Email List Sign Up

Roger Penske expected to close Saturn deal soon

September 28, 2009

Roger Penske expected to close Saturn deal soon


Detroit businessman and booster Roger Penske is on track to close a deal to buy General Motors’ Saturn division on Wednesday, the Free Press learned today.

The official announcement could come Thursday.

GM and Bloomfield Hills-based Penske Automotive Group, the nation’s No. 2 auto retailer, have been working to finalize the sales agreement since June when a tentative deal was first announced.

The original agreement called for GM to continue building the Saturn Aura sedan and the Vue and Outlook crossovers for two years. The sale is expected to save 350 U.S. dealerships.

Saturn dealers have said they are eager to work with Penske, chairman of his namesake automotive company. Penske is credited with Detroit’s successful Super Bowl preparations, reviving Grand Prix racing on Belle Isle and turning around several companies, including Hertz Truck Leasing in the 1980s and Detroit Diesel Corp. in the 1990s.

Earlier this year, GM decided to phase out Saturn if a purchaser couldn’t be found for the brand. In June, GM said it was talking to Penske and hoped to close a deal by the end of the third quarter, which is Wednesday.

A Penske spokesman couldn’t be reached today for comment.

Thomas Pyden, a GM spokesman, said the two sides “remain hopeful that a deal will be reached in the near future.”

Several signs point to a final deal soon:

Jill Lajdziak, Saturn’s general manager, has asked for an early retirement package from GM, an indication that she is leaving, a person familiar with her decision said.

Saturn dealers have been asked to sign new franchise agreements with Penske.

Joe Serra, who owns two Saturn dealerships, believes everything is on track. “It looks like they are probably on the two-yard line,” Serra said.

Seniority Lists
Recent Posts!
Bargaining Committee

Mike Herron
Tim Stannard
Zone at Large – 1st
Danny Taylor
Zone at Large – 2nd
Mark Wilkerson
Joe McClure
Chad Poynor
Steve Roberts
Derek Lewis
Bill Cundiff
Kirk Zebbs
Don Numinen
Jay Minella
Danny Bragg
Chris Hill
Rashad Thomas
Keith Oswald
Chris Brown

1853 Officers

Tim Stannard
Mike Herron
Vice President
Darrell DeJean
Financial Secretary
Mark Wunderlin
Recording Secretary
Peggy Mullins
Trustee (3)
Jay Lowe
Dave Clements
Dave Spare
Sgt. at Arms
David C Spare
Ashley Holloway
E-Board at Large (2)
David Ryder
Steve Roberts

GM Unit Chair
Mike Herron
Leadec Unit Chair
Larry Poole
Ryder Unit Chair
Patrick Linck
AFV Unit Chair
Katherine McGaw
Retiree Chair
Mike Martinez

Get Text Alerts


*Standard text messaging rates may apply from your carrier