It’s official (finally). Volkswagen AG (XETRA:VOW) is not changing its name in the US to Voltswagen and said today the press release flagging the change was just an April Fool’s prank gone wrong.
The carmaker sparked a huge conversation Monday when details of the supposed new name appeared on its website ostensibly to reflect its push into electrical vehicles.
A tweet also apparently confirmed the name change on Monday, but the carmaker has now said it was a bit of German humour.
Mark Gillies, a company spokesman, said on Tuesday that the statement had been a pre-April Fool’s Day joke in spite of the tweet, which was seen and reported by numerous wire services and car specialists.
Gillies said last night: “Volkswagen of America will not be changing its name to Voltswagen.
“The renaming was designed to be an announcement in the spirit of April Fool’s Day, highlighting the launch of the all-electric ID.4 SUV and signalling our commitment to bringing electric mobility to all.”
We know, 66 is an unusual age to change your name, but we’ve always been young at heart. Introducing Voltswagen. Similar to Volkswagen, but with a renewed focus on electric driving. Starting with our all-new, all-electric SUV the ID.4 – available today. #Voltswagen #ID4 pic.twitter.com/pKQKlZDCQ7
— Voltswagen (@VW) March 30, 2021
However, commentators not so jokily suggested a rebranding in the US might be a good thing given the damage the VW brand has suffered in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal.
Dieselgate cost Volkswagen €35bn in recalls and lawsuits after it fiddled with 11mln diesel vehicles worldwide including millions in the US to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions under test conditions.
The automaker also had to apologise for a US car advert last year that was called out for being racist and offensive.