Renault Reportedly Engages Saturn; Geely Submits Bid for Saab

Joshua Duval

According to some sources, it seems merger fever is in the air and American automakers are sitting prospects. Ford is offering Volvo, and the entire Chrysler company was just nabbed by Fiat, but it's GM with the most offerings, trying to offload Saab, Saturn and Hummer.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that French automaker Renault has started discussions with GM to sell its cars through the Saturn dealer network, citing sources close to the matter. The possible deal is contingent on GM finding a new owner for the Saturn network. In a move lending more credibility to the initial rumor, WSJ says that Renault is talking with Penske Automotive Group, a potential bidder for Saturn.

If Penske purchases Saturn and Renault strikes a deal with Penske, the French automaker would gain a significant foothold in the U.S. market, one of the world's biggest. It would be curious move for Renault, as it already controls a major U.S. player -- Nissan -- and many of the companies' models would compete with each other in the U.S.

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said yesterday that his companies are not interested in acquisitions and debunked rumors that they are seeking a stake in Opel. He said the company would instead focus on cash management for the year. Regardless of whether Renault makes a bid for Saturn, however, Penske will need to find an automaker to supply vehicles to Saturn if it buys the dealer network.

The Journal also reported that Geely, a Chinese automaker, has made a bid for Saab. Popular speculation is that Geely made the bid to ensure that it acquires a foreign automaker or to pressure Ford to accept its bid for Sweden's other automaker, Volvo.Geely made a bid for Volvo back in March.

The automotive world is being turned on its head, much as Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has been predicting for the last few months. The consolidation of the automotive world is well underway.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

...for Saturn / Penske / Renault that is. Not so much for Saab, perhaps. Renault has some interesting models (
This could be win-win-win for all concerned.

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