2009 Saturn Aura HybridEnlarge Photo
Saturn is on the market--General Motors is selling, and the brand's management is looking for cars to sell in case it finds a new investor.
The Detroit News reports that a number of potential investors and buyers for Saturn have surfaced as GM approaches a May 31 deadline for restructuring. It's said it would sell or shut down Saturn and would stop supplying Saturn with cars at the end of the year, unless a transfer of ownership happens. Three interested parties are said to be kicking Saturn's tires; they include investment firm Telesto Ventures and Roger Penske’s dealer conglomerate Penske Automotive Group, Renault-Nissan and auto parts supplier Magna International, too.
Though GM has said it might arrange contract manufacturing for Saturn, it's more likely the brand would need to find cars from another automaker to sell, until it could develop its own. That donor automaker could be Mitsubishi, which the News reports is interested in filling the roughly 380 Saturn dealerships with its vehicles.
Mitsubishi nearly became a part of the DaimlerChrysler empire in 1998, but has since stabilized its business on its own. In the U.S., it offers a range of products, from sedans to SUVs, with many of them built in Normal, Illinois.
The Normal plant currently produces the Galant sedan, Eclipse coupe and Spyder convertible, and the Endeavor crossover. Poor sales has plant officials considering building other models, but a Saturn deal could solve their plant utilization and sales issues, at least in the short term.
[Detroit News via MotorAuthority]