2012 Buick Verano teaserEnlarge Photo
General Motors will invest $145 million at its Orion assembly plant in Michigan to prepare for production of the Verano, which is scheduled to start in the middle of next year. The investment will retain 1,550 hourly and salaried jobs at Orion, along with 120 jobs at a Pontiac supplier, and is part of a greater $600 million investment to build other small cars locally.
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. Engine options should mirror those of the Cruze, which means a range of compact four-cylinder units in both naturally-aspirated and turbocharged forms.
The other benefit of the Delta II platform is the possibility of a plug-in hybrid version using Volt technology, although GM is more likely to use other brands such as Cadillac to expand its plug-in hybrid offerings.
Don’t hold your breath for the new Buick as it isn’t expected to be launched until late next year or possibly in early 2012. The good news is that Buick is also planning a compact crossover model, which will also be built at the Orion plant and share its platform with the upcoming 2012 Chevrolet Aveo.