Volkswagen has made no secret of its plans to build a new car plant in the U.S. but latest reports claim it could follow this up with an engine and transmission facility as well. The German giant is expected to announce within months the location of its new car plant, which most are expecting to be in North Carolina, and its U.S. Chief has confirmed it will likely be operational by as early as 2010.

"We'll make an announcement within six months" about the location of the plant, Stefan Jacoby, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America Inc., told reporters from Automotive News. After that announcement, the first vehicles could appear in "a little bit more than three years," he added. The engine and transmission site, however, could be located in Mexico or Canada, Jacoby revealed.

To reach its goal of being a genuine rival to Toyota, VW will need to significantly boost its U.S. sales. The company has set out a specific plan to reach its own target of selling 800,000 vehicles across the States by 2018. Its 2007 sales figure was 230,572 vehicles. Officials have put together a ‘Five Pillar’ strategy, the pillars being: creating unique vehicles and a wider product portfolio, introducing a new advertising campaign to reposition the brand more upmarket, improving the dealer network, start U.S. production, and streamline the VW organization.

Other clues revealed by Jacoby during his interview included the launch of hybrids and electric vehicles but mostly more diesels, as well as the possible relaunch of the Phaeton flagship.


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