There is a growing list of potential Saturn suitors that includes Detroit auto tycoon Roger Penske, who is interested in tapping the brand’s dealer network and possibly finding a foreign manufacturer to make new vehicles.
Penske and Saturn may join a venture with Nissan Motor Co., the Japanese affiliate of Renault, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.
“I can’t provide any speculation on who a potential OEM partner could be,” Saturn spokesman Steve Janisse said. “There have been a number of meetings with potential partners, but it’s really going to be up to the eventual buyer who they want to partner with to provide product for the future of Saturn.”
Other suitors include an Ohio investment group that wants to build vehicles using union workers at U.S. factories targeted for closure by the Detroit automaker. The group, headed by Ohio auto industry worker Gary Marvicsin, met with Saturn officials Tuesday.
Another group, Telesto Ventures, wants to partner with a foreign manufacturer and import vehicles under the Saturn name.
The group, which includes Oklahoma City-based private equity firm Black Oak Partners LLC and several Saturn dealers, submitted a proposal last month, terms of which were not made public. Telesto proposes initially distributing GM-built vehicles through Saturn’s 400 dealerships in North America and eventually offering small, fuel-efficient vehicles produced by several manufacturers, most of which would be sold under the Saturn brand.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong-based carmaker Geely Automobile Holdings has submitted a bid for Saab, according to the Wall Street Journal.
GM, subsisting on $15.4 billion in federal aid, is trying to sell or phase out Saab, Saturn, Pontiac and Hummer as part of its broad restructuring.
A Geely spokeswoman could not be reached for comment today.