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Penske Group Buying Saturn Line  
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13120 posts, RR: 12
Posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2306 times:

It appears that the Penske Group companies is buying the Saturn line and dealership contacts from GM as was announced today.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31123726/
Penske is best known in the USA for truck rental and leasing and it's various car racing teams (especially IndyCar) but it is the largest owner of dealerships from Astron Martin to Toyota to SMART cars in the USA, a major player in the UK, and also owns dealerships in Germany, Mexico and elsewhere. They also own several other manufacturing and service companies. Now they will go for making cars, continuing to buy from GM and Opel. I hope Roger is right on this one and keeps Saturn going for many years.

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6109 posts, RR: 29
Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2272 times:
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Quoting LTBEWR (Thread starter):
SMART cars in the USA

Not only dealers, but the distribution rights too.

Quoting LTBEWR (Thread starter):
Now they will go for making cars, continuing to buy from GM and Opel.

Maybe. Renault has been a name thrown around here in Detroit.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6330 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2261 times:

I did not know Penske was a decent sized player in the auto market already, very interesting. Saturn has been doing a lot to repair their image lately, so I think this is a smart move on Roger's part. What next, Saturn in NASCAR?  duck 

User currently offlineAznMadSci From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 3675 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2241 times:



Quoting SW733 (Reply 2):
Saturn in NASCAR?

I would pay  twocents  to see SMART cars in NASCAR!



The journey of life is not based on the accomplishments, but the experience.
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8847 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2236 times:

Good luck to him. I hope he changes the name, perhaps to Penske. I always thought that Saturn was a crappy name, and carries the image baggage of being GM's cheap-ass-car division.


Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineCharles79 From Puerto Rico, joined Mar 2007, 1331 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2202 times:



Quoting LTBEWR (Thread starter):
It appears that the Penske Group companies is buying the Saturn line and dealership contacts from GM

I was a bit surprised by this as there were reportedly 16 bidders in total. However given his presence and name recognition within the industry is not a bad choice by any means.

It also means that many folks at Saturn dealers will get to keep their jobs...as for the cars which he will sell:

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 1):
Maybe. Renault has been a name thrown around here in Detroit.

I have read this rumor too, and more than once. In fact, a car publication which used to be decent went as far as to report that Penske met with Carlos Ghosn (from Renault-Nissan) in Paris last month. It would be interesting to know the terms of the sale and whether a contract to purchase and sell GM/Opel cars was signed as part of the deal (and for how long). The Opel-derived Saturns have the advantage of being available now but they could be easily replaced by Renaults (or Renault-based Samsungs as has been rumored) in the future.


User currently offlineAsuflyer05 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2373 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2183 times:

If Saturn has any chance at surviving it's with RP at the helm.

Can you imagine how well the owners of Saturn dealers will sleep tonight?


User currently offlineType-Rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2110 times:

If we all remember, the GM Saturn division was supposed to be GM's high tech division. They planned on Saturn cars that may have ceramic engines, electric cars and other "ahead of its time" features. Instead, they turned it into just a bland car line.
A few years ago I rented a Saturn VUE for the week on holiday. What a cheap ass car. Not only was it cheap, it was strange as well. I thought the control placement was like something out of a French car!


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8573 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 2077 times:

Penske is a smart fellow. The car business is cracking wide open. Saturn is a good strong brand. Every person in America knows what a Saturn is, and they have pretty good feelings about the brand. (Much better than Pontiac).

Penske can use Saturn to import (or build) any car in the world. It is total freedom and flexibility (the opposite of GM). The possibilities are unlimited. What confuses me is, Penske will cause way over $200 million in damages to GM by competing directly against them. Selling the brand to him was not logical. OTOH, maybe GM should sell all their brands and implode, taking its obligations with it. It would be clever.


User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6109 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (5 years 3 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2067 times:
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Quoting Flighty (Reply 8):
and they have pretty good feelings about the brand

Including the dealers. A lot of people really like Saturn dealers.

