Volkswagen logo (representative image) Photograph:( AFP )
The company announced that the US operations would be renamed to “Voltswagen of America” to shed light on its efforts in development of electric vehicles
German carmaker Volkswagen is not changing its name in the United States, contrary to a news release commissioned by the company itself. Turns out, the company announced that the US operations would be renamed to “Voltswagen of America” to shed light on its efforts in development of electric vehicles.
However, it all turned out to be an early April Fool’s gimmick.
Soon after the announcement, many criticised the company for the misleading news release, while others reminded the company of the diesel scandal from years ago whereby thousands of customers were misled into believing their cars were in line with environment protocols, but a cheat device was used to show these readings.
"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 signaling our commitment to bringing electric mobility to all," a Volkswagen spokesperson said.
The news release first emerged on the company’s website, and included a detailed description of the company’s rebranding efforts, including new logos. But it was withdrawn later on Tuesday. Reuters cited a Volkswagen spokesman in Germany saying that the rebranding was a “nice idea” to market the vehicles.
Volkswagen is the world’s second-largest carmaker, and expects to increase electric car deliveries this year in a bid to completely switch from fuel cars.
The company is investing $19 billion in electrification and digitalisation of its vehicles by 2025. The company has committed to selling one million electric vehicles worldwide by 2025.
In 2015, the company admitted to rigging the software in diesel cars for better results. The company had to pay $38 billion in fines and legal costs.
After pleading guilty to fraud, obstruction of justice, and making false statements in 2017, Volkswagen reached a $4.3 billion settlement with the US Justice Department.