German automotive giant Volkswagen will reportedly be changing the name of its United States operations brand to Voltswagen of America, according to an accidental leak by the company and subsequently confirmed by various outlets.
Volkswagen accidentally posted a press release on its website on Monday, March 29, which seems to have been intended instead for April 29.
Highlighting the company’s electric future, the name change will see Volkswagen of America change to Voltswagen of America, a move described by the company as “a public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility.”
“By definition, Volts are the derived units for electric potential between two points,” the press release continued. “The new name and branding symbolize the highly-charged forward momentum Voltswagen has put in motion, pursuing a goal of moving all people point-to-point with EVs.”
Unsurprisingly, Volkswagen has declined to confirm or deny the accidental leak on the record, but several outlets, including CNBC, Road & Track, and Roadshow have all since confirmed with sources inside Volkswagen the authenticity of the leak.
“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,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of the newly-named Voltwagen of America, in a quote provided in the now vanished press release.
“The idea of a ‘people’s car’ is the very fabric of our being,” Keogh continued. “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.”
With April Fool’s Day just a day or so away, and only days after the first Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUVs were delivered to customers in Germany, one wonders whether this “leak” is an intended publicity coup to drive up consumer interest even more.
The first ID.4 electric SUVs were delivered to German customers at the company’s Transparent Factory in Dresden and the Autostadt in Wolfsburg last week, the second VW vehicle to be built on the carmaker’s module electric drive (MEB) platform, behind the wildly successful ID.3.
The company’s leaked press release also referenced the March 16 news that the ID.4 had begun arriving in the United States ahead of a mid-year release.
“The launch of the ID.4 represents a huge inflection point for the Volkswagen brand, and its foray into becoming a major player in the electric vehicle space,” said Taylor Olson, EV sales strategy and dealer development lead for Volkswagen of America, speaking mid-March.
“The ID.4 is the right car at the right time and is being sold by a dealer network that has really embraced the shift to electrification.”
Volkswagen is expecting to deliver over 150,000 ID.4s globally by year’s end – an estimate that, only a month earlier, sat at 100,000 ID.4s – and with its ID.3 electric small hatch winning Best Small Hatch award at the UK Car of the Year Awards 2021 earlier in March, it doesn’t seem as if Volkswagen needs more good publicity.
But with US President Joe Biden’s plans to stimulate the country into a shift to electric vehicles, Voltswagen née Volkswagen might be looking to drum up extra attention wherever possible.