Saturn 'Corsa' May be Built in Spring Hill

General Motors VP of global product development, Bob Lutz, recently told Automotive News in an interview at the Paris Motor Show that the company plans to offer a version of its next-generation Opel Corsa in the United States. The vehicle will be badged as a Saturn and lead GM's two-pronged approach to the growing small car segment. The European-developed unnamed Saturn, along with the Korean-built Chevrolet Aveo, will battle vehicles like the Mini Cooper, Scion xB, Honda Fit, and Toyota Yaris.

"The U.S. market has undergone a huge change," Lutz told the publication. The car "will very definitely go to the United States." He told Automotive News that GM plans to sell between 80,000 and 100,000 units each year.

Lutz has pushed for Saturn and Opel collaboration for a few years now, so this announcement is not a big surprise. His other efforts to reinvigorate the Saturn lineup with Opel inspired products are just coming to fruition in the form of the Saturn Sky roadster and Aura midsize sedan. The Aura is heavily-based on the Opel Vectra, but built at a GM plant in Kansas. The Sky is built in Delaware and will be exported to Europe as the Opel GT. Saturn engineers will work with Opel engineers to tailor the fuel-efficient Corsa for US market. Unfortunately, Automotive News says that because a new Corsa is just being introduced in Europe, it "will be five years or so before the next-generation Corsa enters showrooms."

Because of exchange rates, GM says it wants to build the car somewhere in North America. The Car Connection speculates that there's a "possibility that it might be built in Spring Hill, Tennessee, [at] the original Saturn plant." Most other sources speculate that it will be built in a plant in Mexico, due to small cars' typically low profit margins.

Click here for photos of the Opel Corsa.

Source: Automotive News, The Car Connection

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Flashback Friday: First Saturn Sold Today in 1990

On this date in 1990, Saturn sold its first car. According to the St. Petersburg Times, the first Saturn - the blue SL2 sedan shown above - was sold just after midnight to Elaine Terry at Saturn of Clearwater. "I wanted an American-made car and decided to give it a try," Mrs. Terry told the newspaper. It was a 25th wedding anniversary present. USA Today and CNN were reportedly at the retail facility to document the event. "I kept it for 10 months and put over 5,000 miles on it. People all over the country wanted to buy the car from me. One man in Las Vegas was talking up to $100,000 for it."