View Full Version : OKC investment group may buy Saturn from GM



metro
04-17-2009, 07:30 AM
City business Black Oak Partners LLC wants Saturn in its orbit
BY STEVE LACKMEYER
Published: April 17, 2009

When Hyundai began offering an "assurance plan” for buyers scared about losing jobs, absent from the news coverage was the name of the man whose company made the offer possible — Oklahoma City businessman Mark Moore.

Moore and his family’s Black Oak Partners LLC are at the center of this week’s biggest story in the automotive industry, the first known bid to buy General Motors’ Saturn division.

The Moore family owns 10 dealerships, 17 franchises — including the metro area’s two Saturn locations. Their Irving, Texas-based EFG Cos., founded by Mark Moore’s father, Bob Moore, works with more than 1,000 dealerships and automotive clients in all 50 states.

Executive is on loan
EFG’s chief executive, John Pappanastos, confirmed Thursday he has been "loaned” to lead the bid by Telesto Ventures to buy Saturn.
He told The Oklahoman the investment group reluctantly initiated publicity of their effort to create a company that outsources manufacturing while overseeing designs and maintaining the dealer network and the Saturn legacy of no-hassle car buying.

With talks ongoing with the U.S. Treasury Department and GM preparing to release results within the week on a 60-day study on Saturn’s fate, the group needed to give dealers a reason to stay on board, Pappanastos said.

"They have the right to return their inventory to GM and terminate their market area if they like,” Pappanastos said. "Part of what makes this work is the more than 400 dealers and that it’s an iconic brand. If the dealers don’t hold on, there isn’t much of a network left to work with.”

GM, meanwhile, has confirmed it is weighing the Moore group’s bid — along with "several others.” Pappanastos said Moore first approached GM with his plan in November, though the automotive giant released a statement Thursday emphasizing its current evaluation of Saturn was independent of any discussion with Black Oak Partners.

Oklahoma City leaders were riveted by the Saturn story, though officials with the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and Mayor Mick Cornett admitted they only knew what was being relayed through the news.

"Just the idea that decisions about this much capital are being determined by people in Oklahoma City is a plus for us,” Cornett said. "There is a lot of attention being placed on the auto industry. That some Oklahomans are in the center of it reflects well on our business community.”

A lot of questions are unanswered, and others, such as where a Moore-led Saturn company might be based, can’t even be considered at this time, Pappanastos said.

"We were told by GM they will be back with us next week,” he said. "GM has done a feasibility study, but I don’t know the outcome. We should hear it within the next two days.”

kevinpate
04-17-2009, 07:39 AM
Nice. Hope it plays out well for them.

metro
04-17-2009, 07:45 AM
Uh, yeah, I hope they get it and move the Saturn HQ to Downtown OKC.

kevinpate
04-17-2009, 07:54 AM
They can park it in CBD, out on Memorial so far past Mercy you can't see the lights, , down in Norman, or even somewhere out of state.

I'm simply hopeful it plays out well for them, and am quite content to leave it to their sound judgment how best to proceed should that occur. If somewhere here makes good sense, then it'll likely end up close by. If not, that's fine too.

TaoMaas
04-17-2009, 08:20 AM
The Bob Moore folks have been ahead of the curve for decades. They were one of the first folks to recognize the profitability of dealer financing. I'd love to see them take over the Saturn brand. Frankly, I think they'd show GM how to run a successful car business.

venture
04-17-2009, 09:51 AM
Definitely a good thing to see that we have a local investment firm that is in the position to make something like this happen. Like the story says, it is way to early to tell what it means for OKC - but I wouldn't expect any relocation of the HQ here for a few years, if at all.

metro
04-17-2009, 10:45 AM
I wonder what "Curt" would say about this.

scootinger
04-17-2009, 11:16 AM
This sounds like a great idea...assuming that they can go through with it! I think that in a time where people want small fuel-efficient cars more than anything else, it's silly for GM to get rid of the Saturn name. Why not get rid of, say, GMC? Almost every vehicle they sell is a rebranded version of something that Chevrolet sells.

Furthermore, I think their idea for outsourcing manufacturing is probably the direction that the car industry as a whole could be heading, and it would be great to see them be ahead of the curve. It's what's happened to most computer/electronics manufacturers over the past decade or two: the company you purchase your (insert gadget here) from outsourced manufacturing of what they designed and (to a limited extent) engineered to a contract manufacturer that makes products for a bunch of other companies too.

jbrown84
04-23-2009, 11:13 AM
This could be great for OKC. Definitely has more legs than MG did...

grantgeneral78
04-23-2009, 09:05 PM
This could be great for OKC. Definitely has more legs than MG did...

That is true I know some good people who lost a bunch of money on that MG going down the drain.

bornhere
04-24-2009, 06:14 AM
MG was the '00s equivalent of Oestman Sapta buying the Skirvin Hotel. I don't know how anyone could miss the storm cloud hanging over it.

