Update 03/20/2021 4:50pm ET: Volkswagen’s U.S. operations reportedly won’t change its name to Voltswagen, despite a statement issued earlier today that the automaker would change its name.
According to Reuters, three sources “briefed on the matter” told the publication that the Voltswagen name change was a marketing stunt. The goal was to draw attention to Volkswagen’s electric vehicles and that the company plans to announced Wednesday that it’s not serious about changing its name.
If accurate, it seems much more likely that this whole Voltswagen name-change thing was some kind of early April Fool’s Day joke. Either that, or Volkswagen decided the name’s reception wasn’t quite what it hoped, and is backpedalling while suggesting the whole thing was a joke.
Whatever the reason, RIP Voltswagen, you’ll be missed.
The original story regarding the name change is below:
Volkswagen plans to rename its U.S. operations to ‘Voltswagen’ in hopes of emphasizing the automaker’s electric vehicle (EV) efforts, according to a mistakenly published press release.
After double-checking if it was April 1st (it’s not, in case you were wondering), it seems that the electric new name for Volkswagen isn’t a poorly timed April Fool’s joke. In fact, the company is serious — at least, according to CNBC, which received confirmation from a “person familiar with the company’s plans.”
The Verge also confirmed that Volkswagen seriously plans to rebrand its U.S. operations, noting that the automaker republished its Voltswagen announcement. After CNBC spotted the mistakenly published release, it was removed from the company’s website.
“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,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Voltswagen of America, in a statement to The Verge.
The release explains that Volkswagen of America would take on the new Voltswagen name in May as a “public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility.” Further, the release said that the Voltswagen name would appear as an exterior badge on all EV models, while gas vehicles would keep the iconic ‘VW’ logo.
Additionally, the release explained that Voltswagen would use different shades of blue on the VW logo depending on whether the vehicle was electric or gas. Light blue indicates an EV while dark blue marks gas. Finally, Voltswagen will remain an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America and a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, with headquarters in Herndon, Virginia.
It’s not clear if the new Voltswagen brand will make its way to Canada.
Volkswagen isn’t the only automaker swapping branding to highlight EVs. GM also recently announced a refreshed ‘GM’ logo to signify its pivot to EVs as well.