Roger Penske Buys Saturn
No, not the planet – the defunct auto brand.
A person briefed on the deal says General Motors Corp. will sell its Saturn brand to former race car driver and dealership chain owner Roger Penske. GM has scheduled a 9 a.m. EDT conference call with Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak. The person briefed on the deal said Penske will be on the call.
Penske has said his company, Penske Automotive Group Inc. of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is interested in the Saturn brand.
Not much to go on but it’s intriguing. Penske was a star race car driver before I was born and went on to become easily the most dominant team owner in racing, fielding winners in both Indy Car and NASCAR. He got his start in business as a Chevy dealer.
I’m not sure what he wants with Saturn, a brand that was best known for its “no-haggle pricing” policy but that has not made a memorable car in years. A NYT report
Under the terms of the deal, Mr. Penske, a former race car driver whose Penske Automotive Group is one of the largest dealerships in the country, will initially buy Saturn vehicles from G.M. But he is expected to eventually buy cars from other carmakers like Renault, through its Samsung Motors Unit in Korea. Mr. Penske’s company, which owns 310 franchises around the world, already serves as the sole distributor of Daimler’s Smart line of small cars.
Perhaps Penske just wants the dealership network? That would make more sense than trying to get into the car manufacturing business at this date.