General Motors directors have approved plans to produce a new midsize car for Saturn to replace the failed L-series, the Detroit News reported, adding that the car, a 2006 model, will be based on the same basic platform as the Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac G6.

Pending negotiations with local government officials on tax incentives, the automaker is expected to build the new Saturn sedan at its Fairfax, Kansas, plant, which produces the Chevrolet Malibu and Malibu Maxx though a final decision is not expected for several weeks, the paper said.

GM's Orion assembly plant will also be able to build the new Saturn sedan, if sales warrant, the report added.

The Orion factory reportedly makes the Pontiac G6, which will come in sedan, coupe and hardtop convertible versions. The automaker is hoping the G6 will become a high-volume product.

"With the derivatives of the G6 to be introduced in the coming months, we plan on fully utilising Orion assembly with G6 production," GM spokesman Dan Flores told the Detroit News.

The paper noted that Saturn dropped the L-series last month because of disappointing sales, but promised to come back to the market with another midsize car.

The GM division plans to double the number of products from three to six over the next 18 to 20 months, the paper added.