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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After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.