GM's Buick to get luxury compact for first time

In this product image provided by General Motors, the company's new Buick Verano is shown. The company says it will unveil the upscale compact car on Monday, Jan. 10, 2011 at the Detroit auto show, GM’s only new model to debut at the event. (AP Photo/General Motors) NO SALES
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In this product image provided by General Motors, the company's new Buick Verano is shown. The company says it will unveil the upscale compact car on Monday, Jan. 10, 2011 at the Detroit auto show, GM’s only new model to debut at the event.

For the first time in its history, General Motors' Buick luxury brand will get an upscale compact car.

The company says it will unveil the Buick Verano on Monday at the Detroit auto show. It's a small car based on the Chevrolet Cruze that GM says is designed to compete against the Audi A3 and Volvo S40 in the entry-level luxury market.

GM engineers say they went to great lengths to make the car different from the Cruze, enhancing its handling and ride with a European suspension.

The car also is expected to attract younger buyers, helping Buick as it tries to shed its image of offering cars for senior citizens.

Buick sales rose 52 percent last year with a series of revamped models.