It’s official: Volkswagen’s hype around renaming itself Voltswagen in the U.S. is nothing more than an April Fools’ Day joke.
"Volkswagen of America will not be changing its name to Voltswagen," a company representative said in a statement to Ad Age. "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. We will provide additional updates on this matter soon."
Earlier on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal cited similar comments from officials at the automaker's headquarters in Wolfsberg, Germany.
VW is expected to provide more details on its prank as soon as Wednesday, but it is already dealing with online backlash, especially from automotive journalists.
Plenty of news outlets bit on the news this week, including USA Today, the Associated Press and CNBC, which ran a story today updating the news and calling it an “elaborate April Fools’ Day joke to raise awareness about the company’s all-electric ID.4, according to a person familiar with the ruse.”
The stunt began on Monday morning when the American division of the German automaker put out a press release on its media site stating that Volkswagen Group of America “is unveiling the official change of its U.S. brand name from Volkswagen of America to Voltswagen of America” to lean into its aggressive electric vehicle production plans. But the release, which had sections made to look like they were not complete, was later pulled with a spokesman saying it was “not meant to publish.”