Japanese brands vary widely in their plans for the next three model years.
Nissan is barreling ahead in its quest to crack the top ranks of U.S. sales leaders. Key near-term vehicles are the redesigned Sentra compact, Pathfinder mid-sized crossover and Versa subcompact hatchback for the 2013 model year, followed by the redesigned 2014 Rogue crossover.
For Nissan's luxury-brand cousin, Infiniti, the biggest news will come in the 2014 model year, when it will launch an electric vehicle, the LE, with the same platform and drivetrain used by the Nissan Leaf; a redesigned G series rear-wheel-drive sedan; and a refreshed Infiniti M flagship sedan.
Like Nissan, Mazda will focus on its volume products: a redesigned Mazda6 mid-sized car early next year, followed by a redesigned Mazda3 compact, possibly later next year. Both will be 2014 models. This year Mazda rolled out the CX-5 compact crossover.
Other brands have less going on. Suzuki freshens the SX4 subcompact and Grand Vitara SUV for the 2013 model year, then has no activity planned for the 2014 model year. Mitsubishi, meanwhile, freshens the Outlander Sport compact crossover for the 2013 model year and restyles its Outlander crossover for the 2014 model year.
Subaru is adding the XV Crosstrek compact crossover this fall but still has holes to fill in its lineup. For instance, it could use a new SUV to succeed the slow-selling Tribeca.
But things are happening at Subaru. Within the next two years it will redesign the Forester crossover and the WRX and STI performance versions of the Impreza.