Mr Burns, speaking at the Detroit motor show, said: "My preference is for the new Vectra to be built at Ellesmere Port."
But he added that further investment would be necessary at the plant, which currently makes the Astra.
The final decision rests on the outcome of negotiations between Vauxhall chief executive Nick Reilly and UK trade unions. An announcement is expected by the end of February.
In December, GM announced it was to end car production at its Luton plant in spring 2002, originally the site for the Vectra replacement, with the loss of up to 2,500 jobs.