The increasing exchange rate differential between the strengthening euro and weakening U.S. dollar means importing European manufactured models into the U.S. is now significantly more expensive than just a few years ago. Not surprisingly, many of Europe’s top manufacturers are moving production Stateside, the latest being Volkswagen, which is currently searching for a site to build a new plant and now possibly Audi as well.

Rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz have benefited greatly from manufacturing their most popular vehicles in the U.S. locally. Audi’s sales numbers are much lower than its rivals but with new hybrid and diesel variants of the Q7 arriving in the next 12 months plus the all new Q5 SUV officials are now looking at making the move as well. Speaking recently with Automotive News, Audi dealer Joel Weinberger said management are considering a U.S. factory. “They have to build some cars here in the U.S. There is always talk of that but even if they were to decide today, it would be a good seven years before the first car rolls off the line,” he said.

Audi board member Michael Dick has also hinted at the possibility of a U.S. factory. He recently revealed that the new Q5 model qualifies for production in the U.S., especially once the hybrid versions roll out. Click here to read more details about the new Q5 and see some renderings depicting the final version of the car.