Birmingham's chances of securing a new Aston Martin plant appear to be receding after its chief said the location would be announced within a month.
The Post revealed last month that Sutton Coldfield was one of three locations vying to host the luxury car maker's new factory, on green belt land.
It remains one of four options in the running but sources close to the deal claim Aston Martin has gone cold on the Minworth site due to the costs required to set up there.
Chief executive Andy Palmer would not be drawn on the subject but said he expected to announce the location of the plant, where its DBX crossover will be built, by the end of the year.
He said: "We had 19 formal offers, from US states to countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the UK. Basically, it is down to a shortlist of four and there is more than one UK location."
Asked what the criteria were for choosing a location, Dr Palmer added: "On the objective side, it is total cost of delivery. That includes the logistic cost of getting the car in, the cost of building the car and getting it to the final customer.
"The majority of our customers will be in the US or China but the supply base is here.
"Additionally, there are salary costs, plus investment, minus any government grant aid or any means by which we can reduce capital outlay.
"On the subjective side is brand but that is important nonetheless. All things being equal, it is always going to be better to be made in the UK."
Aston Martin was thought to have favoured Minworth at one stage but complex negotiations about the site, which has only recently been secured for development, appear to have put paid to that.
Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell said negotiations were ongoing but it was vital the city courted the car maker.
He said: "It is extremely important that Birmingham's planning department does everything possible to make it easy for Aston Martin to pick Sutton Coldfield."
At one point, Coventry was in the running as a possible location but it failed to make the final shortlist of four.
Mr Palmer revealed there were at least two UK locations still in the running and some reports have suggested it is now a choice between two British sites, one in the US state of Alabama and one in the Middle East.
Outlining Aston Martin's five-year plan to transform the business, Mr Palmer said the first phase was stabilisation, something which has been achieved in part through a recent reorganisation which saw the car maker shed 295 jobs.
He said: "It regrettably led to the loss of a number of jobs but that is part of getting fit for the future."
He added Aston Martin had also hit its budget in terms of profit targets each quarter this year for the first time in the company's history.