General Motors Shutting Down Saturn

General Motors announced that they are shutting down their Saturn division after a deal with Penske Automotive Group fell through. Penske Automotive Group couldn’t find a manufacturer to supply it with new cars once General Motors’ current contract runs out in 2011. PAG had been negotiating with General Motors since early June.

General Motors chief executive officer Fritz Henderson issued a statement of deep regret on September 30th, saying:

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.

Production has ceased on all Saturn vehicles and GM expects the remaining stock of about 12,000 vehicles to be sold off within four (4) months.

While there was speculation that French automaker Renault had negotiated a deal with PAG to manufacture Saturn vehicles, the deal was ultimately rejected by PAG’s board of directors, fearing U.S. competition.

General Motors issued a statement:

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. Pursuant to the terms of those agreements, the wind down process will be determined and communicated shortly.

What does this mean for Saturn drivers and their warranties? According to the following statement by GM, current Saturn owners will be able to get parts and service at other General Motors dealerships:

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. We will be communicating with our customers very soon to explain the next steps in this process.

In addition, it’s important to note that all Saturn drivers still under manufacturers warranty are entitled to consumer protection under State Lemon laws and Federal Warranty laws if their repairs cannot be fixed despite repeated repair attempts. For more information on your State’s Lemon Law, click here.

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