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Rings Around Saturn

Tom Lasorda

Tom Lasorda

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For the right business entity, GM brands Saturn and HUMMER brands would make an excellent buy. The two for-sale GM divisions have hand-picked dealer networks plus an established infrastructure that make them a nearly-ready-for-prime-time vehicle brand. All that's needed is future product.

Continuing coverage on potential Saturn suitors include the Penske Automotive Group. Tom LaSorda, former Chrysler LLC President, has joined Penske to advise the retailer on a possible bid for General Motors' Saturn brand. Anthony Pordon, a spokesman for the second-largest U.S. dealership group, confirmed a Bloomberg News report saying LaSorda has been hired as a consultant. LaSorda, 54, left Chrysler after it filed for bankruptcy protection on April 30.

Like most other companies involved in automotive, PAG has had some tough times. Even sales of the group's SMART cars have planed off. One can be sure that PAG will take it slowly as it makes a decision whether to bid on Saturn.

Magna International Inc., North America's largest auto-parts supplier, is also known to be talking to GM about Saturn. Automotive News reports that Magna spokesman Scott Worden declined to comment on the report of his company's interest in Saturn.

GM, facing a probable Chapter 11 itself on June 1, is trying to shed Saturn, Saab and Hummer as it battles to survive. It's also exploring the sale of its European Opel unit. Magna is among the suitors for that business, as is Fiat S.p.A., the Italian automaker that has formed an alliance with Chrysler.

We'll keep you up to speed on what's happening with Saturn. Check out this story from Automotive News for more details.

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