PARIS--Roger Penske wants to import Renault Samsung Motors vehicles built in South Korea to be sold in the United States through the Saturn dealer network.
French automaker Renault owns 80.1 percent of Renault Samsung. South Korean credit card issuer Samsung Card owns the rest.
Penske, chairman of Penske Automotive Group, met here the week of May 11 with Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn to discuss a deal, say sources familiar with the talks. Renault Samsung would supply several vehicles for distribution by Saturn.
Samsung builds four passenger vehicles, all on Nissan underpinnings.
It's not known which vehicles would be sold by Saturn or whether they would be current Samsung offerings or new ones based on Renault engineering. Also unclear: the corporate relationship between Penske and Renault-Nissan.
Penske would need only about 250 Saturn dealerships to sell the Samsung vehicles in the United States, sources say. As of May 1, Saturn had 384 U.S. stores.
Penske this month hired former Chrysler LLC co-President Tom LaSorda as a consultant to help in his bid to buy Saturn.
Michigan dealers David Fischer and Joe Serra also are working with Penske on a Saturn deal.
Serra is president of Serra Automotive Inc. in Grand Blanc, Mich. Fischer is chairman of the 35-store Suburban Collection in suburban Detroit.
(Source: Automotive News)