Roger Penske and Daimler Chairman Dr. Dieter Zetsche take a ride in a SMART car. Penske currently distributes SMART cars for Diamler in the U.S. and is rumored to be interested in purchasing Saturn from GM.
A day after General Motors released a vague statement declaring that it is moving to “the next step” in the sale of the Saturn brand it appears as though Roger Penske is one of the interested buyers.
Penske, a former race car driver and now the man at the top of an automotive empire is no stranger to the business, owning numerous dealerships. In fact, Penske’s dealership chain is listed as the second largest in the United States, accounting for 171,872 vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2008.
The Penske dealership network is not immune to the current economic climate, with Q1 profits down roughly 50 percent from the year previous. Still, the company managed a 16.2 million profit.
The Penske Automotive Group even distributes the SMART car for Mercedes/Daimler throughout the United States.
Currently Penske oversees three major racing initiatives in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and the Indy Racing League (IRL). He is also a well-known supporter of the city of Detroit and the U.S. auto industry, having helped bring the racing back to Detroit’s Belle Isle in recent years as well as assisting in bringing the Superbowl to the struggling city.
The Wall Street Journal cited an unnamed source in regards to Penske’s interest. The individual said that while Penske is interested, no offer has been made.
[Source: Automotive News]
[Photo Credit: TheAutoChanel]