It's been a rather short trip from VW asking whether it would build a factory in the U.S. to saying "Ja" and closing in on two locations. The decision on where the factory will be hasn't been made yet, but spots in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia are the leading candidates.

Plans apparently call for a large plant, and VW wants it churning out cars by 2011. So the company needs at least 1,000 acres, and it needs to get to work on it immediately. If VW went with the site in Rocky Mount, NC, it would be placed about midway between VW's future corporate headquarters in Virginia and the cluster of suppliers around BMW's Spartanburg, SC plant. But VW is also scouting land in Anderson, SC.

Yet, even though VW hasn't announced the location, the Rocky Mount land appears to be in play. A deal for a large parcel is scheduled to close later this month. Said the farmer who owns most of it, although he hasn't met the buyers, "All I know is I'm selling it to a bunch of Germans." The plant, wherever it ends up, will build cars for North America and Europe.

[Source: Auto News, sub req'd]