Volkswagen’s has confirmed it will rename its US operations as “Voltswagen of America” as it shifts its focus to electric vehicles.
The revised name takes effect in May and the announcement came after several outlets on Monday reported on a draft release mistakenly posted on the automaker’s US website. It’s expected similar moves will follow suit in other regions, although some reports have ruled it out for Europe in the near future.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Volkswagen changing its name to reflect its electric future – and along the way chucking 70-some years of carefully crafted brand awareness in the bin – might be an early April Fools joke. But apparently it’s not, according to reports.
The move was confirmed by its boss in the US. “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 Voltswagen of America in a statement.
The German automaker has committed to sell one million EVs worldwide by 2025.
The traditional VW Dark Blue colour logo will remain for petrol and diesel-powered vehicles and it will use a new light blue logo for electric vehicles.
The company will use “Voltswagen” as an exterior badge on all EV models and other vehicles will only have the VW emblem.
Volkswagen in 2015 admitted using illegal software to rig diesel engine tests in the United States, sparking Germany’s biggest corporate crisis and costing the carmaker more than €32 billion in fines, refits and legal costs.
The German automaker, which has operated in the United States since 1955, said on Twitter: “We know, 66, is a unusual age to change your name, but we’ve always been young at heart.”
The world’s second-largest carmaker expects to double electric vehicle deliveries and boost profits for its core brand this year after stepping up its switch to fully electric vehicles. The Volkswagen brand aims to invest €16 billion in electrification and digitalisation by 2025. – Reuters