HomeThe MarketNot an early April Fools’ joke: VW to become Voltswagen

Not an early April Fools’ joke: VW to become Voltswagen

US brand name change a declaration of investment in electrification


(Editor’s note: The Associated Press reported a day after announcing the name change to Volkswagen, and after VW officials confirmed to various news media that the news release was legitimate, Volkswagen changed its story and admitted that the announcement was meant to be an early April Fools’ Day joke. The Wall Street Journal noted that based on the announcement Volkswagen stock prices increased.)

When word leaked out March 29 that Volkswagen Group of America was changing the name of the US brand from Volkswagen to Voltswagen, you might have thought it was an early April Fools’ Day joke.

But it wasn’t, and on March 30 the official news release arrived proclaiming that as of May 2021, Volkswagen Group of America will change Volkswagen of America to Voltswagen of America.

“More than a name change, ‘Voltswagen’ is a public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility,” the news release notes. “By definition, Volts are the derived units for electric potential between two points. The new name and branding symbolize the highly-charged forward momentum Voltswagen has put in motion, pursuuing a goal of moving all people point-to-point with EVs.

“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,” Scott Keogh, president and chief executive of Voltswagen of America. 

VW’s new US banner

The idea of a peoples car’ is the very fabric of our being. We have said, from the beginning of our shift to an electric future, that we will build EVs for the millions, not just millionaires. This name change signifies a nod to our past as the peoples’ car and our firm belief that our future is in being the peoples’ electric car.”

The news release notes that its dealers have received their first shipments of the ID.4, VW’s first long-range all-electric, zero direct emission SUV. 

“As well as being designed to compete with mainstream compact SUVs, the ID.4 is the first product to be sold nationwide that confirms the company’s commitment to sustainable mobility,” VW said.

“That’s been the mission since the larger Volkswagen Group became the first major automaker to support the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, with an added target of a 30 percent reduction in the company’s carbon footprint by 2025, and net-carbon neutrality by 2050. A resulting commitment to sell one million EVs worldwide by 2025 will see more than 70 electric models launched across the VW group brands by 2029.”

“As our newly launched ID.4 campaign demonstrates, the humanity at the core of this brand remains its enduring legacy,” said Kimberley Gardiner, Voltswagen of America senior vice president of marketing. “The tone of Voltswagen will be a consistent thread between the branded communications for our growing electric fleet to our gas vehicles. 

“Over the course of the next few months, you will see the brand transition at all consumer touch points. This is an exciting moment for us, and we have been working through every avenue to make the transition clear, consistent, seamless and fun for all.”

For more information, visit the revised Voltswagen website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.



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