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Volkswagen of America says it’s rebranding itself as Voltswagen of America, to reflect the company’s ambition to transition entirely to electric vehicles.
The new name will be reflected in advertising and online immediately, with new signs rolling out to dealerships soon, the company said, while the electric vehicles sold by VW will be given an exterior Voltswagen brand as well.
The news was accidentally posted on a VW press site on Monday before disappearing, fueling speculation that it might be an April Fools’ Day joke, but the company formally announced the move on Tuesday — March 30. VW is adamant the change is real.
“Over the course of the next few months, you will see the brand transition at all consumer touch points,” Kimberley Gardiner, senior vice president, Voltswagen of America brand marketing, said in a statement. “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.”
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
There’s no indication that the global Volkswagen group, based in Germany, will be changing its name.
But this American name change comes just two weeks after the global company announced substantial commitments to invest in battery factories and expand charging networks, as part of its ongoing effort to pivot toward electric vehicles, away from gas- and diesel-powered ones.
CEO Herbert Diess said the transformation “will be bigger than anything the industry has seen in the past century.” And VW is not the only company planning a massive transition: General Motors and Volvo have announced they will sell exclusively electric vehicles by 2035 and 2030, respectively.
Volkswagen suffered a devastating blow to its public image after it was caught designing diesel vehicles to cheat on emissions tests. But Volkswagen’s electric ambitions aren’t only about restoring a tarnished reputation.
As concerns mount over climate change and investors look toward clean technology, the entire auto industry is coalescing behind a vision of the future where new passenger vehicles are powered entirely by batteries or other zero-emissions technology.