It's always been tough for automakers to build small cars profitably in the United States. The high overhead that they faced, combined with limited demand for small cars, made things tough. When GM decided to start selling the Opel Astra as a new small Saturn in the US market they started off by exporting European-built cars to the U.S. With the US dollar in free-fall against the Euro, this obviously isn't a sustainable strategy. As a result, if the Astra proves to be popular as a Saturn, GM is likely to start producing them in the U.S. especially when the next-generation model debuts and shares more hardware with the Chevy Cobalt.
[Source: Detroit News]