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What Will GM Do with Saturn?



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GM has announced, as part of their deal to get federal bailout money, that they would ditch the Saturn brand. This has led to some discussion today as to how feasible a sale of Saturn to a foreign automaker might be. The dealers think it makes sense:

Many observers, including a longtime Saturn dealer who owns three Nashville-area outlets, said they think Saturn will survive as a brand, perhaps sold to a rival foreign manufacturer.

“GM will explore options to sell the whole division,” said C.M. “Bill” Gatton, a Bristol, Tenn., GM dealer who bought the three Saturn stores in 1994. “I believe there would be other automakers interested in taking it over.”

He said he has “no idea” what manufacturer that might be, but analysts have suggested that among the suitors for Saturn might be a European company or perhaps a Chinese automaker looking for an easy entry to the U.S. market with an established dealer network.

Auto analysts don’t think it will be that easy:

Selling the Saturn brand to another carmaker might be difficult, said Jim Hossack, an analyst at consultant AutoPacific.

“Renault might buy a brand like Volvo, but buying Saturn would be difficult for any automaker because it is so intertwined with the rest of GM,” Hossack said. “That would be like me trying to sell my liver. The tough thing would be to separate it from the rest of me.”

True, but, we don’t sell organs in America. We get them from the dead.



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