GM to shut down Saturn brand
Penske, which owns more than 300 auto dealerships around the world, pulled out of the talks when it couldn't strike a deal with another manufacturer to build Saturn cars, it said in a statement. That doomed the 25-year-old marque to join Pontiac among the brands that haven't survived GM's restructuring.
GM CEO Fritz Henderson said in a statement that the Saturn line and its dealerships will be phased out, the Associated Press reported. A GM spokesman said Saturn dealers will have until October 2010 to wrap up operations, according to Bloomberg News.
Under a tentative deal between the two companies, GM would have continued manufacturing Saturns for a limited time. It would then have been up to Penske to arrange for another car maker to step in.
Penske had reached an agreement with an unspecified automaker to pick up production of the cars, but it was vetoed by the company's board, according to 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," Penske said.