Here comes Rick Mears in the Penske-Saturn

http://www.wxyz.com/news/state/story/Roger-Penske-to-Buy-Saturn-rand/kjwxiNkyOUyee2_qZO3tUg.cspx

I’m spinning this one off because it is worth talking about for a couple of reasons:

  1. Penske is one of the biggest car guys alive. Plus, he is a business genius.

In racing, he’s widely known to deal hard with his drivers. This is not a guy that likes to part with his cash…he has a plan.

  1. It sounds like this might be the first big Tesla-style car brand in that Penske doesn’t seem to be buying manufacturing facilities. It seems more like the Ikea concept of cars: Penske has the dealers and will do the marketing. He’s going to get the cars from whoever makes him the best deal.

Very interesting!

Yes this is interesting… when I posted that link earlier, there wasn’t as many details.

I wonder what they’ll do for car designs now that they’ll split from GM. The Astra is a re-tooled Opel, and if Opel gets bought who’ll get the Astra? Never the less, Penske is a genius. If there’s a car industry guy to figure things out its him.

more info

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090605-706741.html

Penske already owns & operates a network of dealerships and the most valuable thing about Saturn is its dealers. They say he’ll eventually import Renaults. I guess he was cleaning up selling Smart fourtwos in the states, so he knows how to make it work.

…anyone remember those Penske brakes/tires/oil-change shops? what’s the story there?

correction: looks like Penske will get their cars from Samsung Motors Korea owned by Renault.

I hope it works out. At least the brand will live on. I can still remember when Saturn was going to be an attempt to do things the right way, making & selling cars how they should be made. It didn’t work out but maybe it will mean that again. Except for the making part, that is.