From what I read in the Detroit Free Press today I see that GM will keep making Saturns for Penske for a couple of years. After that it is anyone's guess who will make the cars. The cars will be made under contract by various builders. This type of operation has proved very sucessful with the Pabst Brewing Company. They own nor operate any plants and actually have around 100 employees nationwide. All of their products are brewed by other brewers (mostly Miller). Their marketing makes people think they are a "local" brewer. Making beer that way is one thing, but cars my be a different story. Beer isn't a big purchase and it doesn't require any service parts. Lets say Penske chooses to have company X build his cars for three years. Then he has Company Y build his cars. Will company X still support those cars? It will be Penske's responsibility to make sure those cars can be serviced. If the nobody wanst to work on them and parts are hard to get Saturn will fail. Lets say Penske has some cars built by X and Y during the same period of time. That means more non interchangable parts to keep in stock at dealers.

Ford's early 1990s Mercury Capri is a car that nobody wants to support. The car was an Austrailian Mazda sold as a Mercury in the US. Today if you need one serviced the Ford dealer will tell you to take it to a Mazda dealer and the Mazda dealer wants you to go to a Ford dealer. Even getting simple serive parts like brake pads can be a pain in the butt. GM's Cadillac Caterra had the same problem. Now those cars are around 10 years old and you rarely see one. Ten and twenty year old DeVilles are all over the place.

Getting service parts is a huge issue. Renault had issues with it back in the 1970s in the USA and it turned a lot of people here against the company. Renault even went as far as to apollogize in magazine ads about the lack of service and parts in the US



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6489 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1996 times:



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 9):
This type of operation has proved very sucessful with the Pabst Brewing Company. They own nor operate any plants and actually have around 100 employees nationwide.

Their headquarters are currently in Woodridge, Illinois, where they have a small data center. A friend of mine works for a company in the same complex, and they wouldn't let his firm bring more data circuits into the place using the most cost-effective route because they were paranoid that someone would steal their crappy recipes.



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8018 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1985 times:

Personally, I think Penske is setting up Saturn so it could sell Opel cars in the USA.

It's not beyond the realm of possibility that Penske will have Saturn badged Corsas, Merivas, Astras and Insignias sold in the USA.


User currently offlineSCCutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5537 posts, RR: 28
Reply 12, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1985 times:

I, for one, believe Penske can do some seriously interesting things with Saturn, and I will be atching. It would not hurt my feelings one bit to see a return of the Renault line to the Etats Unis, and if Penske's Saturn move provides the conduit for this to happen, says I, "Bring it on."


...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineAerobalance From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 4683 posts, RR: 47
Reply 13, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1975 times:



Quoting LTBEWR (Thread starter):
It appears that the Penske Group companies is buying the Saturn line and dealership contacts from GM as was announced today.

I await these limited edition models from Penske...
The Rick Mears 'Ovalmeister' model
The Castroneves "Tax-Evader' model
The Fittipaldi 'Orange Juice' model
The Al Unser Jr. "Alcoholics Anonymous' model
The Paul Tracy 'Chrome Horn' model
The Sam Hornish Jr. 'Indy Quiter' model


More to follow...  Wink



"Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy..."
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1965 times:

Saturn is a text book case on a good idea that was ruined by internal politics at GM and the UAW.

Quoting LTBEWR (Thread starter):
I hope Roger is right on this one and keeps Saturn going for many years.

The problem is that Saturn is nothing more than just another division of GM. At one time there was something unique about it. However once they stopped building cars in Spring Hill and started sharing platforms they lost that uniqueness. This is one Saturn customer who will go elsewhere when the time comes.


User currently offlineHjulicher From Liechtenstein, joined Feb 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1950 times:



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 11):
Personally, I think Penske is setting up Saturn so it could sell Opel cars in the USA.

I believe this!!! And I think that either Saturn should just merge into one with Opel. Selling Opel stateside would have been the smartest move GM could have done, but they should have just brought the whole division over here. Instead of create their own brand for Americans, why not bring pioneers in building small cars to do the work for them?! I never understood this. Penkse happens to be my neighbor, and I'm really happy that someone is taking over Saturn, and it's not just going to die. I think that in the last 2 years, Saturn has won the "most improved award". Their cars are excellent, smart clever pieces of transport that get the job done, and are perfect for main stream sales. Saturn and Opel should stay joined at the hip and Saturn should just morph into what Vauxhaul is for the UK - Opel derivatives built for the US market.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 14):
The problem is that Saturn is nothing more than just another division of GM. At one time there was something unique about it. However once they stopped building cars in Spring Hill and started sharing platforms they lost that uniqueness. This is one Saturn customer who will go elsewhere when the time comes.

