Saturn will cease operations as a General Motors automotive brand as of 2011 according to the GM restructuring plan submitted today.
The death of Saturn may be premature, but GM plans to cease product development, and the current cars may or may not receive minor updates according to GM senior management.
It's unfortunate, a cruel twist of fate with Saturn being loaded up with such a good car portfolio, said General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner at a Press Conference in Detroit.
"I think the most important thing that went wrong is the 40 percent decline in the industry," he added.
General Motors is hoping to create a separate distribution network out of the current Saturn dealer network.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, "Saturn dealers are planning to spin off from General Motors Corp. into a new company that will seek to sell third-party vehicles under the Saturn brand, according to Dan Januska, the owner of Saturn of Scottsdale.
Under the new plan, Mr. Januska said, Saturn dealers would be open to
selling vehicles made by Indian or Chinese manufacturers that would be
sold as Saturns. "There are not a whole lot of alternatives," said Mr.
Januska, who is on the Saturn Dealer Council. "Someone is going to see
the value of us and I don't know who it will be."
According to KickingTires.com:
"Pontiac will cease to exist as a separate brand inside GM, and instead
will exist as a nameplate only, sold through GM’s combination Buick,
GMC and Pontiac dealerships, which have been consolidated over the past
Hummer is also very close to being shut down as a GM brand.
According to Wagner, unless a buyer is found for Hummer by March 31st of 2009 is will be shut down as well.
Saab may survive as a independent brand. General Motors is in discussions with the Swedish Government to take over the brand but if these on going talks and funding fail the brand will also be shut down