An estimated 70 Saturn dealerships closed this year before the brand’s savior Roger Penske announced plans to acquire it from General Motors and keep all the dealers in business. Penske Automotive Group will now be looking to fill Saturn stores with vehicles from other brands – and Kia isn’t one of them.
Nonetheless, Kia saw a huge opportunity in all of Saturn’s recent chaos. The Korean automaker is now helping its dealers convert closed Saturn stores into a new Kia store.
“We’ve picked up a number of Saturn locations over the past several months in the East and West,” Tom Loveless, vice president of sales at Kia Motors America told Automotive news.
“There is no grand plan to take over one brand over another, but Saturn facilities tend to be more appropriately sized for our needs. They’re also newer and exclusive. But the biggest thing is that this gives us is speed.”
Loveless says that Saturn dealers have the most robust parts and service businesses and a “strong emotional tie to their stores.” He said that Kia is also in discussion with many Saturn dealers about keeping their existing stores an adding a Kia store with a parts and service operations.
– By: Omar Rana