While it’s still struggling to recover from its multi-billion dollar losses over the last few years, GM has announced that it will cut the development budget for future mid-size sedans by a billion dollars through more efficient use of part sharing, factories, and designs.

According to a report by Bloomberg, “Plants in North America, Europe and elsewhere will use the same chassis on models such as the Chevrolet Malibu sedan and Saab convertibles.”

The Chevrolet Malibu, Saab 9-3 and Opel Vectra will be the first cars designed under this new mandate and will cut engineering costs by 40 percent and material costs by 15 percent. If it’s successful, expect The General to use common designs for future SUVs and small cars.

At a time when the world is looking towards small to mid-size cars, we hope GM can maintain a high level of build quality in these new products. Hopefully, the $1 billion that is going to be saved won’t subsidise future SUV or pickup production.

Pictured above is a rendering of what the new Opel Vectra may look like, and is clearly based on the Holden Torana concept we talked about earlier today.