Executives recently hinted at a possible US debut for the midsize pickup.

Reinforcing recent rumors and official hints, Volkswagen has submitted a US trademark application for its Amarok nameplate.

The filing, dated November 22 and spotted by Motrolix, is broadly worded to cover automobiles, scale models, retail services and other business categories.

Foreign automakers have been reluctant to compete with established US pickup brands in their home market. VW Group of America chief Hinrich Woebcken recently suggested that the Amarok could make a US debut for its second generation, however.

If it does get a green light, VW's US-spec pickup will face an increasingly competitive midsize segment as the Ford Ranger returns to the US to take market share from the Chevrolet Colorado/ GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma.

A US-spec Amarok is not expected to arrive until the 2019 model year or later.