Renault May Acquire Saturn; Chinese Firm Bids for Saab

GM courts foreign buyers in fire sale
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2009 1:07 PM CDT
Visitors look at Chinese auto maker Geely's Geely GE model at the Shanghai International Auto Show on its public opening day in Shanghai, China, Wednesday, April 22, 2009.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
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(Newser) – Renault is in talks with General Motors about acquiring its Saturn brand, the Wall Street Journal reports. Demonstrating the considerable foreign interest in GM divisions, China’s Geely Automobile Holdings has submitted a bid for Saab. GM is looking to cut unprofitable units ahead of a June 1 restructuring deadline. Buyers of Saturn and Saab likely wouldn’t put any cash down but would assume all costs of maintaining the divisions.

France-based Renault, which owns Nissan and Samsung, sees the Saturn acquisition as an entry point to the US market. If successful in its bid, which the Treasury Department must green-light, it may eventually use the division’s 400 American dealerships to sell its vehicles under the Saturn brand. Geely, which GM said was one of three or four serious bidders for Saab, has also expressed interest in buying Volvo from Ford.