Should Pontiac, Saturn & Saab Owners Be Worried?

By Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Pontiac? Goodbye. Saturn? So long. Saab? Off to the old junkyard in the sky.

Those are the three brands that General Motors Co. is shutting down as it remakes itself into a smaller, nimbler and — it hopes — profitable automaker.

But just because the brands are disappearing doesn't mean their owners will be left out in the cold, even after the dealerships that sold them their vehicles shut their doors.

For owners wondering what the end of the brands means, here's some answers.

Q: What happened to Pontiac, Saturn and Saab?

A: Shutting down Pontiac had been part of GM's restructuring plan since early last year. It had hoped to sell Saturn to the auto dealership chain Penske Automotive Group Inc., but Penske abruptly backed out of the deal last autumn.

GM had planned to sell Saab to a Swedish race car manufacturer, but that deal also collapsed in late 2009. GM has begun dismantling the brand, though it is still hearing offers from other buyers.

Q: Should I be worried if I own one of those vehicles?

A: Owners of those vehicles have little reason to worry, at least when it comes to getting their cars and trucks serviced, GM spokesman John McDonald says. As it did when it shut down Oldsmobile in 2004, the automaker will continue to honor existing warranties on all Pontiac, Saturn and Saab vehicles. GM's standard warranty is five years long.

"People should feel very comfortable that they will be able to have their vehicles serviced," McDonald says.

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