DETROIT – General Motors Corp. and Penske Automotive Group have confirmed details of a proposed transaction under which Penske would acquire the Saturn brand, according to GM and Penske statements. If completed, the deal would save more than 350 dealerships and 13,000 jobs at Saturn and its retailers in the United States, and would preserve the customer-focused Saturn brand.
The proposed transaction is part of GM's rebuilding efforts outlined in the viability plan that was submitted to the U.S. government earlier this year. Under the terms in the memorandum of understanding, Penske would obtain the rights to the brand as well as certain other Saturn assets. GM would continue production, on a contract basis, of the Saturn Aura, Vue, and Outlook.
"This is the combination of two iconic teams: Saturn and Penske," said Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak. "GM had the vision to create Saturn and has the desire to see it succeed in the future."
"Saturn has a passionate customer base and outstanding dealer network," said Roger Penske, chairman of Penske Automotive Group. "For nearly 20 years, Saturn has focused on treating the customer right. We share that philosophy, and we want to build on those strengths."
Saturn began selling cars in 1990 and has reportedly sold more than 4 million vehicles. More than 80 percent of those vehicles are still in operation, based on data from R.L. Polk, according to GM.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Financial terms of the agreement will not be disclosed at this time, said the manufacturer.