According to Automotive News, automotive legend and billionaire Roger Penske may be interested in buying General Motors’ Saturn brand.
Penske is currently CEO of the second largest automotive retail group in the nation. The Penske Automotive Group sold a total of 171,872 new vehicles in 2008. The company sells forty different brands at 149 dealerships across the country. Penske also helped launch Mercedes-Benz’s Smart brand in the U.S. last year.
In addition to his dealership network, Penske has several other holdings in the U.S. auto industry including auto racing, logistics, and truck leasing. Penske raced Porsche Sypder RS’ before the company pulled the plug on its Le Mans racing program. He is also the man responsible for bringing back the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix in 2007. The event has been canceled for 2009 due to the economy.
Penske has bought General Motors’ divisions before his reported interest in Saturn. In 1988, he bought the struggling Detroit Diesel division from GM. Within four years, Penske had revitalized the firm, ultimately selling it to Daimler AG in 2000.
Penske hasn’t commented on the story, but GM reportedly has several parties, including private equity firm Black Oak Partners, interested in the Saturn brand and retail network. GM also said that several Saturn dealers approached the company about possibly buying the Saturn brand and dealership network.
This news about the sale of Saturn comes as the June 1st deadline the government set for GM to show a viable business plan approaches. GM must eliminate its underperforming brands, including Hummer, Saab, Saturn, and Pontiac.
Source: Automotive News