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Contrary1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:06 PM
Original message
GM to shut down Saturn
Damn. More jobs lost.

"DETROIT - General Motors Co. says its shutting down the Saturn brand after an agreement with Penske Automotive Group Inc. to acquire the unit fell apart.

Penske, citing concerns about whether GM could continue to supply vehicles after a manufacturing contract with the automaker ran out, ended talks with GM Wednesday to acquire the brand.

GM CEO Fritz Henderson said in statement that Saturn and its dealership network will be phased out.

In a statement, the Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based auto retailer says an agreement with another manufacturer to continue producing Saturn vehicles after GM stopped making them fell through, leading Penske to terminate talks with GM..."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33107120/ns/business-autos/
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. White knight, please? Someone? Anyone?
This sucks...
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Roger Penske bought it. Stay tuned. nt
Edited on Wed Sep-30-09 04:08 PM by Captain Hilts
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Penske is out.
Penske Automotive Terminates Discussions with General Motors to Acquire Saturn

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich.(BUSINESS WIRE)Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE: PAG) an international automotive retailer, today announced that it has terminated its discussions with General Motors Company ("GM") to acquire the Saturn brand, citing concerns directly related to the future supply of vehicles beyond the supply period it had negotiated with GM.

Since announcing its discussions with GM on June 5, 2009, the company has been in the due diligence process to determine the feasibility of developing an independent distribution model for Saturn-branded products and service parts in the United States, including the sourcing of vehicles from GM and other potential suppliers. The company had negotiated a definitive agreement with GM to source vehicles on a contract-manufactured basis for a period of time. After this period, the company would have been required to source vehicles from another third party under a similar contract-manufacturing agreement.

Penske Automotive Group negotiated the terms and conditions of an agreement with another manufacturer; however, that agreement was rejected by that manufacturer's board of directors. 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.

http://jalopnik.com/5371405/breaking-gm-to-kill-saturn
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. Well, shit! Saturns are terrific cars!!!
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. Agreed, and I had high hopes for what Penske could have done with it.
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A HERETIC I AM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. The article says the agreement for Penske to acquire the unit fell apart.
"DETROIT - General Motors Co. says its shutting down the Saturn brand after an agreement with Penske Automotive Group Inc. to acquire the unit fell apart.

Penske, citing concerns about whether GM could continue to supply vehicles after a manufacturing contract with the automaker ran out, ended talks with GM Wednesday to acquire the brand. "
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. Whaaaa?? GM is shutting down their only profitable venture???
Now I know why they went under...
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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Huh?
Saturn has yet to make a profit since GM started the brand.
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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. I know at the very least, Buick is profitable as well.
And the cars that Saturn has which are worth keeping have sheet metal duplicates as other vehicles. However, with the Saturn Sky, Pontiac is going to be eliminated as well so there will be no Pontiac Solstice either. I hope they decide to turn the Solstice/Sky into a slightly cheaper Chevy and maybe offer up the corporate 3.6l V6 as an engine option. It would be a shame if they dropped their most affordable RWD car.

It's also a shame that GM goes bankrupt right as they're going back to the drive layout they do best. The Pontiac G8 is doing fairly well and I'm guessing the next gen Impala would too. I think a lot of GM's woes are due to the fact that they abandoned so many of their great RWD cars and replaced them with inferior FWD models. GM never found a decent replacement for the Caprice/Impala.
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thesquanderer Donating Member (647 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #13
28. RWD vs FWD
The problem with RWD is that they are practically unusable in the northeast in the winter unless you put snow tires on, which is a nuisance (and an added expense). The "all-season" tires are okay for FWD but not good enough for RWD. So a whole RWD based line of cars won't do so well in the heavily populated northeast.
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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Modern RWD is nothing like the RWD of 10 or 15 years ago.
With stability and traction control systems, today's RWD is pretty much superior to FWD in all respects. I live in Maryland and a few years back there was a fairly harsh winter with a good amount of snow and slush. I was driving a Lincoln LS at the time and I never missed a day of work due to the snow. It handled the snow a good deal better than my previous FWD Oldsmobile Aurora. Good all season tires were all that I needed.
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michreject Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #2
30. GM went under!!!
When?
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blue_onyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'm not surprised
I like Saturn but GM had no need for the brand. I'm surprised that none of the Chinese companies are after the brand. It's too bad that there will be more jobs losses.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. Makes More Sense (and Dollars) To Canibalize
I had a '95 SL1...in those days Saturn was a "cool" car. While I liked the car at first, things began to change when it began to burn oil at 30,000 miles. They tried to weasel out of helping fix it by claiming I had the "wrong" oil changes...had to have my lawyer send a "sternly worded letter" to clear up that matter.

Saturn was GM's attempt in the 80's and early 90's to reinvent itself into something it really wasn't...concerned about building a truly economical car. When the gas guzzlers started to sell again, Saturn was left to hang.

