Saturn general manager Jill Lajdziak spent several months this summer and fall working closely with Roger Penske and his staff trying to iron out the details of a proposed purchase of the brand from General Motors. As we know, that deal fell apart when Renault's board of directors vetoed a deal to supply cars to a Penske-owned Saturn. When GM decided to shutter Saturn, Lajdziak announced that she would retire from General Motors at the end of this month.

Apparently, in spite of the Saturn deal collapsing, Penske was impressed by
Lajdziak and has now hired her to take over sales and marketing at another of his enterprises, SmartUSA.

Lajdziak will become VP of SmartUSA on January 1, and will have quite a challenge in front of her. Smart sales have been in free fall in recent months as it seems that everyone who wanted one has now bought one. Sales are down 38 percent for the year and have dipped as much as 70 percent in recent months.

[Source: Automotive News - sub req'd]