Volkswagen believes sales are growing fast enough to justify a new Volkswagen-Audi plant in North America in two years' time.
VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech said in the USA that VW would build a 300,000-unit plant in North America when global sales reach five million. They were 4.3 million last year, and VW predicts 8 percent growth over the next two years, which would result in five million sales in 1999.
The new plant would help VW reach a goal of six million sales in 2003, displacing Toyota as the third largest carmaker, behind General Motors and Ford.
The Golf is Europe's No. 2 car, and early demand for the new Beetle in the USA is high.
VW sales in the USA last year were 137,000 units, the best since 1988, and Audi sold 34,000 units, the best since 1987.
VW already has one plant in North America. At Puebla, Mexico, VW builds the Golf and Jetta, the new Beetle and the old Beetle.
Piech did not suggest what cars might be built in a new factory.
Klaus Kocks, VW's top spokesman, told a German newspaper that VW was not likely to build a plant in the US south-east near the BMW and Daimler-Benz plants.