I've read that GMC is one of the brands that will go to 'bad GM' under the bankruptcy reorg, as is Pontiac.

bombermwc
04-24-2009, 08:12 AM
Well to be honest, is there any difference between GMC and Chevy? Why not toss GMC and just fold it into Chevy? It's the same freaking cars.

TaoMaas
04-24-2009, 08:38 AM
I've read that GMC is one of the brands that will go to 'bad GM' under the bankruptcy reorg, as is Pontiac.

I've heard that Pontiac may go, too. I keep thinking, "WTF?" I'd almost rather see them fold Chevy into Pontiac, instead of the other way around.

bbhill
04-24-2009, 03:03 PM
It seems as if GM wants to get rid of the Pontiac brand as TaoMass.

GM to pull the plug on Pontiac car brand - Apr. 24, 2009 (http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/24/autos/pontiac_obit/index.htm?postversion=2009042414)

What is surprising is that Pontiac is outselling Cadillac AND Buick. . . I'm not seeing the logic behind this. . .

OUGrad05
04-24-2009, 04:00 PM
Uh, yeah, I hope they get it and move the Saturn HQ to Downtown OKC.

Only if they can make decent cars...last thing we would want is a big temporary presence downtown that goes to crap in 5 years.

bornhere
04-24-2009, 05:06 PM
I'm curious what a purchase of Saturn would involve. Would the purchasers get assembly plants? Designers, engineers, etc? What about the people who work for more than one marque, ie the people who designed, engineered and built both the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice?

Midtowner
04-27-2009, 05:53 PM
The story says that they would outsource all of the manufacturing. I doubt the purchasers would want much more than the name, dealer connections and rights to produce whatever existing models there are. They might in-house a design department, marketing, some department to coordinate logistics, parts, service, warranties, etc., but as far as the actual manufacturing goes, I'm assuming it'll be a lowest-bidder wins situation.

It'll be interesting (if this goes through) to see how quality control works in an environment like that.

Will
06-05-2009, 08:44 AM
GM Sells Saturn to Roger Penske (http://money.cnn.com/2009/06/05/news/companies/saturn_penske/index.htm?postversion=2009060509)

NativeOkie
06-05-2009, 10:46 AM
It will only work if they can eliminate or downsize the union.
The parasite has killed the host.

LIL_WAYNE_4_PREZIDENT08
06-05-2009, 11:51 AM
GM Sells Saturn to Roger Penske (http://money.cnn.com/2009/06/05/news/companies/saturn_penske/index.htm?postversion=2009060509)

"Saturn's 51 Canadian dealerships are not part of the deal."







ROFL

khook
06-05-2009, 02:23 PM
looks like Penske will be the new owner of Saturn ... doing the same thing black oak wanted to do...

Steve
06-05-2009, 05:20 PM
I don't know for sure, but based on my previous discussions with the Bob Moore group, I suspect they'll be fine with this outcome. They wanted to see the Saturn brand survive, and it sounds like that is what is happening here.

ronniruthie
06-06-2009, 10:46 AM
Whoever gets Saturn, I hope they have the good sense to go NON-UNION. Unions certainly had a purpose in the "old days" what with child labor, etc., but they are gangster ridden parasitic groups now. If GM/Saturn hopes to survive, it will have to be sans union.

Stan Silliman
06-06-2009, 03:10 PM
Where are the Saturn plants? Somebody must know.

Secondly, how much did GM get for their Saturn division? Since it is a publicly held company, in more ways than one, this should be public information.

windowphobe
06-06-2009, 04:26 PM
Well, the plants aren't going to Penske. (Saturn's original plant was in Spring Hill, Tennessee; the L-series and the Sky were built in Wilmington, Delaware, the Aura in Kansas City, Kansas, and the Outlook in Lansing, Michigan. The Astra comes from Belgium, the Vue from Mexico.)

No one has handed over a copy of the sale contract, but Bloomberg is quoting a source as saying the price was between $100 and $200 million.

Penske ?a Good Home? for Saturn as GM Shrinks in Bankruptcy - Bloomberg.com (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a1I98KorF4v4)

bombermwc
06-08-2009, 09:54 AM
Saturn started with their own plants...that whole "different compant, different car" thing. But as time went on, they merged production into existing GM plants. So they were integrated in like any other car. It will be interesting to see if the plants still build the vehicles under a contract or if they try to build new ones.

I agree that they need to be non-union. Or at least toss the UAW. That's a huge reason for the downfall of GM...leaching all that cash for completely unreasonable wages/benefits for line workers.

Bunty
06-08-2009, 07:38 PM
It will only work if they can eliminate or downsize the union.
The parasite has killed the host.

