General Motors on said Thursday it plans to invest $US200 million in one of its Kansas plants, equipping it to assemble a new Saturn mid-size car that replaces the slow-selling L series, a Reuters report said.

The report notedthat Saturn decided to end production of its L series mid-size car this summer, a year ahead of schedule. The car has been a disappointment since it was launched in 1999.

The new Saturn car, which will be available as a 2007 model, will be built in GM’s Fairfax manufacturing site in the latter half of 2006. The plant, which employs about 3,000 people, currently builds the Chevy Malibu and Malibu Maxx, according to Reuters.

GM reportedly said it plans to use the money for upgrading machinery and retooling the plant for the production of the new car.

Saturn sales, key to GM’s efforts to fight Asian rivals, fell nearly 22% to 136,166 vehicles in the first seven months of this year, Reuters added.

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