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Saturn Orbiting Toward Foreign Influence

Saturn Aura
Source: saturn.com
Saturn Aura

It is increasingly clear GM's beleaguered Saturn brand will be orbiting around a foreign auto maker.

This doesn't mean Saturn will become a brand operating under the umbrella of a foreign company.

More likely is a scenario where Saturn vehicles are supplied by a foreign auto maker and then sold as Saturn models.

It's a business plan that lets GM unload its Saturn Distribution Network while giving Saturn dealers with a new lifeline.

GM has confirmed it is talking with one group that includes Saturn dealers and the private equity firm Black Oak.

At some point the group would eventually turn to an overseas manufacturer to build Saturn.They are not the only parties interested in Saturn.

CNBC has learned there is one other auto supplier also in the running for Saturn. Either way, the brand GM created will be finding its way with a different parent. GM says it will update talks about Saturn within the next week.

What are the odds a new Saturn will succeed?

Depends on how quickly the new owners can fill a Saturn product pipeline that will run dry by late 2010. The brand still has a connection with buyers and the dealer network is considered one of the best in the business. In short, it's a brand that could flourish if it gets the appropriate amount of attention.

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