The ultimate thing to do is to just get rid of all workers and replace them with robots. Such will probably happen in all of industry well before the close of this century.

Pete
09-30-2009, 03:55 PM
Wonder whatever happened to the OKC-based bid???

*******************

GM says it will close Saturn after sale falls through

By Ken Bensinger
September 30, 2009 | 2:09 p.m.


General Motors had reached an agreement to sell the brand to Penske Automotive, but Penske has withdrawn. CEO Fritz Henderson says GM 'will be winding down the Saturn brand and dealership network.'

The sale had been expected to be completed as soon as this week.

"Penske Automotive Group . . . has decided to terminate discussions with General Motors to acquire Saturn," GM Chief Executive Fritz Henderson said in a statement. As a result, "we will be winding down the Saturn brand and dealership network."

The news is a blow to GM, which had made selling three of its brands, along with shutting Pontiac, a key component to its post-bankruptcy restructuring efforts.

GM has come to final terms on a deal to sell Saab to a Swedish maker of exotic sports cars, but it has not yet finalized the sale of Hummer to a Chinese heavy manufacturer.

Instead of selling Saturn, GM will now close the brand altogether. It said today that its Saturn dealers had already signed a "wind-down agreement." Under terms of a similar agreement signed by some other GM dealers, all new-car sales operations must cease by late 2010.

Penske, which operates a chain of dealerships around the country, emerged as a buyer for Saturn in early June, beating out several other interested parties, including an Oklahoma-based private wealth fund.

The company, which currently distributes the SmartCar in the U.S., planned to continue selling GM-made Saturns at dealerships for the next year or two, by which time it planned to have lined up a foreign supplier to provide new cars badged as Saturns.

Although it had found a suitable manufacturer to produce those vehicles, "that agreement was rejected by that manufacturer's board of directors," Penske said in a statement.

"Without that agreement, the company has determined that the risks and uncertainties related to the availability of future products prohibit the company from moving forward with this transaction."

There are roughly 350 Saturn dealers nationwide. Through the first eight months of the year they sold 57,223 new vehicles, down 60% from the year-earlier period.

ken.bensinger@latimes.com

Copyright 2009, The Los Angeles Times

gmwise
09-30-2009, 04:46 PM
oops

mugofbeer
09-30-2009, 04:48 PM
I am surprised that since this fell through, GM isn't giving some of the others who were interested a chance. Maybe those folks would consider keeping the US plant(s) open?

Drake
09-30-2009, 08:06 PM
It sounds like Penske or anybody else can't find anybody to build the cars once GM is done with their commitment.

SoonerDave
10-02-2009, 06:35 AM
It sounds like Penske or anybody else can't find anybody to build the cars once GM is done with their commitment.

It almost sounds like there are low-level details about a proposed purchase that make the thing untenable. Almost makes me wonder if the Obama crew is imposing some sort of "poison pill" to keep a private investor out of Saturn, preferring it be shuttered than perpetuated privately.

Kerry
10-02-2009, 07:13 AM
It almost sounds like there are low-level details about a proposed purchase that make the thing untenable. Almost makes me wonder if the Obama crew is imposing some sort of "poison pill" to keep a private investor out of Saturn, preferring it be shuttered than perpetuated privately.

Who knows, but this is what happens when the government gets involved in business. It is hard to tell what the motivations and objectives are. Business just turns into another vehicle for politics. If an entire automobile brand can go away because of politics, what else can go away?

gmwise
10-02-2009, 09:26 AM
IT is just plain manufacturing aspects NOT the Government you damn loons

jbtulsa77
10-02-2009, 09:51 AM
I need feedback, is it a good time to buy a Chrysler or a Saturn?

I know its like comparing apples to oranges but my mother-in-law wants to buy an auto and she is thinking both will be significantly reduced...

Kerry
10-02-2009, 10:00 AM
I need feedback, is it a good time to buy a Chrysler or a Saturn?

I know its like comparing apples to oranges but my mother-in-law wants to buy an auto and she is thinking both will be significantly reduced...

I wouldn't buy a GM or Saturn that is for sure. Chrysler is 55% owned by the UAW retiree trust. Between you and me I don't trust the UAW management any further than I can throw them. If you want to buy an American car and be sure the manufacurer is going to be around to make parts then buy a Ford.

mugofbeer
10-02-2009, 12:30 PM
I owned a Saturn SL2 that ran almost perfectly for over 100,000 miles until I traded it in for a Jeep. Literally after I bought the Jeep for later delivery, 3 of 4 auto-windows on the Saturn stopped working. It knew I was trading it in and did it for spite!

Both have been great cars. The Saturn was a nice, basic, no headache car that got about 30 MPH. Despite Kerry, the parts will be available after the company goes away. You can still buy parts for antique cars.

gmwise
10-02-2009, 12:39 PM
Theres a great number of things, that is going to spite Kerry..lol