No, not the planet, but that wouldn't surprise me either these days. Nope, a deal fell through to sell off the Saturn brand of cars. Bloomberg has the best details on what happened.
General Motors Co. will close Saturn, the brand created 24 years ago to mirror Japan-based companies’ carmaking, after Penske Automotive Group Inc. said it has broken off discussions to buy the unit.
Penske, operator of 310 auto retailers, backed out because of concern it wouldn’t have access to cars and sport-utility vehicles after 2011 when GM stopped supplying vehicles.
Makes sense, why buy a brand if there will be no new cars to sell? But guess how many jobs this involves:
Saturn dealers will have until October 2010 to wind down operations, John McDonald, a GM spokesman, said in an interview. The Detroit-based automaker said in June the sale would save 13,000 jobs and 350 dealerships.
But Saturn is made at plants which also make other GMs, so it's possible the layoffs won't be quite as severe.
I know people who swore by Saturn, the no hassle buy and no hassle repair, so this is more than death of a brand, it's also death of a vision.