With a buyer apparently chosen for its Hummer division, General Motors is now turning to Saturn, the once-vaunted brand that it also hopes to sell off as part of its effort to slim down through bankruptcy. According to GM Chief Financial Officer Ray Young, there are now 16 potential buyers interested in Saturn, with another 3 looking at Saab, the Swedish maker GM also hopes to sell.
As part of yesterday’s bankruptcy filing, the ailing U.S. automaker intends to eliminate all but four of its brands, and along with the hoped-for sale of Hummer, Saturn and Saab, GM will also abandon its once-legendary Pontiac brand. Meanwhile, the automaker will restructure its vast global empire, starting with the planned sale of a controlling interest in its European subsidiary, Opel, to a consortium headed by the Canadian supplier, Magna International.
“We’re still going to be a global company, but how we’re going to operate as a global company will change,” explained Young, during a 90-minute teleconference with automotive analysts and reporters.
The sale of Hummer was announced a few hours before the call, but Young declined to reveal the name of the buyer. As TheDetroitBureau.com reported, this morning, it appears the new owners will consolidate operations, which would mean some overseas production would be brought back to a Hummer plant in Shreveport, Louisiana, from the current site in South Africa.
How soon an announcement on Saturn and Saab will be made is uncertain. The decision to sell the latter brand was not unexpected and, in fact, was long called for by industry analysts worried about GM’s deteriorating situation. But the move to abandon Saturn is another matter entirely. (more…)