Volkswagen Admits ‘Voltswagen’ Rebrand Is A Prank After Campaign Backfires
By Izza Sofia, 31 Mar 2021
Image via dvoevnore / Shutterstock.com
Volkswagen US surprised the world when it announced that it was rebranding to “Voltswagen” on Tuesday morning.
However, the German automaker will not change its name after all.
The supposed rebrand was a marketing stunt meant to bring attention to Volkswagen electric vehicles, per Reuters.
“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 VW spokesperson said.
It all started when Volkswagen of America “accidentally” published a draft version of a press release announcing the change on Monday, per CNBC. Volkswagen’s various social media accounts also promoted the stunt. The @VW account shared an image of the fake “Voltswagen” logo and tweeted “66 is an unusual age to change your name.”
The company initially declined to comment on it, before publishing a press release on Tuesday saying the change was a “public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility.”
“We have said, from the beginning of our shift to an electric future, that we will build EVs for the millions, not just millionaires,” said CEO of Volkswagen of America, Scott Keogh. “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 company was forced to withdraw the prank ahead of April 1 after several media outlets had obtained the fake press release and reported the “rebrand” as truth.
“You lied to me,” wrote USA Today business report Nathan Bomey in an incensed tweet. “You lied to AP, CNBC, Reuters and various trade [publications]. This was not a joke. It was deception… Why should anyone trust you again?”
Reporters also apologized for the misinformation in their articles.
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
Dear Volkswagen: You lied to me. You lied to AP, CNBC, Reuters and various trade pubs. This was not a joke. It was deception. In case you hadn’t noticed, we have a misinformation problem in this country. Now you’re part of it. Why should anyone trust you again? https://t.co/1rcKT7p0u5— Nathan Bomey (@NathanBomey) March 30, 2021
What I can say is that it will not happen again.— Michael Wayland (@MikeWayland) March 30, 2021
If you announce your company's changing their name, actively tell reporters it's NOT a prank, then come out & reveal it is a prank, ALL BEFORE APRIL 1, you're not doing a clever marketing stunt - you're just alienating media & looking foolish. https://t.co/eZhDI3f0jX— Jack Appleby (@JuiceboxCA) March 31, 2021
[via Auto News, cover image via dvoevnore / Shutterstock.com]
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