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GM to close 46 Canadian Saturn stores by year end

GM to close 46 Canadian Saturn stores by year end
Penske, GM decide there was no business case for keeping stores
Chrissie Thompson
Automotive News | August 31, 2009 – 2:57 pm EST

Canada’s Saturn stores will wind down by the end of the year as a result of automotive entrepreneur Roger Penske’s purchase of the brand, General Motors Co. spokesman Stew Low said today.

“After careful and thorough analysis, it was determined that the business case did not support distribution of Saturn vehicles in Canada,” Low said today in an e-mail.

Earlier today, Fox News reported the closure of Canadian Saturn stores.

GM and Penske made the decision jointly, said Tony Pordon, a spokesman for Penske Automotive Group Inc.

“There was a study done, essentially, in terms of a thorough and careful analysis on a business case in Canada,” Pordon said. “We decided, both General Motors and Penske, that we can’t go in Canada.”

GM announced the decision last week to the 46 Saturn dealers in Canada. The company will move Saturn’s customer service, parts and warranty operations to other GM dealerships, Low said.

At least one Saturn dealership in Canada has started notifying customers about its upcoming closure.

Matthew, an employee at Saturn 417 Ltd. in Ottawa who declined to give his last name, said the dealership posted a sign last week. It reads: “Public notice: General Motors has advised us this week that there will no longer be a Saturn division in Canada. Proposed final closing date as announced by GM will be December 31 or earlier for dealers.”

During GM’s bankruptcy in early June, Penske signed an agreement to purchase Saturn by the end of the third quarter. The automaker had decided to pare its eight North American brands to four by selling Saturn, Hummer and Saab and discontinuing Pontiac.

Through July, Saturn sold 5,816 light vehicles in Canada, down 50.2 percent from last year. Total Canadian light-vehicle sales declined 16.7 percent through July.







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