Over the last couple of days, there were several reports about Volkswagen changing their official brand name in the US to 'Voltswagen of America' in a bid to promote their accelerated push towards EVs in the US market. In fact, Volkswagen’s social media handles pretty much confirmed this by promoting the name everywhere. Now, we finally have some clarity on that matter as reports have confirmed that it was indeed an April Fool's prank that was accidentally leaked in advance.
Volkswagen even sent out an official statement on the name change by Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen of America, who said,
"We might be changing out our K for a T, but what we aren't changing is this brand's commitment to making best-in-class vehicles for drivers and people everywhere. The idea of a 'people's car' is the very fabric of our being. We have said, from the beginning of our shift to an electric future, that we will build EVs for the millions, not just millionaires. This name change signifies a nod to our past as the peoples' car and our firm belief that our future is in being the peoples' electric car."
The news about Volkswagen rebranding as Voltswagen spread like wildfire when Volkswagen America accidentally published a press release, confirming the same. However, a Volkswagen spokesperson has now confirmed in a report, “We didn’t mean to mislead anyone... The whole thing is just a marketing action to get people talking about the ID.4.” Turns out all this was indeed a ploy to promote the ID.4 electric SUV. Volkswagen has now taken down the fake press release.
At first, it was also thought that this change is temporary or for a specific period of time, as rebrandings can be expensive. Every reference to the company would have to change, whether it's online or any of the numerous documents that dealers use to sell a vehicle. Moreover, Volkswagen sells a lot of vehicles in the US that do not offer electrification in any form. In fact, the only Volkswagen EV currently on sale in the US is the ID.4. It thus seemed a little premature to rebrand as 'Voltswagen' when so many products aren't EVs.
However, like many, we too were tricked into believing this and we will have to give this to Volkswagen. The news had a big impact and it was so convincing because there were official quotes from the company's top management. However, as it was an accidental leak, the prank has now backfired on them, which now has left the brand in an embarrassing situation. Many people started believing that the brand was actually changing its name for good. It also seems like there was some miscommunication between VW America and its headquarter in Germany, which led to this clarification.