Kiss Saturn Goodbye: Dealers Ponder Plan to Sell Chinese or Indian-Made Cars

Kiss Saturn Goodbye: Dealers Ponder Plan to Sell Chinese or Indian-Made Cars

After General Motors made it clear in its viability report submitted to the U.S. Treasury that the future of Saturn was uncertain at best, it appears as though Saturn’s network of dealers has its own plan.

Dan Januska, owner of Saturn of Scottsdale, told the Wall Street Journal that the dealers have been in talks to work with a foreign automaker from either China or India. The deal would see Saturn dealers keep their dealerships and retain the Saturn brand, and sell vehicles badged as Saturns, but made by another manufacturer, possibly Chery, Tata, Geely or Build Your Dreams (BYD).

“There are not a whole lot of alternatives,” said Januska to the Journal, “Someone is going to see the value of us and I don’t know who it will be.”

GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner commented on the possibility of the sale of the Saturn name (something General Motors would certainly like to see happen), stating that, “It’s a good distribution network. If someone comes up with an offer, we’re very open to that.”

As we already reported, General Motors stated in its viability plan that it will continue to produce and deliver vehicles to Saturn dealers until 2012, after which GM has no plans for the brand.

[Source: LeftLaneNews via the Wall Street Journal]

  • Denis O

    Chinese brands have egos too; if they buy the Saturn Distribution Network, they will most certainly want change the name to their brand. Why would the new brands want to be associated with a brand that tanked?

    Perhaps the US can streamline the efforts for BYD. Its cars still have to pass the stringent safety and emission standards of the U.S. market. This will help the Saturn dealers continue to stay around.

    My guess is that BYD is the favored choice of the Chinese Brands to get here first and to use the Saturn Distribution Network. Warren Buffett seems to like them enough to invest heavy in them.

  • Mike

    Since the “Saturn” Astra is really a German Opel Astra in disguise, maybe I will email the Brussels factory and order Opel badges to replace my Saturn badges. Then I will have bookend vehicles. I also own a 1970 Opel GT.

  • Lee

    PLEASE bring the BYD to the US! What an amazing car! An attractive 5 passenger sedan that is designed to get 60+ miles on a charge, plus the 1 liter tank extends that range to well over 100 miles (some reports say 250 miles on the charge + the liter of gas)!!! What a breakthrough in plug-in hybrid technology! It’s ALREADY ON SALE in China!! By the time Saturn would be winding down, it would have had a few years to work the kinks out in mass production, and Saturn could streamline the US approval process for the car.

    I would wait in line at the docks for this car! Chevy Volt, Phoenix Motorcars, Aptera, Persu Hybrid, aren’t even rolling out anything in production until 2010, and then it’s only limited production, fleet vehicles, and only released in California. PLEASE bring this car to the US and let us buy it all over the country!

  • kerry bradshaw

    BYD would be, far and away, the best choice. Their extended range electrics (ala Chevy VOLT) would present GM with the unwelcome prospect of having to compete witha 40 mile electric ranged Volt priced at $40,000 againast a 62 electric range car that also has a range extender and sells for about half the price. The Volt cannot compete unless its battery prices drop, even with the $7500 fed subsidy (which may also apply to BYD cars). What irony.

  • ben

    Who willingly buys Saturn?

  • Lisa

    For one I have friends that own one and I just bought my first Saturn and love it. Actually it is an 2003 and I get great gas mileage out of it. So, for the rest of the story. I own 2 fords. They are my favorite, but I needed to down size the 3rd vechile and it was a Ford, I couldn’t find anything in my price range.