General Motors Speeds Up Saturn Shutdown

Even if the future of the company is yet to be decided, General Motors is now speeding up efforts to build the last models under the Saturn brand in a broader attempt to shed the asset by the end of the year. Basically, GM aims to build the last Saturn vehicles this year, two years earlier than initially projected and decide by the end of the year whether to kill the brand or sell it to an interested party.

A thing worth mentioning is that General Motors aims to shed all dealerships and divisions by the end of the year, newly-appointed CEO Fritz Henderson was quoted as saying by Autonews in a conference call. Unless an investor expresses his interest in purchasing Saturn, the brand will be discontinued, contrary to the company's statements included in the February 17 survival plan when GM clearly stated that is intends to keep Saturn alive by the end of 2011.

A revised plan announced today also confirmed that General Motors aims to shed Pontiac by 2010 and focus on just four brands in the United States: Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick.

"If a sale of Saturn does not occur, we intend to phase out the Saturn brand by the end of 2009," GM said in its government filing today according to the aforementioned source. "As a result, our current Viability Plan does not comprehend production and sales to dealers of Saturn products beyond 2009."

Fritz Henderson claims a private equity firm has already expressed interest in purchasing Saturn but the two sides are currently in early negotiations stage. Previous rumors also claimed a couple of different parties are also planning to purchase the ailing automaker but, until now, to talks have been concluded.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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