Funny that you should say this, and I would not have even considered looking at Saturn during the days of plastic body panels and uninspiring design. Sure, their dealer network was known for no haggling pricing and they had great marketing but their cars sucked. Now, Saturn actually is a decent car brand that in fact builds better products than much of the other US automakers. I recently encouraged my Uncle to buy the new Saturn Vue (aka Opel Antara) and it's a great car. He got it at a great price too. I myself like the Astra, but perhaps that vehicle is still too European for the US market. Hopefully Penske will be able to let Opel design and engineer the cars for the US market, and we will soon be getting the Insignia! And GM won't be there to screw around with them. Like removing gears in transmissions to cut costs or selling just one engine. GM neutred the Astra from what it really could be. Why bring over a small compact car, and have it get 30mpg, when in Europe, the same vehicle with the same engine can get much better? Cost?

Maybe Penske should buy the Spring Hill, TN Plant and build the Opels there, so that they can get the cheaper labor and not transport the cars across the pond. Or perhaps, Opel/Saturn will grow and gain market share.

Penske - JUST BUY OPEL TOO and make it American.



LH 442
User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32899 posts, RR: 71
Reply 16, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1946 times:

I don't get why people are speculating. It's no secret that Penske is planning to sell Renaults at Saturn dealerships, starting with Korea-built Samsung products like the Koleos, but hopefully expanding to others.


a.
User currently offlineCharles79 From Puerto Rico, joined Mar 2007, 1331 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1922 times:



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 16):
It's no secret that Penske is planning to sell Renaults at Saturn dealerships, starting with Korea-built Samsung products like the Koleos, but hopefully expanding to others.

That's pretty much what I stated in reply #5 above. However, he needs something to sell right now until the Samsungs are ready for US sale (minor modifications will be needed, i.e., 5-mph bumpers, meet US emmissions, etc). Until they are ready for prime time it would be no surprise to see Penske stick to the GM or Opel built cars so that at least he has something to provide his dealers. I do think though that once the Renaults (not sure if they'd be badged Samsungs here) start to arrive to dealer lots then Penske will swiftly let the contracts with GM/Opel expire and stick with the Korean-built cars.

One model which I think is dead regardless of what they do is the Sky IMO.


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1904 times:



Quoting Hjulicher (Reply 15):
Funny that you should say this, and I would not have even considered looking at Saturn during the days of plastic body panels and uninspiring design. Sure, their dealer network was known for no haggling pricing and they had great marketing but their cars sucked.

Having actually owned Saturns I can say they did not suck. I have over a 150K on my S Series Saturn and it has proven to be a reliable car that has given few problems. The plastic body panels are a nice thing to have in areas where the roads are salted in the winter. A couple years ago I clipped a dear doing 50mph. The only thing I had to replace was a reflector.

Now the L Series left a lot to be desired. However that car was nothing more than an Opel Vectra built in Delaware rushed to market by Saturn.

Quoting Hjulicher (Reply 15):
Penske - JUST BUY OPEL TOO and make it American.

Opel is already being sold to someone else.


User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6109 posts, RR: 29
Reply 19, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1899 times:
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Quoting N328KF (Reply 10):
they were paranoid that someone would steal their crappy recipes.

That may not be the "real" reason. Pabst Brewing Company is owned by the S&P Corporation which has been involved with some very shady deals over the years. S&P has been involved in the some of the worst union busting, tax fraud, and benefit terminating the US has ever seen. They are actually owned by a charitable trust had have to be divested, it still has not happened. Since the Falstaff takeover in 1975 the company has been VERY secretive and since they are privately held they don't answer to anyone. Every brewery they have owned since 1971 has been closed and no mercy was shown to anyone at any of the closed firms. Most of them were closed shortly after acquisition. They plants were shuttered with everything still inside (sometimes they were careless and left things they shouldn't have because they have lost lawsuits because "people" got in and "liberated" records that allowed Falstaff pensioners to win a case against S&P) and everything was written off on their taxes. They plan was to write off enough in losses so the S&P Corp didn't have to pay taxes on their realestate holdings. Documents in my possession prove this scheme, they were not breaking any laws at the time. S&P operates under many names, as seen by the names listed on every type of Pabst product. They have been sued many many many times over various types of fraud and over pension issues. They even stopped payment on severance checks to Falstaff executives in 1975. When S&P bought Pabst in 1985 the carnage from Falstaff seemed like nothing.

