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Saturn Production Halted, Remaining Cars Sold Off Within 4 Months

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Last week the sudden breakdown of a planned supply agreement between Penske and Renault/Nissan led to Penske's cancellation of its purchase of the Saturn brand from General Motors. That, in turn, led to GM's immediate start of winding down the brand. Now a time frame for the brand's departure has emerged: four months.

That's how long GM expects it will take to sell off the remaining stock of Saturn vehicles now that production has been halted. Once the vehicles are sold off, the rest of the brand will likely be shuttered quickly, with other GM-brand dealerships taking over the service and warranty duties.

The remaining supply of Saturn vehicles sits at about 12,000, many built for the expected supply agreement with Penske Automotive before that deal fell apart. Production of all Saturn vehicles ceased within 24 hours of the September 30 collapse of the purchase.

GM CEO Fritz Henderson said of the failed deal, "This is very disappointing news and comes after months of hard work by hundreds of dedicated employees and Saturn retailers who tried to make the new Saturn a reality."

At the outside, the shutdown of Saturn will take 13 months, as our own Richard Read reported last week.

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