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Saturn Sky
Brand will be sold to race car legend Roger Penske

Two brands effectively sold in less than a week -- that's the impressive progress General Motors, under government guidance, has made.  After news that Hummer was sold to a Chinese buyer early this week, news has now broke that the bankrupt GM had reached an agreement with dealership operator Penske Automotive Group (PAG) to sell it the troubled Saturn brand.

The Penkse Group has a powerful automotive pedigree, being the creation of Roger Penske, a racing legend.  Penske owns NASCAR and IndyCar racing teams in addition to PAG's substantial network of dealerships and repair centers.  PAG, among other things, is the sole U.S. importer of the popular Smart Cars.

The deal would see PAG acquiring and safeguarding Saturn's 400 dealerships and 13,000 jobs.  While PAG will own rights to developing new vehicles under the Saturn brand name, GM will retain the rights to the Saturn Aura, Vue, and Outlook.  It is possible that these vehicles will be rebranded.

The Saturn brand has been around since 1990 when its first line was created.  It was founded with a no-haggle policy, an unusual trait in the industry which earned it consistently high customer satisfaction ratings.  Over 4 million Saturn vehicles have sold in the last 19 years.

With the sale, GM's only remaining outstanding U.S. asset will be the Pontiac brand, which it also looks to sell.  GM reportedly is close to terms on the sale of two of its European brands -- Vauxhall (British) and Opel Motors (German), with Magna (Canadian) and Fiat (Italian) leading contenders.  It is still looking to find a buyer for the Saab European brand, as well.

GM had proposed selling all these brands for a couple months, but bankruptcy and government guidance appears to have given it the momentum and ability to finally start to offload them.  Once these sales and reorganization/production adjustments are complete, GM will exit bankruptcy, and be owned primarily by the U.S. government, with bondholders, the Canadian government, and the United Auto Workers union holding minor stakes.



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Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By Lord 666 on 6/6/2009 3:07:54 PM , Rating: 3
With their racing pedigree, the Sky makes a great platform to make a PAG branded performance car.




RE: Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By icrf on 6/6/09, Rating: 0
RE: Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By Totally on 6/6/2009 4:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
LS3 Solstice, Solstice GXP


By Lord 666 on 6/6/2009 7:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
Along with hard top and convertible body styles.


RE: Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By chrnochime on 6/7/2009 8:06:32 PM , Rating: 2
LS3 Solstice? That was never a production vehicle. Considering how much GM was losing for every Solstice/Sky sold(Just production cost, not taking into account R&D), I'd like to see how PAG is going to pull off making that particular car profitable instead of a huge money loser.


RE: Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By ralith on 6/8/2009 9:09:47 AM , Rating: 3
If they were losing money on these cars they were fools for not upping the prices. The dealers always seemed to have wait lists for them.


RE: Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By MrPoletski on 6/8/09, Rating: -1
RE: Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By MrPoletski on 6/9/09, Rating: 0
By MrPoletski on 6/9/2009 8:48:50 AM , Rating: 2
ah, facts not popular around here then.


By Spuke on 6/8/2009 12:12:28 PM , Rating: 2
They weren't losing money on them (well probably when the recession hit there were). The platform was designed to make money in low volumes.


By Alexvrb on 6/7/2009 1:17:45 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe because its an awesome roadster? Same car as Solstice and Opel GT. It's a proven vehicle, and a great starting point if they want even more performance, look at some of the Solstice drift cars. There's nothing stopping them from dropping in an LS3/LS7 or whatever. Maybe a turbocharged build of the DI 3.6L HFV6.


RE: Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By Flunk on 6/6/2009 9:31:09 PM , Rating: 2
I think you've read the story wrong. The original article says that the Sky and Astra are being discontinued. This is probably because they're made by Opel and if GM is selling Opel... It doesn't make sense to sell cars made by other companies.


RE: Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By shabby on 6/6/2009 10:40:23 PM , Rating: 3
The sky is made by gm and rebadged as an opel, gm recently shutdown the plant that makes them.


By Alexvrb on 6/7/2009 1:32:19 AM , Rating: 3
You're absolutely right about the Opel GT, it is/was built in Delaware and shipped overseas to Europe and Korea, not the other way around.

However, GM is not just blowing up the plant that made them. They're planning on selling it if they can - so there's nothing stopping Saturn's new owner from picking up this plant. It'd be a smart move.


