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From Leftlanenews:

Breaking: GM, Penske part ways on Saturn deal

By Drew Johnson
General Motors and Roger Penske have reportedly terminated a deal for the Saturn brand. Penske agreed to purchase the Saturn brand from General Motors earlier this year – essentially saving the brand from extinction – but negotiations fell apart after Penske couldn’t find and automaker to supply vehicles for the Saturn brand.

The news of the contract termination throws into doubt the future of the Saturn brand. Penske’s purchase would have saved the brand from certain demise, but now it looks as though Saturn will follow Pontiac into the history books.

“We will be working closely with our dealers to ensure Saturn customers are cared for as we transition them to other GM dealers in the months ahead,” GM CEO Fritz Henderson said in a statement released by the automaker.

It remains possible that a new bidder could save the Saturn brand in the eleventh hour, but that scenario is looking highly unlikely at this point. With the global auto market still struggle with record-low sales, not many companies are willing to take a risk on an auto venture, as shown by the difficult sale of Ford’s Volvo brand.

Stay tuned for the latest news on this breaking development.

From Autoblog:

From Autoblog:

Saturn fans will be saddened to hear that the brand is about to be history. Penske Automotive Group (PAG) and General Motors have been in the final stages of negotiations to transfer the brand, but late this afternoon, both parties issued statements that Penske was walking away from the deal.

The reason cited by Penkse for the deal's demise is the difficulty in securing a supply of product beyond the end of 2010. GM had agreed to continue supplying the Outlook, Aura and Vue until the end of next year, at which point Penske would get other automakers to produce vehicles to sell through the Saturn dealer network.

It was originally believed that Penske had a deal with Renault, possibly supplying vehicles from its South Korean subsidiary, Renault-Samsung Motors. However, the other automaker's board of directors rejected the deal, leaving Penske out in the cold. In the wake of the news, GM announced that it would wind down Saturn and close all the dealerships. After Saturn dealers close, Saturn owners will be able to get service from other GM dealers.

[Sources: Penske Automotive Group, General Motors ]
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