The continuing story of America's devaluing dollar difficulties is one of ups and downs. While it's certainly disturbing for Americans to see their money worth less and less on the global scene, increasingly affordable American labor is drawing the eyes of many car makers. Already Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and other car makers are seriously considering moving more of their once-European sourced production to the U.S. to take advantage of the lower costs, and now General Motors is following suit, hinting that the Astra may be coming to U.S. factories in the near future.

Currently produced in Belgium, starting life effectively as an Opel, then being rebadged as a Saturn, the Astra is one of Saturn's hottest new cars. The sporty hatchback is also due for a hybrid conversion soon, although it's unlikely to be introduced before the move to American production (at least for Saturn's Astras) is complete, with both being scheduled for some time in 2010, according to Automotive News.

With the diesel craze just hitting America, the Astra could be the perfect vessel to deliver all the benefits of GM's European operations while keeping production costs low, and on American soil. Bringing diesel-powered Astras to the U.S. (they are plentiful in Europe) is not in the plans for the current generation, but with the pending 2010 redesign and increasing pressure from CAFE standards and consumer preference, a hybrid-diesel one-two punch may be just the combo Saturn needs to help GM knock down its fuel consumption numbers and boost sales of non-SUV, non-truck vehicles.