RE: Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By MrSmurf on 6/7/09, Rating: 0
RE: Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By Alexvrb on 6/7/2009 10:55:56 AM , Rating: 4
First of all, it makes 173HP and 167 ft-lbs of torque. But that's just the base model Sky. Regardless, that's like saying "You do realize the Mustang only has a 210HP V6 and is solely driven by women". I don't even care for Mustangs and even I would laugh at such a statement. It may be partially true (a lot of women want the looks and don't care about the muscle), but you're leaving out important information like, oh, the existance of other significantly higher performing Mustangs.

Not to mention that even the base model Sky/Solstice beat the MX-5 Miata, in both handling and performance, and the Miata has always been a much-lauded roadster. The Miata, although it has a cheaper base price, makes due with 167HP and a measly 140 ft-lbs. So by saying the Sky is not a performance vehicle, you're saying the Miata is downright pedestrian.

On the other hand, the Sky Red Line, Solstice GXP, and Opel GT all use the LNF motor. You haven't seen its torque curve, and even if you did, you wouldn't understand its significance. Yet here you are bashing the Sky on performance.


RE: Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By retrospooty on 6/7/2009 11:24:05 AM , Rating: 2
"So by saying the Sky is not a performance vehicle, you're saying the Miata is downright pedestrian."

I'd agree with that... The Miata is a total chick car. Neither should be in the roadster category.

With that said the Sky looks good and could easily be outfitted with a larger faster engine when design decisions are made by people other than the nitwit's at GM.

The Miata will always be a chick-car, regardless of what engine you throw in it... It's just feminine.


RE: Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By Keeir on 6/7/2009 1:21:48 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
With that said the Sky looks good and could easily be outfitted with a larger faster engine when design decisions are made by people other than the nitwit's at GM.


You need more than the Sky Redline at 260 hp/260 ft-lbs?

The Sky Redline/Solistice GXP are convertibles with sub 6 0-60 times at less than 30,000.... what exactly are you expecting a different manufacture to do?


By Lord 666 on 6/8/2009 8:51:38 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, the Sky/Solstice have the potential to be American version of the Lotus Elise. With a little focus from PAG, this is a realistic goal.

My only complaint was the choice of interior choice of plastics feeling a little cheap; the inside door panels, etc.


By Spuke on 6/8/2009 12:17:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You need more than the Sky Redline at 260 hp/260 ft-lbs?
There's a GM Performance upgrade that will not void your warranty AND is CA emissions legal that will bring the total to 290hp/325 lb-ft of torque for a mere $550 extra.


RE: Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By chrnochime on 6/7/2009 8:10:10 PM , Rating: 5
...a total chick car that'll run circles around those manly cars you think of, e.g. Camaro/Mustang. The "chick car" image would be a problem only for those who are insecure about themselves.


RE: Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By theapparition on 6/8/2009 5:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
The Miata is a fun car, no doubt about it. I'm not a big fan of little roadsters, but I have to admit, the Miata package is great. It's just fun to drive and handles like a dream.
I've driven the Solstice and Sky and even though faster, are just a tad less of a complete package. Hard to explain.
I have to admit though, I do want to wear dark sunglasses and a wig just so no one would recognize me in the Miata. It is such a fem mobile. Have to say though, I've never really liked them until driving one.

However........to claim for one second that they will run circles around Camaros/Mustangs, especially newer models (hell, even anything from mid 90's up) than you are either in denial or have a bout of delusion.


RE: Killing the Sky makes no sense for PAG
By lightfoot on 6/8/2009 6:40:39 PM , Rating: 2
I'd take my Sky Redline against ANY Mustang or Camaro.

It is true that the Mustang and Camaro are faster in a straight line, but the first time you need to take a corner, the difference is apparent.

(I traded in a '98 Mustang GT when I got the '08 Sky Redline - No regrets.)


By theapparition on 6/8/2009 10:43:09 PM , Rating: 2
Against ANY pony car? That's a bold statement, considering only minor suspension work makes the F-bodies awesome AutoX'ers. True that both cars can benefit from upgrades, but clearly the F-bodies (don't know or care about Mustangs) benefit more.

Stock for stock, they are fairly competitve in AutoX events, which tells me that even though they may handle better, the Pony cars acceleration makes up for that difference. Road racing is no contest, and lets not even talk about drag racing.
Try it against a newer model such as the '10 camaro, and it won't be close.
And then there are real sports cars like the Vette and up.

