By all accounts, the Phaeton limo has been a major flop for Volkswagen and nowhere has it performed more badly than in the U.S. where the decision to drop the car came just two years after its launch. However, VW execs in the U.S. have expressed interest in seeing the flagship return on several occasions in the past six months and new reports from Germany claim the car could return as early as next year.

With the introduction of the facelifted model last year sales of the Phaeton in Europe have actually been on the rise. However, sales figures for its closest rivals, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-series and even its Audi A8 sibling, are all more than double those of the VW.

To boost its numbers VW is keen to sell the Phaeton in the U.S. again. In fact, AutoBild reports a high-ranking VW official has hinted the car will return to the world’s biggest car market next year and there were even suggestions it could arrive towards the end of this year.

The biggest resistance is coming from VW’s largest shareholder, Porsche, whose CEO, Wendelin Wiedeking, previously stated that the time for “expensive toys” was over. There’s also the fact that the next-generation model is due just one year later in 2010 but even that model won’t arrive in the U.S. until at least a year after the launch of the European model.