Is a stateside Renault built for Saturn a complete pipe-dream? Following up on a report from Bloomberg over future Saturn production, the new/future owners of the former GM brand are addressing rumors of possible replacement models coming from Renault or Nissan. At the same time Roger Penske has thankfully taken Smart cars out of the mix for Saturn dealers…sort of.
While assuring Saturn dealers that the Smart would not be forced into their showrooms, Penske has stopped short of saying the Smart does not figure into the overall strategy for Saturn given that new U.S. legislation has put a greater reliance on fuel efficiency and hybrid technology. As a consequence, Saturn’s ultimate plans may make electric vehicles the primary focus in the future. In any scenario, Penske envisions Saturn sales to reach between 150,000 and 200,000 units a year, well above the roughly sub-100,000 cars Saturn currently sells yearly.
To facilitate those numbers, Nissan or Renault may step into build Saturn-badged vehicles and boost (in the case of Nissan) their own sagging North American capacity. Penske has previously stated that his newly acquired company will undergo a global evaluation of possible Saturn models to replace those provided previously only by GM. Here’s hoping the racing-lover Penske provides Saturn a performance option.