General Motors Corp. likely will decide by year's end where to center development of its next small-car platform, a top program manager says.

GM, which recently re-jiggered its executive ranks, is redefining vehicle engineering and assigning new-vehicle development programs to its worldwide engineering teams.

GM is taking a more global approach to platform engineering to ensure better economies of scale and greater manufacturing flexibility worldwide.

Lori Queen, vehicle line executive, who oversaw the Delta-based Chevrolet Cobalt and currently is heading up development and rollout of the Pontiac Solstice and Chevrolet HHR, says the next-generation small-car program is up for grabs between North America, Europe (Adam Opel AG) and the Asia/Pacific (GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co.) region.

A decision on where to engineer the Delta platform successor should come in the second half of the year, Queen says, adding North America has a good chance to land it.

Still to be determined is whether current cycle timing would allow the next-generation small-car platform to be engineered for all three regions at the same time.