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Has Saturn found a "long-term" partner?

by Drew Johnson

The future of General Motors' Saturn brand hangs in the balance beyond 2011, but a new report suggests the marque may have found a way to survive beyond GM's cutoff date. In fact, one insider says Saturn has inked a "long-term" deal with another automaker.

According to Todd Ingersoll, owner of Saturn of Danbury and head of a task force organized by Saturn's Franchise Operations Team to find a spin-off partner, Saturn has teamed with another automaker to survive beyond 2011, with an announcement on the subject forthcoming. "In the next three weeks, we will announce a long-term partnership that will provide Saturn with world-class cars," Ingersoll told The News Times. "This will ensure the brand not only survives but flourishes."

Ingersoll failed to name Saturn's new partner, but said the transition should happen fairly rapidly. Ingersoll expects Saturn's lineup to shift from its current GM-based products to a new lineup based on its long-term partner's lineup within the next two year.

GM has yet to confirm Ingersoll's report, but we expect to hear more on the subject as GM reworks its viability plan.