But glad you like your car. I would have got rid of the mustang too. :)


By Alexvrb on 6/8/2009 11:52:14 PM , Rating: 2
While the Sky Redline certainly kicks tail, there are a few pony cars that would be more than a handful for you, such as a 2010 Camaro SS.

I had to laugh at chrnochime's comment about the Miata running circles around Mustangs and Camaros. Maybe old L4s and V6s, but it wouldn't even beat a baseline 2010 V6 Camaro, let alone an SS or a '10 Mustang GT (which also got a minor bump to handling and power). The base V6 Mustang though is still embarassingly underpowered though... hopefully an Ecoboost motor is headed its way.


Am I the only one..
By ThePooBurner on 6/6/2009 4:29:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Two brands effectively sold in less than a week -- that's the impressive progress General Motors, under government guidance , has made.

Am I the only one that cringes in disgust every time i read that phrase in one of these articles about GM and Crysler? It just comes off in my head as sounding like "under the supreme benevolent guidence of our beloved government. All hail the government! the givers of life!" or some other such BS sounding commie tag-line.




RE: Am I the only one..
By Mr Perfect on 6/6/2009 7:08:53 PM , Rating: 2
Not as much as

quote:
owned primarily by the U.S. government


GM is now Government Motors.


RE: Am I the only one..
By Wierdo on 6/6/2009 7:17:51 PM , Rating: 2
It's obviously sarcasm, so there's no need to take it as a serious comment.


RE: Am I the only one..
By ThePooBurner on 6/6/2009 8:51:26 PM , Rating: 4
Except it isn't sarcasm. It's used genuinely in every article where it appears. It's almost as if he wants to avoid appearing unsupported of our new overlords. Preemptive butt kissing.


RE: Am I the only one..
By Alexvrb on 6/7/2009 1:36:14 AM , Rating: 2
Emperor Obama has a nice ring to it, don't you think?


RE: Am I the only one..
By clovell on 6/8/2009 11:01:16 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, but I like Herr Obama better.


RE: Am I the only one..
By lightfoot on 6/8/2009 6:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
Appearently Emperors are higher than Czars...

Although Ceasar (the origin of Czar) himself WAS an Emperor...

Obama needs to create a new title - Emperor doesn't quite capture the supreme omnipotence of his desired position.


RE: Am I the only one..
By Alexvrb on 6/8/2009 11:59:33 PM , Rating: 1
Nope, Emperor is the way to go. But perhaps not the kind of Emperor you're thinking of...

"Something, something, something... Dark Side.
Something, something, something... com-plete."


RE: Am I the only one..
By retrospooty on 6/7/09, Rating: 0
RE: Am I the only one..
By TheSpaniard on 6/8/2009 12:21:46 AM , Rating: 2
if you were a GM shareholder... you should have sold your shares... no one gets insured against loss in the stock market.

and the last sentence is what would have happened if the government hadnt gotten involved


RE: Am I the only one..
By retrospooty on 6/8/2009 9:29:27 AM , Rating: 3
"if you were a GM shareholder... you should have sold your shares... no one gets insured against loss in the stock market."

that is why I primarily pointed out "stakeholder".

[bankruptcy] " is what would have happened if the government hadnt gotten involved "


As I recall, GM, Ford and Chrysler all went to the govt with hands out, saying if they dont get xx billion dollars they will fail. that isnt exactly being self sufficient. The govt. should have told them to go pound sand at that point, but... here we are.


RE: Am I the only one..
By 67STANG on 6/8/2009 11:13:48 AM , Rating: 2
You are mistaken. Ford never said they needed xx billion dollars or they would fail. They were just securing money in a uncertain economy where money is hard to borrow... In fact, Ford hasn't touched a dime of their extended govt. credit line... They probably won't have to either, as they will have dealerships in towns where GM and Chrysler are pulling out of.


RE: Am I the only one..
By theapparition on 6/8/2009 5:57:10 PM , Rating: 2
Ford initially asked for money. After the public backlash, they distanced thier position towards an extended credit line in case of other mfr's troubles.

quote:
They probably won't have to either, as they will have dealerships in towns where GM and Chrysler are pulling out of.

