Thursday, April 16, 2009

And now ... private label cars?

Saturn car dealers, faced with imminent closure, are looking for an opportunity to buy the Saturn brand name from General Motors. They plan to buy cars from foreign carmakers, tweaking the design, and sell them as Saturns -- effectively creating the world's first private-label automobiles.
Telesto Ventures said it would not build vehicles and would only keep a skeletal design crew on hand to adapt models from other automakers to a Saturn look. It also said it would focus future models on fuel-efficient and electric vehicles from other automakers.

While such a business model doesn't exist today, Telesto's backers say the global overcapacity among automakers and the growing number of start-up firms in China and elsewhere would give the reformulated Saturn several possible sources of new vehicles.

Finding automakers to work with "is not a tremendous concern," said John Pappanastos, a group spokesman. "It would allow manufacturers not in the United States to launch without incurring the largest expense they would otherwise face, setting up a distribution network."
I wish them well, and I find it fascinating to watch the concept of private label spread into areas where one could never have imagined.

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