North Carolina is one of several states being considered as sites for a new automotive plant that Volkswagen wants to build in the U.S., according to several media reports.
Automotive Week, Business Week magazine and Bloomberg all said in recent days that Volkswagen could soon announce plans for a U.S. factory. Both the Carolinas as well as Georgia and Kentucky are in the running, they said.
One site apparently on the list is near Rocky Mount, Automotive Week reported.
Volkswagen recently moved its U.S. headquarters to Herndon, Va. from Detroit.
The Rocky Mount Telegram reported that one possible site is a 1,000-acre tract of land alongside I-95. The newspaper said the land could be sold in the near future to an unidentified buyer for some $10 million.
“The Carolinas and Georgia are leading candidates to produce vehicles for the United States and Europe,” Automotive Week reported.
Business Week, meanwhile, said a search committee “has been scouting North Carolina: and other states for Volkswagen. A plant in the U.S. is seen as being essential for Volkswagen’s strategy of selling 800,000 vehicles in the U.S. by 2018.
"We can’t really think about achieving that without a significant plant in the U.S.," Stefan Jacoby, head of Volkswagen’s operations in the U.S., told the magazine.
A U.S. plant would produce an estimated 200,000 vehicles a year and employ between 2,000 and 2,500 people, Business Week said.
North Carolina industrial recruiters have tried without success to land an automotive assembly plant for years. BMW, for example, picked a site near Greenville, S.C. rather than the Tar Heel state. And Mercedes-Benz chose to build its U.S. factory in Alabama.
One of the sites Volkswagen is considering is near Anderson, S.C., which isn’t far from Greenville.