GM to invest $145 million to build small Buick sedans image

General Motors Co. will spend $145 million to build a new Buick compact car . the Verano. at its Orion Township assembly plant north of Detroit.

The plant will employ about 1550 hourly and salaried workers, North American President Mark Reuss said at an event at the factory. The new Buick sedan will join the Chevrolet Aveo subcompact to be assembled at the suburban Detroit factory.

“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,” said GM North American President Mark Reuss in prepared remarks at the event, which also included government and union officials.

GM said the tooling needed for the Verano and Aveo will be installed by summer 2011.

As for the new Buick Verano, the car rides on GM’s Delta II architecture, which in addition to the Chevrolet Cruze, also underpins the Opel Astra, Chevrolet Volt and now this new Buick as well.

For starters it could be offered with the Cruze’s 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, but a more likely candidate is the 181-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter currently offered on the Excelle GT in China.