Volkswagen will decide in the first half of 2008 on building a US plant, the chief executive of the automaker's American operations told Reuters on Monday.

Speaking at the news agency's autos summit in Detroit, Stefan Jacoby said the automaker would consider the time zone and the availability of a good workforce before narrowing the possible site candidates to three to four US states.

Volkswagen, which will sell about 330,000 vehicles in the United States this year, currently does not have a plant in the country.

It did, however, take over an uncompleted Pennsylvania assembly plant from Chrysler in the mid-1970s and built the Rabbit (Golf) line there until the early 1980s, when the plant was closed, and sold.

Jacoby also told Reuters he plans to increase Volkswagen's US sales to 1m units by 2018.

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