Volkswagen Group may decide to build its Passat midsize model in Slovakia in future instead of in a new factory in Turkey, according to sources.
VW's supervisory board is scheduled to meet this week to decide whether to go ahead with a planned 1.3 billion-euro ($1.4 billion) plant.
The automaker has put the Turkish investment on hold amid international criticism of the Turkey's military operations in Syria.
VW needs to make a decision quickly because the company want the plant operational by October 2022 when the current Passat production factory in Emden, Germany, is due to switch to building full-electric cars.
One solution under discussion is to shift Passat production to VW's huge factory in Bratislava, Slovakia, sources told Automobilwoche, a sister publication of Automotive News Europe.
The factory's production includes the VW Touareg and Audi Q7 large, SUVs and the VW Up, Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo minicars. Minicar production at the plant is due to be phased out as the minicar segment declines, freeing capacity.
VW supervisory board member Stephan Weil, prime minister in Lower Saxony, has said he opposes Turkey as the new plant location. Lower Saxony, VW's home state, is an influential voice at the automaker with a 20 percent shareholding.
VW had picked Manisa, 40 km (25 miles) northeast of Izmir on Turkey's western coast, for the plant. It was scheduled to build the next-generation Passat its sister model, the Skoda Superb, with a maximum annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles.
Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia are now hoping that VW returns to its earlier shortlist of sites, which featured the Balkan nations and North Africa.
According to Automobilwoche sources, VW has already decided that to move some Skoda Karoq SUV production Bratislava. VW had considered using the new Turkey plant to build the SUV to ease capacity constraints in the Karoq's Czech plant.