We JUST got the news. Incredible.
Penske Automotive Group Inc. (PAG) has ended its effort to acquire the Saturn brand from General Motors Co., citing supply concerns for branching out beyond the GM-made vehicles.
The disclosure late Wednesday immediately threw the future of Saturn back into question. GM had said it would shutter the brand if a buyer couldn't be found, and Penske Auto in June agreed to acquire the brand with the exception of its manufacturing operations.
Penske Auto shares were down 7.9% at $17.66.
The deal called for Penske to initially acquire vehicles from GM but eventually branch out to sell products from Renault SA (RNO.FR) and its Samsung Motors unit, which is based in South Korea. Penske Auto said Wednesday that it negotiated a supply agreement with "another manufacturer," but that company's board rejected the deal.
"Without that agreement, the company has determined that the risks and uncertainties related to the availability of future products prohibit the company from moving forward with this transaction," said Penske Auto.
Saturn has 350 dealers and the Penske deal was seen saving some 13,000 jobs. The dealers had pressed GM to seek a sale after the auto maker intially planned to phase out production.