Don't know where in the world you would get this but GM will still have more dealerships after the downsizing than Ford. Ford already closed many of thier underperforming dealerships long ago, a move that, by following your logic, would have given GM or Chrysler a leg up. Obviously, this is not the case.
A good move by Ford, although I still fail to see how closing independant franchises will help company profits. But your assertion that people in small town america will just buy a car because there is a dealer in the neighborhood is just flawed.


RE: Am I the only one..
By jskirwin on 6/8/2009 9:25:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
if I were a GM stakeholder (vendor, distributor, employee or shareholder) I would be glad the govt' stepped in and got the mess resolved.


If you were a shareholder, you would be wiped out since GM shares are worthless. If you lent GM money as a bondholder, you would be getting $.13 on the dollar vs. $.66 on the dollar that the UAW is getting.

GM's failure would not have brought the US economy to it's knees. This isn't 1955 and the American economy is larger and more diverse than it was when GM CEO Charlie Wilson declared "What is good for General Motors is good for America."

GM should have died; instead it's been zombified or "saved" by people like the President who never bought a GM product in their lives.


RE: Am I the only one..
By retrospooty on 6/8/2009 9:36:37 AM , Rating: 2
"If you were a shareholder" ....

/dictionary

Stakeholder = anyone affected. (vendor, distributor, employee or shareholder)

Vendor = companies that supply GM with parts and supplies. From the people that make the electrix starter engines to the people that make the toilet paper GM buys at thier plants.

Distributor = dealers , shipping companies, logistics etc...

Employee = those that directly work for GM

clear now?

And the economy was already on it's knees. GM alone wouldnt have caused major harm, but considering we were already on the brink, and it was GM and Chrysler it would have been really bad. You have to also think about all of the vendors and distributors employees, not just GM employees.


RE: Am I the only one..
By jskirwin on 6/8/2009 10:47:53 AM , Rating: 1
Stakeholder interests vary as would the impact of dissolution on them. Some like the employees would do worse than others like the vendors and distributors who also supply companies that are not in bankruptcy and build cars in the USA - like Ford, Honda, Toyota, and BMW.

Firms die under capitalism, and GM should have died. Instead it has been propped up by the government for political reasons - like the fact that the UAW is a bulwark of the Democratic Party even though the leaders of that party wouldn't touch a UAW-built product with a 3m pole.

So the government runs a firm producing cars that the government leaders aren't even willing to buy. It reminds me of the Soviet nomenklatura driving around Moscow in their Mercedes.


RE: Am I the only one..
By deltadeltadelta on 6/7/2009 2:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, perhaps "dramatic," "pell-mell," "hastily," or other words would be a better choice. In a news article, I find "impressive" to carry with it inherent approval or admiration. But, I suppose in fairness, this site doesn't really proport to be objective. But it sure would be nice.


RE: Am I the only one..
By JakLee on 6/8/2009 6:30:37 PM , Rating: 2
Well I for one welcome our new government overlords. Morbo Out!


will it help much?
By Oregonian2 on 6/6/2009 5:04:15 PM , Rating: 2
Although better than nothing, it doesn't seem like selling the Saturn brand really helps GM much. Although Penske will take over the coordination of dealerships and have the name, the heavy duty assets of car factories and related employees stays with GM. Penske isn't buying any auto-manufacturing, they'll be (at least initially) be getting their cars to sell by having GM make them under contract.

Although some help, it seems cosmetic and perhaps the axing of Saturn factories to happen anyway (other than perhaps those I think somebody said was made by Opel, which will have some other Canadian company axe the factories and workers instead).

Any rumor as to how much money GM will get for the name (if any)?




RE: will it help much?
By gerf on 6/6/2009 6:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
$100 to 200 million was what I'd read.


RE: will it help much?
By rudolphna on 6/6/2009 6:43:49 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it will help GM to be paid to make the cars, instead of paying to make them. It is cash flow for them. Meanwhile, PAG gets a great car line. Saturn has always been my favorite GM brand.


RE: will it help much?
By Oregonian2 on 6/6/2009 7:48:46 PM , Rating: 2
Depends. If they still have their factory setup to make XXX number per month and Penske is ordering 0.1 x XXX per month, then GM may not have a positive cash flow making them unless they can cut resources to match and still have making them worthwhile to make.


RE: will it help much?
By Oregonian2 on 6/6/2009 7:55:51 PM , Rating: 2
P.S. - "Cashflow" and "profits" I think are roughly the same thing for existing plant seeing as how I understand most if most all debt (which may have financed the plant's purchase, construction and tooling) has been gotten rid of by the bankruptcy. No "I" in ROI. Kinda.