What I find funny is that so many hipsters drink their brands because they think they are being anti corporate, but in reality they are buying products from one of the most corrupt companies that ever existed. You can't get anymore corporate than Pabst Brewing Company. They are a friend to nobody and any community that has ever dealt with one of their closed breweries knows they are scum bags.

Quoting Charles79 (Reply 17):
5-mph bumpers

I think it may only be 2.5 mph bumpers now.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 18):
A couple years ago I clipped a dear doing 50mph. The only thing I had to replace was a reflector.

A buddy of mine rear ended a truck a couple of years ago in his SC2 (198,000 miles and still on the road). He was able to go to the junk yard and find all the parts on an SC1 of the same color. After installing them you would never know he hit anything.

I had a new 1997 SL2 and I was T-boned hard and I walked away without a scratch. That was a good little car.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32899 posts, RR: 71
Reply 20, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1896 times:



Quoting Charles79 (Reply 17):
However, he needs something to sell right now until the Samsungs are ready for US sale (minor modifications will be needed, i.e., 5-mph bumpers, meet US emmissions, etc).

Correct, which is why the deal includes GM continuing production of Aura, Outlook and Vue until Penske is ready to import Renault models. Modifications will only take 12-24 months. Some of Renault-Samsung's models are modified Nissans that already meet U.S. requirements.



a.
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7525 posts, RR: 24
Reply 21, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1885 times:



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 19):
Quoting Charles79 (Reply 17):
5-mph bumpers

I think it may only be 2.5 mph bumpers now.

Correct. The Federal bumper standard was rolled back to 2.5 mph in the mid-80s.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1851 times:



Quoting Falstaff (Reply 19):
A buddy of mine rear ended a truck a couple of years ago in his SC2 (198,000 miles and still on the road). He was able to go to the junk yard and find all the parts on an SC1 of the same color. After installing them you would never know he hit anything.

I had a new 1997 SL2 and I was T-boned hard and I walked away without a scratch. That was a good little car.

The S-series were tough, reliable little cars that's for sure. Last year I hit a racoon dead center with my cardoing about 55mph, no damage at all. A co-worker of mine hit a racoon in his Honda doing about the same speed and had to spend $1200 to get a new bumper.


User currently offlineLowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1822 times:



Quoting LMP737 (Reply 22):
The S-series were tough, reliable little cars that's for sure. Last year I hit a racoon dead center with my cardoing about 55mph, no damage at all.

I have one for an airport car and I can definately second this. I have slaughtered a few opposums and at least one raccoon with no discernable damage. All I ever do is change the oil and transmission fluid and filters, rotate the tires, and it keeps on running. 12 years old and it still gets 37 mpg on the highway. Nothing fancy, but it works.



Proud OOTSK member
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29802 posts, RR: 58
Reply 24, posted (5 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1808 times:



Quoting LMP737 (Reply 18):
The plastic body panels are a nice thing to have in areas where the roads are salted in the winter. A couple years ago I clipped a dear doing 50mph. The only thing I had to replace was a reflector.

You must have warmer winters then we do. At -15F you get into a fender bender the fenders don't bend-THEY SHATTER!!!

I for one will never buy a plastic car up here, but I do have to say that Penske buying Saturn is probably good here. Since they won't be tied to a major brand we may see them slip back toward the inovative brand that they where first marketed as.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
25 LMP737 : Winters get cold where I live. Temperature was not an issue when I hit the deer and the raccoon, it was fall and summer respectively when I hit them.
26 Asuflyer05 : Roger Penske is my hero. I'd love to work for him someday!
27 Mayor : Kind of a shame to see it and the Solstice disappear.
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