GM Teases 2012 Buick Verano [aka the Opel Astra Sedan], Will be Built in Michigan

General Motors today released a new teaser photo of its upcoming 2012 Buick Verano compact sedan together with the news that the vehicle will be built alongside Chevrolet's new small car [we assume GM means the Aveo] at the Orion Assembly Center in Michigan. The Detroit automaker said it plans to invest $145 million to upgrade the factory for this reason.

"[The] Verano will bring premium styling, performance and content to Buick buyers wanting a smaller car than Regal," said GM North American President Mark Reuss. "The investment in Orion Assembly also extends GM's local small car footprint, again increasing the number of U.S.-made small vehicles available in showrooms."

Although the company did not get into any specific details on the new Verano, the cropped picture confirms our previous reports that it will be the same car sold in China as the 2011 Buick Excelle GT, which in turn is essentially the sedan version of the latest generation Opel Astra.

The small Buick is built on the same platform and shares basic engine architecture with the Chevrolet Cruze.

GM said the Orion Assembly is currently in the process of retooling the plant for the Verano and the small Chevy, with the improvements expected to be finished by summer 2011, which should allow for Buick to launch the car into the U.S. market before the end of the same year.


___________________2010 BUICK EXCELLE GT [CHINA]___________________