General Motors's US sales chief has played down speculation the automaker will axe Saturn, hinting instead a new business model for the 'no-haggle' brand would be developed.

LaNeve, in a broadcast to dealers, also promised "aggressive" incentives starting in January to move 2009 cars and trucks, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

"We have a very successful consumer brand with Saturn. We need to find the right business model," LaNeve said, adding that the company has received hundreds of letters from Saturn customers supporting the brand. "We are completely behind Saturn."

GM has previously said Saturn options could include joining with another auto maker, selling or closing the brand.

LaNeve reportedly said the franchise agreements GM has with Saturn dealers allow the company more freedom to restructure the brand, but he didn't specify alternatives under consideration.

LaNeve also said the auto maker expects to announce significant developments in efforts to sell its Saab and Hummer brands by the end of March 2009.

According to Dow Jones, he said GM was focused on clearing 2007 and 2008 model year vehicles from showrooms by the end of the year.

He added GM would like to direct more money to discounts on 2009 vehicles but must first move to clear out 2008 cars and trucks.

"We need to sell to generate cash. We will be aggressive," on incentives he said. "Please, sell like crazy."

On GMAC, LaNeve said the auto maker and finance company were in the midst of a "complex set of discussions."

Dow Jones noted that GMAC poses the most immediate threat to the automaker, as it struggles to stay afloat amid a crackdown on lending and massive losses on bad home mortgages, vehicle leases and unpaid auto loans. Dealers need it to free financing for inventory and customer sales and leases.

"We're working 24/7 on GMAC," LaNeve said. "We hope to have good news soon on that as well."

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