GM mulls sale of Saab to Beijing Auto

The days of the Saab brand might be over soon, as BusinessWeek reports that General Motors is considering closing down the brand and selling several major pieces to the Chinese automaker Beijing Automotive Industry Holding.

The move comes a week after General Motors saw a potential deal to sell Saab to a joint partnership of the Koenigsegg Group and Beijing Auto fall through after the Koenigsegg Group withdrew their interest. However, Beijing Auto still appears to be interested in several parts of Saab, including assets such as production machinery, and appears to be looking complete a deal sooner rather than later.

Anonymous sources told BusinessWeek that both Merbanco and Renco Group have approached GM about purchasing the Swedish-based Saab. GM has recently rejected an attempt by Beijing Auto to buy its Opel brand and shelved the Saturn brand after a deal with the Penske Automotive Group fell through.

General Motors Offers Dealer Incentive Plan for Pontiacs, Saturns

The post-Christmas season is typically a time for retailers to clear out their old items to make room in their stores for new product. For General Motors at the end of 2009, this is especially true as its dealerships are looking to clear out the remaining inventory of the discontinued Pontiac and Saturn models as quickly as possible. To facilitate this, the New York Times reports that G.M. is giving its dealers incentives to sell as many cars as possible within the next week.

G.M. is offering dealers $7,000 for every Pontiac and Saturn vehicle they move into their rental or service fleets, allowing them to be sold to customers. However, the incentive might not trickle back to customers in terms of discounts on the cars. In addition, any vehicle bought through this program is considered to be a “used” vehicle, meaning that buyers will not be eligible for incentives of up to $6,500 that G.M. is offering for buyers of new cars. People who are financing their purchase will also have to pay the higher interest rates typically placed on used car loans.

Colorado dealership urges Penske to reconsider Saturn decision

The end might be near for Saturn, but that’s not stopping some car dealers from doing everything they can to fight for the beleaguered car company. The Denver Business Journal reports that Colorado’s Phil Long Dealerships have asked the Penske Automotive Group to reconsider its decision to back away from a deal to buy the car line from General Motors.

In a statement, Jay Cimino, CEO and president of Phil Long Dealerships, said the company was making “one last plea to [Penske Automotive owner] Roger Penske to make the final lap and finish this race.”

Cimino added, “There is much loyalty for this brand, which leaves me optimistic about the fate of Saturn.” He urged Saturn fans to leave “messages of support” at www.foreversaturn.com, a website oriented toward persuading Penske to buy Saturn.

At the same time, Cimino also said that the dealerships would be offering major sales to clear their lots of the remaining Saturns in stock.