Saturn Corp. has built its success on the strength of its handpicked dealers. But Saturn has had no exit strategy for dealers. Until now, the GM subsidiary simply bought those dealerships. To unload them, Saturn next year will launch Saturn Retail Enterprises, which could own 75 to 150 dealerships.
It may work, but it's a high-risk gamble. Will those dealers manage their stores with the entrepreneurial zeal that made them successful to begin with? One dealer compared the new enterprise to a voyage to the moon. It could be the chance of a lifetime, but it might be a scary trip.