DETROIT -- The star of "Home Improvement" and the "Toy Story" movies is becoming a pitchman for Chevrolet.

General Motors Co. says Tim Allen will be a spokesman for the brand and will star in a series of TV ads for the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze that begin airing on Tuesday.

Allen, 57, is best-known for playing a tool buff in the TV series "Home Improvement." He also was the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the "Toy Story" trilogy.

The Cruze ads will feature a voiceover from Allen and will offer comparisons of the Cruze with competitor models. The Cruze, a compact sedan, is a key vehicle for GM as it aims to compete in the small car segment. That segment is dominated by competitors such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.