Volkswagen of America is changing its name to "Voltswagen" for its EVs in the U.S., the automaker confirmed this morning via Twitter.
While unnamed sources were said to have confirmed the news to CNBC, Automotive News, and other publications Monday, although C/D was initially very skeptical.
Volkswagen has been pursuing its EV offensive in earnest in 2021, including announcing earlier this month that it plans to build six battery factories around the world.
UPDATE 3/30/2021 6:50 p.m.: Following reports from Reuters and the Wall Street Journal earlier this afternoon saying that the name change was a marketing stunt, Volkswagen of America put out a statement saying that its name would not be changing. The “Voltswagen” name was just a poorly executed and premature April Fool’s Day joke.
UPDATE 3/30/2021: Volkswagen has confirmed the name change via Twitter, as the post above shows.
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
Volkswagen is going electric, and in the U.S., reportedly a full-on name change is how Americans customers will know. In a now-deleted press release, Volkswagen of America said that it is changing its name to "Voltswagen," and unnamed sources confirmed that name change to both Automotive News and CNBC. The name change won’t be made anywhere beyond the U.S., according to these reports, and gasoline-engined VWs will be badged just "VW."
Car and Driver has contacted VW for comment but has not yet received a response. At the moment it's unclear whether the report of a potential name change is nothing more than an April Fools' Day joke attempt by the automaker.
The press release was reportedly dated April 29, suggesting that it was accidentally posted online a month before it had been intended to appear. According to CNBC, the release said that the "Voltswagen" name would be placed as an exterior badge on all of its electric vehicles while just the VW logo would be on the gas-powered counterparts. As Sebastian Blanco pointed out on Twitter, it's not the first time VW has played with the name:
I've posted this elsewhere, but just so we're all clear, the #Voltswagen name (which seems to be real, despite 4/1 fast approaching) is not exactly new. See this @VW ad from 2013 in Oslo, for example: pic.twitter.com/sT0PzDTY4P
— "How about Boltswagen?" Sebastian Blanco (@SebastianBlanco) March 29, 2021
News of the possible name change comes in the same month that VW’s first full-electric vehicle, the ID.4, has gone on sale in the U.S. VW also recently announced aggressive new plans for electrification, including the building of six battery factories and the plan to have electric vehicles reach 50 percent of total sales in the U.S. by 2030. The push toward electrification is part of VW's strategy for moving beyond the Dieselgate emissions-cheating scandal. As part of court settlements, the automaker agreed to spend $2 billion in the current decade on green energy and electric cars, including paying for new public charging stations and public-education programs.
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