General Motors will close Saturn and wind down its dealership network after a deal to sell the faltering brand to Penske Automotive Group collapsed, the automaker said Wednesday.
The breakdown of a deal that had been widely expected to close this week will force some 350 Saturn dealerships to close and could cut thousands of auto retail jobs that would have been preserved under a plan by auto magnate Roger Penske.
Shares of Penske Automotive were down almost 10 percent Wednesday in aftermarket trade. The breakdown of the deal was announced after the New York Stock Exchange closed.
GM's failure to complete the deal also adds uncertainty to the automaker's production plans as it struggles to regain its footing following a $50-billion taxpayer funded restructuring.
"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," GM Chief Executive Fritz Henderson said in a statement.