Many have wondered what will happen to all the new Opel products being brought to the U.S. now that Saturn is facing sale or termination in the next few months. The answer may lie in a new report that the Astra - built by Opel, sold in the U.S. as a Saturn - may be branded as a Buick in North America.

The news isn't particularly surprising, especially given General Motors' lack of profitability on the Saturn-branded Astra. Moving the car to the more upscale Buick brand could have made sense even with Saturn still in operation.

But now news has emerged from GMInsideNews that the Buick-bound Astra (which may eventually be named something else for Buick) will no longer be imported from Europe, but built at the Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant. That would cut down on costs and make the Astra even more profitable, especially with Buick's more premium placement and pricing.

Details on what sort of Astras Buick will be building - three-door, sedan, five-door, twin-top, etc - and what engines and feature sets will be available are still murky. All of these decisions may yet be impacted by GM's ongoing troubles and the pending sale of a substantial portion of Opel as well.

If the sale of the Opel interest doesn't move forward in a timely manner, and government assistance isn't secured, the German company may have to file for bankruptcy also, potentially disrupting or ending the ability of GM's U.S. operations to use Opel cars in its American brands.