this transaction.”

GM and Penske had been negotiating toward a final agreement since June 5. The terms of the original agreement called for GM to continue providing Saturn with vehicles for two years.

At the time, Roger Penske, chairman of Penske Automotive, said they had “been in discussions during this diligence period with a number of manufacturers on a worldwide basis. … We would expect to have a lineup going forward, which would be manufactured by a worldwide partner."

In early 2009, GM said it planned to wind down Saturn if a buyer could not be found.

GM’s Henderson noted that Penske’s statement “explained that their decision was not based on interactions with GM or Saturn retailers; rather it was because of the inability to source new products beyond what it had asked GM to build on contract.” Detroit Free Press

09/30/09 Today we learned that Penske Automotive Group (PAG) has decided to terminate discussions with General Motors to acquire Saturn. This is very disappointing news and comes after months of hard work by hundreds of dedicated employees and Saturn retailers who tried to make the new Saturn a reality. PAG’s announcement explained that their decision was not based on interactions with GM or Saturn retailers; rather it was because of the inability to source new products beyond what it had asked GM to build on contract.

As a result of PAG’s decision, we will be winding down the Saturn brand and dealership network, in accordance with the wind-down agreements that Saturn dealers recently signed with GM. Pursuant to the terms of those agreements, the wind down process will be determined and communicated shortly. zzzz

Saturn customers and owners will continue to be able to purchase and have their vehicles serviced at Saturn retailers during this process. Once the wind down is complete, Saturn owners will still be able to have their vehicles serviced at other GM dealerships. We will be communicating with our customers very soon to explain the next steps in this process.

Today’s disappointing news comes at a time when we’d hoped for a successful launch of the Saturn brand into a new chapter. We will be working closely with our dealers to ensure Saturn customers are cared for as we transition them to other GM dealers in the months ahead. I’d also like to thank every GM employee and Saturn retailer who worked so hard to try to make this new beginning happen for Saturn. GM PR

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