Today, reports that Volkswagen’s U.S. arm would change its name to Voltswagen to reflect its transition to electric vehicle manufacturing started making the rounds. We were incredulous, but we posted about it because that’s what posters do.
Update Monday March 29, 2021 6:05 p.m. EST: Both Erin Marquis and Bradley Brownell have agreed to join me in getting some ink should this name change prove real.
Update Tuesday March 30, 2021 4:49 p.m. EST: Numerous reports have confirmed that I was right about this from the jump. Everything about it screamed “fake” from the tone of the press release to the lack of a trademark filing, to it being exactly the kind of goofy post-modern marketing gimmick that gets approved at a major corporation. Good for VW though, it worked.
Erin’s post expressed plenty of skepticism, but I’m going to take it a step further and say that, for sure, Volkswagen isn’t changing its name to Voltswagen. This is a stunt, and judging by the results a very good one. Anyone who didn’t know that Volkswagen is selling EVs before today, probably knows now.
As Erin alluded to, Voltswagen is the correct American pronunciation, but until I get source with a name, and I see a trademark filing I am absolutely not buying this, definitely not this close to April Fools’ Day.
Mark Gillies is one of the best PR people in the whole car business. If you e-mail him about an all-wheel drive system at 1 a.m., he will exchange e-mails with you until 3 a.m. until every question is answered. Guess who isn’t responding to e-mails today!
Guess who owns the URL Voltswagen.com? Could be you, but it’s definitely not Volkswagen. Did they forget to register the URL? COME ON!
Is it possible that this unnamed source within VW is telling the truth? That VW is on the verge of a massive, expensive and ill-advised rebranding effort in support of the one electric car the company is currently selling in the U.S.?
I suppose it’s possible. But, if it’s actually happening, if I’m wrong, I will personally drive to VW of America headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, in our GTI so that any Volkswagen staffer who wants to can watch me get a tasteful Volkswagen tattoo (my first and probably only tattoo) on my forearm. But I’m guessing that they’ll announce it was a joke on Thursday.