AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
With news of a tentative deal to sell off Hummer coming yesterday, GM still hasn’t made any decisions about its Saturn or Saab brands – but apparently it has plenty of offers to entertain.
GM CFO Ray Young said that Saturn has as many as 16 suitors, while the Swedish Saab brand has three.
The list of Saturn buyers is reported to include Penske Automotive Group, Malcolm Bricklin, Mitsubishi, Nissan/Renault and investment firm Telesto Ventures.
Young did say that it is interested in working with the Saturn buyer when it comes to vehicle assembly.
As for Saab, Swedish business paper Dagens Industri is reporting that the three buyers are U.S. financier Ira Rennert and his Renco Group, Fiat and Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg.
Japanese automaker could use Saturn dealerships to almost double its retail network
Oddly, it seems as though Saturn is far more interesting and far more loved as the up-for auction arm of a doomed for bankruptcy company than it ever was as regular old car brand. To date the Penske Automotive Group, automaker Nissan/Renault and investment firm Telesto Ventures have all been cited as potential buyers. Now we can add Mitsubishi to that list.
According to a report in the Detroit News the Japanese automaker is in talks with GM to supply its vehicles to the existing Saturn dealership network. The move would see Mitsu expand its number of dealerships in the U.S. by 380 – up from the current 430 dealerships.
The move seems unlikely as Mitsubishi is suffering in the current economic downturn. In April the company sold just 3,919 vehicle in the U.S., down 55.9 percent from the same month in 2008.
Mitsubishi is, however, eager to gain a larger percentage of the U.S. market and until recently was even engaged in talks with Chrysler to bring a small electric car called the Peapod Mobility to the U.S.
The company does appear to be beefing up it’s product line and rebranding its existing products. Company representatives have made it clear that the i MiEV electric micro-car (pictured above) will come to North America and a coupe version of the car has been explored in concept form. Additionally, Mitsu recently launched the Sportback version of the Lancer. As far as rebranding, the company is finally picking up on the success of the Lancer and Evo models and is giving that look to the rest of its line. We’ve already seen it with the 2009 Eclipse and the next generation Outlander promises to have an Evo-style nose.
[Source: Detroit News]