Volkswagen, the world's fourth-largest carmaker, is considering building a new North American factory if the dollar stays weak, Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said in an interview with German magazine Focus.

If the dollar stays at its current level, one has to consider a factory in North America very seriously, Winterkorn said, according to a preview of the interview released on Saturday.

The euro is near an all-time high against the U.S. dollar and Japanese yen, making it harder for European-made cars to compete with those produced in the United States and Japan and causing concern among some euro-zone politicians.

Volkswagen has only one factory in North America currently, in Puebla, Mexico, which manufactures its Jetta and New Beetle cars as well as buses and trucks.

Winterkorn said Volkswagen had not done very well in the United States up to now, and hoped planned new offices away from Detroit, the centre of U.S. auto manufacturing, would bring it closer to U.S. consumers.

Winterkorn also forecast that Volkswagen would produce more than 6 million cars this year, up from 5.7 million in 2006. A goal of 10 percent higher productivity was attainable this year, he added.