GM has confirmed today that its next-generation Saab 9-3 will be produced at the carmaker’s Trollhattan plant in Sweden, leaving the Ruesselsheim plant in Germany free to produce the next Saab 9-5 and a brand new compact car likely to be based on the 9-X BioHybrid concept revealed at March’s Geneva Motor Show.

The Ruesselsheim plant currently builds a range of Opel models but later this year it will commence production of the new Insignia sedan. Production of the next-generation Saab 9-5 isn’t expected to start until late next year and will be joined further down the track by the new compact car, reports Automotive News.

According to inside sources, the new compact car will likely be the new 2010 Opel Astra. However, the same Delta II platform that will underpin the next-generation Astra will also spawn the new Saab compact car. The Saab model, likely to be called the 9-1, will be a premium hatch aimed at vehicles like the Mini Cooper and BMW 1-series.

Expected to be launched late next year, the new 9-1 will be available with a range of powertrains including advanced diesels, flex-fuel engines and even a hybrid option.

Saab 9-X BioPower Hybrid Concept