Saturn is latest GM nameplate to vanish
Deal with Penske falls through; GM halts production
The once-quirky Saturn nameplate is gone after a deal to sell Saturn from General Motors to Penske Automotive Group collapsed Thursday and GM announced it would immediately cease making Saturn automobiles.
The deal with Penske was part of the GM restructuring deal as the automaker worked to emerge from bankruptcy this past summer. GM had wanted to offload the brand, once the anti-GM car for its folksy approach to auto retailing, its non-Detroit persona (the cars were manufacturer in Tennessee) and its no-haggle pricing model.
But when Penske reportedly couldn't find anyone to build the cars after 2011, when its manufacturing deal with GM was to run out, Penske walked away from the deal and GM quickly announced it was ending production.
The announcement makes it three former GM nameplates shelved in the last five years, after Oldsmobile production was stopped in 2004 and Pontiac's brand was mothballed during the initial round of GM cuts in June.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey