The collapse of a deal between General Motors and the Penske automotive group spells the end of car maker Saturn, according to the Detroit Free-Press. The deal apparently fell apart almost immediately after it rolled off the assembly line, when the cardboard and aluminum foil that held it together disintegrated in a light rain.
Penske blames the collapse on its failure to secure a separate deal with a third party (Renault-Nissan) to manufacture more Saturns in the future. Industry analysts point out that most Saturn models are held together by baling wire, wood glue, and empty McDonalds wrappers — materials not readily accessible outside of Saturn’s unique supply chain.
The demise of Saturn could cost 13,000 jobs, though insiders say many of those employees will be able to survive for months by consuming the cars themselves — approximately 22% of every Saturn is made of compressed lima beans and other organic matter.
“This is very disappointing news and comes after months of hard work by hundreds of dedicated employees and Saturn retailers who tried to make the new Saturn a reality,” Fritz Henderson, GM chief executive officer, said.
The old Saturn was a reality since 1985, when General Motors decided to compete with small, attractive, high-quality Japanese cars by manufacturing cars made of old stapler parts. The first Saturn models were sold out of the trunks of larger cars. No one is really sure why they couldn’t sell enough to stay in business.
Penske-Saturn deal collapses after Renault-Nissan backs out [Detroit Free-Press]