DETROIT -- Auto entrepreneur Roger Penskes Penske Automotive Group has signed an agreement to purchase Saturn from General Motors by the end of the third quarter.
The deal will save nearly 350 dealerships and about 13,000 jobs related to Saturn, said Jill Lajdziak, Saturns general manager.
We expect to offer all 350 franchises a new franchise agreement, Penske said in a conference call with Lajdziak today. We expect to take this network, which to me is one of the best in the business, and give an opportunity to each retailer to go forward.
The deal marks GM's second agreement to sell a brand since its bankruptcy four days ago. On Tuesday, GM said it had a preliminary accord to sell Hummer to China's Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co.
Penske indicated he hopes Lajdziak will join his company in a management role once he completes the Saturn transaction. He also hopes to find a spot for former Chrysler LLC co-President Tom LaSorda. Penske Automotive hired LaSorda last month as a consultant on his bid to buy Saturn.
Saturn will be wholly owned by Penske Automotive, the nations second-largest auto dealership group. Initially, the retailer will partner with GM to keep the Aura sedan and the the Vue and Outlook crossovers in the lineup for at least two years.
Roger Penske said he is in discussions with a number of worldwide manufacturers to broaden the lineup.