News & Record front-pager quoting a Princeton-based site selection consultant saying North Carolina is on the shortlist for a joint Toyota-Mazda electric car factory, with the Greensboro-Randolph megasite coming in as the “top pick” in the state:

Site-selection consultant John Boyd, of Princeton, N.J., said “I expect the megasite to be a prime candidate for the Toyota-Mazda factory.”

Boyd said the state’s top competitors for the plant are likely South Carolina and Georgia.

Neither company makes an all-electric vehicle, and Toyota and Mazda said earlier this year they have created a partnership to build a $1.6 billion factory that would employ up to 4,000 workers to make hundreds of thousands of cars per year by 2020.

They likely will choose a final site in the next three-to-six months.

According to the N&R, Boyd said an incentive package could total more than $1 billion and that Gov. Roy Cooper “is involved in the recruiting process.” Meanwhile, Randolph County resident and megasite opponent alan Ferguson said there has been considerable in the area:

“Over the past several weeks, I and other neighbors have on several occasions observed large vans and tent canopies on a plot of land on which we know the megasite folk like to meet,” said Alan Ferguson, a lawyer who lives on property adjacent to the megasite in Randolph and has opposed its development. “We have also observed helicopters flying slow circles above our houses, around the proposed site. One helicopter I watched on a Sunday morning was a large, multiseat machine that I have never seen flying over our countryside before. This one made a couple of slow circles and passed right over my house.”

According to the N&R, Toyota and Mazda will likely choose a site within the next 3-6 months.