I once met Roger Penske, oh, rather- I met his son when I was in the car business. He was a smooth dude, a good-looking guy who seemed to make the ladies sigh, and put men of all powers and postions shake their heads in the right direction. They wish they were he; or rather they wish they were his father, Roger Penske.
And who wouldn't want to be Roger Penske? You're a self-made billionare, a bona fide legend in the business and automotive world. And hell, you even once raced cars!
So when news that Roger Penske's Penske Auto Group (PAG) signed-on to be the new Saturn, we all knew, if anyone could do it, it was Penske.
General Motors announced today that it's pulling the plug on Saturn, amid an agreement with PAG falling-through. Concerns of a supply and a production agreement after the initial contract runs out with General Motors sent even Penske running the other way.
"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," Henderson said in a written statement according to the Associated Press. "PAG's announcement explained that their decision was not based on interactions with GM or Saturn retailers."
Penske's beef, not with GM or Saturn, but rather, the company that would produce the likable cars "people want to buy" after GM.
The other manufacturer was not disclosed- at least not yet.
Without the agreement, not even the mega-motor buck hero could assure Saturn's continuation in world and market after Cash for Clunkers.
PAG had agreed to take the driver's seat at the Saturn brand and dealer network, at the height of GM's reorganization as a "new" and "leaner" car manufacturer, with GM producing the cars for a limited time.
Shares of PAG rose in Wednesday's trading.
Obviously, people want to buy Saturns. Just not enough for anyone willing to produce them.