The replacement for the Saturn Aura has already been revealed in the form of the European Opel (Vauxhall) Insignia sedan, which goes on sale later this year. The car was expected to reach North America in the second half of next year as a 2010 model but according to several sources at GM its arrival has been put on hold and no mention of a later release date or reason has been given.

The new Epsilon II based saloon was meant to go into production next year at GM’s Fairfax plant in Kansas, which has already received much of the tooling for the new car. According to GM InsideNews, which confirmed the news with several sources at GM, the most likely reason has to do with the car’s fuel economy.

There’s also the possibility that the new Aura could steal sales from the top selling Chevrolet Malibu sedan as well as the next Buick LaCrosse, which is due around the same time and is also based on the Epsilon II platform.

The current Saturn Aura has experience lackluster sales since its launch back in 2006 but GM is yet to announce official plans for its successor. Several variants of the Insignia are expected to be in the pipeline, including a hatchback version, which was recently spied, as well as wagon and coupe models.

2009 Opel Insignia interior reveal

2009 Opel Insignia