Dell is considering opening a second European production plant to support its steady growth on the continent.

The vendor is looking to expand beyond its manufacturing plant in Limerick to help meet growing European demand for its computer products, said a company spokesman, confirming statements made by chairman Michael Dell at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.

The new European plant would follow a move last month to add a third major manufacturing facility in the US. Dell also operates production facilities in China and Malaysia.

The spokesman declined to comment on where the European plant would be located and when it would go into operation.

Speculation about France being the preferred site swirled after Michael Dell noted that this was the only country in "the top 10" where a competitor, Hewlett-Packard, is number one.

Some analysts view high-cost France as a highly unlikely contender.

"If you're interested in keeping your cost structure down, it makes no sense to open a plant in France," said Brian Gammage, principal analyst at Gartner. "In fact, it's difficult to see how Dell could incur anything apart from disruption by trying to add additional capacity in Western Europe."

He pointed to Eastern Europe as a more likely contender.

Demand for computers is growing steadily in this region and local labour costs are much lower to those in Western Europe as well, according to Gammage. "Most of Dell's leading competitors are already manufacturing the majority of their desktop in either the Czech Republic or Hungary," he said. "These markets already have a well-trained workforce."