DETROIT -- Buick plans to sell a rebadged version of the redesigned Opel Astra, according to a consumer publication.
While the engine choices have not been locked in place, the car is expected to target young buyers who want a sporty car that handles well and has plenty of power, according to caranddriver.com. A source familiar with General Motors' plans for Buick confirmed the caranddriver.com report for Automotive News.
Buick is in the process of rebuilding the brand with products such as the LaCrosse, Regal and the 2012 Verano, which goes on sale this fall.
Last year, Buick's U.S. sales totaled 155,389 vehicles, a 52 percent increase from the previous year. Sales through April this year totaled 63,152, up 43 percent from the same period last year.
The new Astra is wider and sleeker than the previous model. That car was sold by Saturn for about a year and also was called Astra.
The redesigned three-door Astra originally was planned for the now-defunct Saturn brand, according to the source familiar with the project. With a few exceptions, Saturn essentially sold rebadged Opel vehicles. For example, the Saturn Aura sedan was a previous-generation Opel Insignia with minor cosmetic changes.
With Saturn's demise, Buick was selected to market a few rebadged Opel cars. For example, the current Insignia is marketed here as the Buick Regal, a key vehicle in the brand's turnaround.
The timing for the new car's introduction has not been determined. Also uncertain is the assembly site, either in Germany or the United States. It's not known if the car will keep the Astra name.