A duo of key crossovers arriving in 2017 will headline one of Volks-wagen's busiest years in some time. After that, things get murkier, with questions clouding the future of the next-generation Passat midsize sedan, Touareg crossover and iconic Beetle.
But VW executives have said the U.S. is a priority, and North America boss Hinrich Woebcken is working on a plan to build out its U.S. lineup to support its higher volume aspirations.
Here's a look at what VW faces through 2020.
Beetle: VW last year said the Beetle would be redesigned onto the group's MQB platform, but those plans are now up in the air. The automaker's push to cull poor performers in the wake of its diesel emissions scandal has put the next-generation Beetle on the chopping block.
A decision hasn't been made. The company wants a lifestyle model to add some fun to its lineup. But the Beetle's slow sales and pricey stickers are among the reasons why VW is questioning whether a redesigned Beetle or another model should fill that niche.
The current Beetle will live on for a few more model years, as gasoline versions will comply with U.S. mpg and emissions rules through 2019.
Eos: VW discontinued the Eos convertible last year.
Golf: VW's family of compact hatchbacks will get a new, more rugged member when the Golf SportWagen Alltrack hits U.S. showrooms this fall. The Alltrack gets additional ground clearance, rugged body cladding and VW's 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. Under the hood is a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 170 hp and 199 pounds-feet of torque combined with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The Golf family will receive a significant freshening in fall 2017 for the 2018 model year. The next-generation Golf is due in 2021.
Jetta: VW's top-selling nameplate gets a key redesign in 2018, moving to the MQB platform. Its powertrain lineup will be streamlined, dropping the 1.8-liter turbo while retaining the 2.0-liter turbo and new 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engines.
CC: The slow-selling sedan will see new life when it is redesigned in the second half of 2017. The next-generation CC will move to VW's MQB platform and adopt the styling of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE shown at the 2015 Geneva auto show. A U.S. launch is expected in 2018, after sales begin in Europe.
Passat: What to do with the next-generation Passat sedan is arguably the most significant product decision VW faces. And it's not an easy one.
Volkswagen Group has more than 300 models in its global lineup. Under pressure to shed some of those models, VW is re-evaluating whether it makes sense to continue producing two Passat sedans -- one for North America and China and another for Europe and the rest of the world.
According to sources with knowledge of VW's thinking, one option under consideration is eliminating the U.S./China-spec Passat and replacing it with a single sedan to be sold around the world based on the MQB platform. The replacement would be a little smaller than the current U.S. version and larger than the global Passat. The key for Europe would be maintaining the character of the current Passat station wagon, which strongly outsells the sedan in Europe and competes with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz E-class wagon.
The U.S. Passat sedan was scheduled for a redesign in 2018 for the 2019 model year. A transition to a global Passat sedan means the next generation wouldn't arrive until 2020 or 2021. In the meantime, VW would give the Passat another heavy freshening to give it a fighting chance in the U.S., likely in 2018 for the 2019 model year.
Phaeton: VW plans to relaunch the Phaeton in 2020 as an electric luxury sedan, but its U.S. prospects are unclear. The earliest the Phaeton could be added to U.S. showrooms would likely be 2021 or 2022, and even that timing is shaky. U.S. dealers want to see VW get its core products right in the coming years before considering sales of an expensive niche product.
EVs: VW will launch the first electric vehicle based on its new EV platform architecture, dubbed MEB, in 2020, with additional vehicles to follow, the company has said. Details on U.S. plans are scant, but expect a sedan, a crossover and a more emotional, lifestyle-oriented vehicle, such as a production version of the Microbus-inspired BUDD-e concept that debuted in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Subcompact crossover: VW plans to expand its global crossover portfolio with a Golf-sized crossover based on the T-Roc concept shown at the 2014 Geneva auto show. With design completed, a global launch is expected within the next two years. VW's U.S. dealers want a competitor to the likes of the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Buick Encore, but U.S. sales have yet to receive the green light. If it's approved, it would arrive in 2019 at the earliest.
Tiguan: A redesigned Tiguan arrives in the middle of next year, this time in a larger package. For the first time, VW will produce the compact crossover in short- and long-wheelbase formats, with only the long-wheelbase version offered in the U.S. At nearly 185 inches in overall length, the redesigned model is about 10 inches longer than the current U.S. model. Seating for seven passengers will be offered.
Midsize crossover: The midsize crossover VW dealers have been clamoring for finally hits showrooms next March or April. Its name hasn't been announced. The midsize crossover will offer seating for seven passengers with what VW says will be best-in-class legroom in the third row. A 3.6-liter V-6 engine will be offered at launch, and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder added later.
Touareg: A big question mark hangs over VW's premium midsize crossover. There's less need for the Touareg given its slow sales and the impending arrival of the new midsize crossover, which will encroach on the Touareg's turf at the larger end of VW's lineup. The Touareg is due for a redesign in 2019 or 2020 globally, but the company is still on the fence about whether to sell it stateside.
Commercial vehicles: Work vehicles such as the Caddy, a small van similar in size to the Ford Transit Connect, and the Crafter, a larger van similar in size to the Ram ProMaster, have been eyed with interest by VW as possible ways to add even a small amount of production to VW's underutilized factory in Chattanooga, or localize more production in Puebla, Mexico. But that interest hasn't developed beyond the study phase, and commercial vehicles aren't in VW's U.S. product plans.
Midsize pickup: As VW seeks to support U.S. growth, one option that was considered as recently as this year is a pickup based on the new midsize crossover's platform, akin to the Honda Ridgeline. It could be built in Chattanooga, alongside the crossover. But the idea hasn't progressed beyond the study phase.