RE: will it help much?
By lightfoot on 6/8/2009 7:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
Other than costs of labor, parts, raw materials, power, taxes, other overhead expenses, etc, etc. So yeah, any sales are basically pure profit now that their debt has been wiped out...


RE: will it help much?
By vailr on 6/6/2009 6:47:25 PM , Rating: 2
The status of Saturn's Springhill, Tennessee factory would seem to be the main question, going forward. I can still recall all the hooplah about that factory being GM's "fresh beginning" as well as "real competition" for Japan's better "fit and finish" vehicles.


RE: will it help much?
By Oregonian2 on 6/7/2009 6:53:39 AM , Rating: 2
Think I read that Springhill will be "gone" in November.


RE: will it help much?
By Alexvrb on 6/7/2009 1:46:50 AM , Rating: 2
IIRC the only Opel that Saturn currently imports is the Astra (the Sky is domestic), which is kinda weak anyway. They'd have been better off sticking with a US-made delta rather than importing a delta. Just like the Ion, only improve the looks (perhaps borrowing some styling from the Sky and Aura) and give it a better name. It would have shared drivetrains with the Cobalt, so you'd get a peppy and fuel efficient 2.2L, and the turbo 2.0L in a Red Line model.

But no, they wanted to import a hatch, so they end up with something that has no guts and mediocre mileage.


Havent heard of that country
By Ozziedogg on 6/7/2009 12:44:02 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
with Magna (Candian)


..that must be the land where candy comes from. Probably the source of Oompa-Loompas, I suspect.




really?
By inperfectdarkness on 6/7/2009 12:11:01 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
With the sale, GM's only remaining outstanding U.S. asset will be the Pontiac brand, which it also looks to sell.


buick is already gone? cadillac is already gone? GMC is already gone? chevy is already gone?

seriously. wtf?

p.s. shouldn't GM have sold oldsmobile rather than closing it?




RE: really?
By lightfoot on 6/8/2009 7:17:50 PM , Rating: 2
Those assets will be sold to the "New GM." Pontiac will be the only remaining asset with the "Old GM."


USA of GM
By romankorvinus on 6/6/09, Rating: 0
RE: USA of GM
By gerf on 6/6/2009 6:36:05 PM , Rating: 3
Can you get a more rambling, incoherent, inaccurate post?
1. Government helps technology with research grants, not production changes.
2. Nanno steel? Steal? You're joking right?
3. Dillute it out? Can you be more incoherent?
4. Lowering prices is good, but that doesn't mean there's more jobs (due to efficiency changes)
5. Cashflow is not the most beneficial thing to the economy.
6. Price lock? Are you thinking of 1970s gasoline?
7. Right, take the government out of business, but you have to be a bit more clear in your thinking to convince anyone.


I for one...
By nixoofta on 6/6/2009 8:31:58 PM , Rating: 3
...am glad to see Saturn survive under any name. I hope Penske lets them keep their no-haggle policy. Too few companies putting service and the customer first.




No Loss
By Belard on 6/8/2009 12:53:33 AM , Rating: 2
As long as PAG can restart the SKY production lines, they have a start.

There is no reason to just buy the "Saturn" name... PAG is doing well with Smart, so why would they need such a so-so tag as Saturn?

The Saturn Aura, Vue, and Outlook are re-packaged cards from GMs other brands. So its obvious they can't go with Saturn. The Sky is its own platform, no R&D is needed. Its a great little car - and it was made cheap to begin with by using off-shelf GM parts (Which we can expect PAG to buy some of these parts from GM suppliers).

When cars are made at the car-factories, those are mostly assembly lines. A lot of parts are made by contracted 3rd party companies.




Toxic Assets anyone?
By bubba551 on 6/8/2009 2:21:28 PM , Rating: 2
I am starting to suspect that the so-called "toxic assets" (Hummer, Saturn, etc) will recover better than the government managed "New GM"




The real question now...
By ZachDontScare on 6/8/2009 2:28:53 PM , Rating: 2
The real question now is ... will he rebrand his Dodge sponsored race cars as Saturn cars? I bet he does.




This reminds me of something...
By quiksilvr on 6/6/09, Rating: -1
“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs














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