Volkswagen is rebranding to become “Voltswagen” on the North American market.
On Monday this week, Volkswagen's corporate website briefly leaked a press release about possible rebranding. Michael Wayland, who covers automotive news for CNBC, published a story about the documents. The press release detailed Volkswagen’s intent to change their company’s name in North America to “Voltswagen,” using the word “volts” as a nod to the growing use of electric vehicles (EVs).
Initial reports of Volkswagen’s possible rebranding came with great applause. The press release detailed their “public declaration of the company’s future forward investment in e-mobility.”
Volkswagen has achieved notoriety in the past due to a highly publicized scandal involving emissions testing. In the new age of environmental awareness, the company is pushing to be a top manufacturer of electric vehicles. Recently surpassing Tesla in fourth quarter EV sales in 2020, the company is focusing on new, cleaner vehicles.
On March 30th, Volkswagen’s social media sites followed suit with the release and verified that they were rebranding to “Voltswagen.”
Later that evening, however, a spokesperson from Volkswagen admitted to NPR that the whole thing was a farce. It was designed to boost interest in Volkswagen’s growing line of EVs, which saw a drop in stock prices Wednesday after the stunt was revealed.
The attempt at an April Fool’s Day joke fell negatively on several reporters, who felt misled by the company. Michael Wayland, the originator of the story, was not at all pleased with the trick.