According the The Wall Street Journal, inside sources say that Saturn will form the basis for the North American growth of the Renault-Nissan alliance. The news came hours after Bloomberg said that Nissan will join Penske Automotive Group and Saturn in a venture.
If that's the case, Renault and Nissan will built Saturn vehicles in an arrangement overseen by Penske. The cars would be distributed through the existing Saturn dealer network.
Renault's CEO, Carlos Ghosn, did not explicitly denied the news, but he said he is not yet discussing a possible take-over of the American brand. GM didn't name the bidders who want Saturn, but did say there are a "number of them".
It is the first good news, even if not confirmed, about the future of Saturn. Saturn itself aside, a take-over, be it by the hands of Renault-Nissan or any other interested party would mean the saving of countless jobs from both the brand and from the roughly 400 dealers spread throughout the US and Canada.
On the other hand, if a buyer isn't found by the end of 2009, it is likely Saturn will join Pontiac on the list of extinct brands. Furthermore, GM will probably announce the possible owner of Saturn as soon as they have it, given the tensed relationship it now has with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) over the Pontiac closure.