DETROIT — General Motors will build a compact minivan for Chevrolet in 2009.
The seven-seater, code-named MPV-7, will be modeled after the next-generation of GM's Opel Zafira.
The UAW's summary of its labor contract with GM included a pledge to produce a seven-seat vehicle at GM's assembly plant in Hamtramck, Mich., for export.
According to a source familiar with the program, the vehicle also will be sold in the United States. It will be boxier and more masculine than the sleek Zafira, with a unique interior.
The vehicle will be priced from the high $20,000s to the low $30,000s, and Saturn might get a version exported from Europe, a second knowledgeable source says. "It could be for Saturn, but the first product is for Chevrolet," the source says.
The vehicle helps Chevrolet fill the product gap left by the death of the slow-selling Venture minivan. While compact people movers such as the Zafira are established top sellers in Europe, they are just catching on in the United States.
GM believes the MPV-7 can generate U.S. sales of 100,000 units annually. That vehicle will be smaller than the Chevrolet Traverse crossover, a sibling to the Buick Enclave, Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia. The Traverse goes on sale late next year.
Rick Kranz contributed to this report