I'd bet that there are companies willing to buy parts of the company...or eventually a foreign maker moving into the Tennessee facility but they're not gonna bail GM out on this one. They'll wait until it goes to auction.
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Tommy_Carcetti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
7. That's a real shame. They made great cars with great mileage.
My parents 2000 S1 gets 42 mpg. That's hybrid territory.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
9. I bought a used Saturn that I am very happy with
Hope there are still parts available for a few years.
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Auggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:13 PM
Response to Original message
10. My Dad, a GM retiree, thought Saturn was a huge mistake from the beginning
He lambasted GM for spending money on creating a new division when they were pinching pennies in the divisions they had. Many GM vehicles in the early 80's had big quality issues.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
11. Worst day ever.
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
22. Oh, the poor guy in the shiny green shirt is losing his job
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
12. why not work out a deal for the employees(mgmt, factory, sales, mechanics...) buy it...?
Edited on Wed Sep-30-09 04:17 PM by dysfunctional press
aren't the u.s. taxpayers currently pretty heavily invested in gm? shouldn't we get some kind of say?
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harkadog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #12
21. "We" did get a say.
We shut it down.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #12
23. The Obama administration is running GM. That's some say.
:hi:
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SacredCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
16. I'm on Saturn #2...
The first one was so trouble-free that I gladly bought another one when the first one died of old age (12 years) and relatively high mileage (150K). Unfortunately, this one is absolutely the WORST car I've ever owned. It appears that their quality nose-dived between 1995 and 2006.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Quality was bad by '94
My daughter's wagon started burning oil badly at about 60,000 miles. Later I found that that was typical for the 4-cylinder engines.

Of course, its unlikely that anyone in the marketing department at GM thought that a car should be driven for more than 60,000 miles.
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SacredCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. My 1995 was great....
I guess I just got lucky with that one. Damn- I should have dumped the thing last year when the warranty ran out- Now I'll be lucky to get $1000 trade-in value on the thing.
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Jeff In Milwaukee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #18
31. I've got a 2000 that's been relatively trouble-free
It's too bad that they closing, and I hope the Penske can work out an 11th-hour deal. Saturn was a good idea that GM just let wither on the vine. With the right ownership, I think a low-priced, no-frills model could be a winner.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. If you consider 150K to be "relatively high mileage"
then your expectations have been severely lowered, probably by other GM products. My Mazda pickup truck took me to 247K, and the only reason I sold it was because my ex-girlfriend thought it was too ugly to keep in our driveway.

Sigh, I miss that truck way more than I miss her...
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SacredCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #20
26. That's why I added the "relatively"
I've never been one who keeps a car much beyond 100K miles- I make a fair number of road trips and I have a 25 mile commute to work, and I just don't trust a car enough after passing the 100K mark. If it was just around town, it'd be different. Of course, if that were the case I'd just sell the Saturn and have my '79 VW Beetle as my sole means of transportation.

Actually, that first Saturn and the one I have now have been my ONLY GM products. And by the looks of things, they'll be the last.

My friend just got rid of a 1997 Mazda pickup with almost 200K- Cosmetically, it was beat to hell and back but it was still going strong. I considered buying it myself just to have a truck, but I have no place for a 3rd car.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #26
35. Had a 1987 Madza pickup truck
that my ex-girlfriend (who signed on the loan) had repossessed when I failed to make a payment or two.

Come to think of it, I've had way more trouble with most of the women in my life than I've had with the Asian-made vehicles I've owned, whereas I've had more trouble with American-made cars that I've owned than the women...
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
24. They made good vehicles before they started selling just rebadged Chevys.
Back when it was different, with no high pressure sales, etc. I had a 96 that was pretty good.

Now I wouldn't buy any of them because if I wanted a Chevy, I would buy one.
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Subdivisions Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 12:07 AM
Response to Original message
25. Generations-long GM dealerships in my town are now empty lots with grass growing in the cracks. n/t
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Kalyke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
27. This is dumb.
Saturn's are highly efficient and very reliable cars.

If GM needs to get rid of a subsidiary, they should look at GM Daewoo in South Korea and keep the jobs in Tennessee.
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Jeff In Milwaukee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #27
32. Very few jobs in Tennessee, actually....
The famous Spring Hill facility (where they had all those reunions in the early days) is now a parts-only shop. I believe Saturns are assembled in Missouri, Michigan and Mexico.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #27
33. Ummm, you don't remember the Senator from Tenn. railing against any help for the Big 3?
Why in the world do you think anybody is going to care about auto jobs in Tennessee after that? :shrug:
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
34. sad.... r.i.p.
i know GM has to shed divisions, but Pontiac and this one is hard to take when I see Buick and GMC Truck kept...
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