Model-year 2012 is a big one for Volkswagen in the American marketplace. The European automaker is opening a new U.S. manufacturing facility in Tennessee in preparation for the 2012 VW America (our predicted name) midsize sedan. It'll compete with an updated-for-2012 Chevrolet Malibu. A sports car from VW's Audi division is on the docket for 2012 as well. Likely to be called R4, it will slot into the lineup below the R8.
Volkswagen isn't stopping there and expects to unveil two more vehicles for 2012, both on the smaller scale. The subcompact Chico and Up would compete against the Scion iQ and Smart ForTwo. Buick is also rumored to jump into the compact-car fray with the Bolero and Excelle (again, our names), based on a popular Chinese-market car.
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On the other end of the spectrum, the SUV class, expect Ford to redesign an old favorite and unveil a new-to-the-U.S.-market people mover popular in Europe. A new Ford Escape should be ready by late-2011 and the new Ford Focus C-MAX wagon will likely arrive in the U.S. around the same time.
What else is in store for 2012? Take a look at these in-depth previews for photos and details on the cars due out for this model year. Stay with us for updates.