Penske Hopes to Complete Saturn Acquisition by September

With all the drama surrounding the sale of General Motors’ Opel and Vauxhall operations, the Penske Automotive Group’s deal to acquire Saturn has slipped somewhat under the radar. Roger Penske, chairman of the Penske Automotive Group, said Wednesday that he hopes a Saturn purchase can be completed by the end of September.

Penske and GM have been working on a deal for several months now, as it was known that Penske Automotive Group had won the bid to buy Saturn in early June.

“I think that we’re past midfield with GM. There are always issues you have to deal with, but I think we’re progressing well,” Penske told analysts in a conference call. “We’ve said that our goal is to close this transaction by the end of September, and we’re prepared to do that.”

Under the terms of the tentative deal between Penske and GM, Saturn’s former corporate parent will supply the brand with Aura sedans, Vue compact SUVs, and Outlook crossovers until at least 2011.

Penske declined to discuss any manufacturers he has been looking at once the brand’s supply of vehicle from GM disappears on Wednesday. However, rumors have been circulating about Penske possibly using Nissan, Mitsubishi, or even Samsung vehicles. Penske has commented that he wants to take Saturn in a greener direction by possibly offering electric vehicles in the lineup.

With the acquisition of Saturn, the Penske Automotive Group would acquire the rights to the Saturn brand, and would also buy the inventory of replacement parts to service the approximately 3.5 million Saturn vehicles currently on the road.

The new Saturn would be set up as a stand-alone company that could include other investors, but would not include dealers. Penske said he doesn’t plan on buying any of the current Saturn dealers–much like Telsa’s corporate retail stores–but hopes the existing dealers will choose to join the new company.

Source: Automotive News

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