WISCONSINREPORT.COM (10/01/2009) - Hundreds of Saturn brand automobile employees will be losing their jobs following the General Motors (GM) announcement that the deal to purchase Saturn by the Penske Automotive Group has fallen through. GM President Fritz Henderson says a wind down process will be made available soon. In the meantime, Saturn vehicles can still be purchased and serviced at current dealerships.
General Motors President and CEO Fritz Henderson made the following statement on the final day of September, 2009:
"Today we learned that Penske Automotive Group (PAG) has decided to terminate discussions with General Motors to acquire Saturn."
"This is very disappointing news and comes after months of hard work by hundreds of dedicated employees and Saturn retailers who tried to make the new Saturn a reality," Henderson said.
"PAG’s announcement explained that their decision was not based on interactions with GM or Saturn retailers; rather it was because of the inability to source new products beyond what it had asked GM to build on contract," Henderson continued.
"As a result of PAG’s decision, we will be winding down the Saturn brand and dealership network, in accordance with the wind-down agreements that Saturn dealers recently signed with GM," Henderson said.
"Pursuant to the terms of those agreements, the wind down process will be determined and communicated shortly," Henderson added.
Saturn customers and owners will continue to be able to purchase and have their vehicles serviced at Saturn retailers during this process.
"Once the wind down is complete, Saturn owners will still be able to have their vehicles serviced at other GM dealerships," General Motors CEO Henderson said.
"We will be communicating with our customers very soon to explain the next steps in this process," Henderson explained.
"Today’s disappointing news comes at a time when we’d hoped for a successful launch of the Saturn brand into a new chapter," Henderson said.
"We will be working closely with our dealers to ensure Saturn customers are cared for as we transition them to other GM dealers in the months ahead," GM's Henderson pointed out.
"I’d also like to thank every GM employee and Saturn retailer who worked so hard to try to make this new beginning happen for Saturn," Henderson said.
Penske Automotive Group, Inc., an international automotive retailer, announced that it has terminated its discussions with General Motors Company (GM) to acquire the Saturn brand, citing concerns directly related to the future supply of vehicles beyond the supply period it had negotiated with GM.
Since announcing its discussions with GM on June 5, 2009, the company has been in the due diligence process to determine the feasibility of developing an independent distribution model for Saturn-branded products and service parts in the United States, including the sourcing of vehicles from GM and other potential suppliers.
The company had negotiated a definitive agreement with GM to source vehicles on a contract-manufactured basis for a period of time. After this period, the company would have been required to source vehicles from another third party under a similar contract-manufacturing agreement.
Penske Automotive Group negotiated the terms and conditions of an agreement with another manufacturer; however, that agreement was rejected by that manufacturer's board of directors. 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 Automotive Group, Inc. (www.penskeautomotive.com) is headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The corporation operates 310 retail automotive franchises, representing 40 different brands and 25 collision repair centers.
Penske Automotive, which sells new and previously owned vehicles, finance and insurance products and replacement parts, and offers maintenance and repair services on all brands it represents, has 160 franchises in 17 states and Puerto Rico and 150 franchises located outside the United States, primarily in the United Kingdom.
Penske Automotive is also the exclusive distributor of the smart fortwo through its wholly owned subsidiary smart USA Distributor LLC. Smart USA supports 78 smart retail centers in the United States. Smart and fortwo are registered trademarks of Daimler AG.
Penske Automotive is a member of the Fortune 500 and Russell 1000 and has approximately 14,000 employees.