Volkswagen of America will become Voltswagen (emphasis added) from America in April, according to a press release briefly available on the automaker’s website. The company has already deleted this document.
Given the timing, the obvious initial reaction was that it would be an April Fool’s joke by the automaker to promote its electric vehicles. However, an “unnamed person familiar with the company’s plans” told Automotive News it wasn’t just a joke.
An anonymous insider told USA Today the change will be permanent.
Motor1.com has contacted VW for more details, but the company has provided no comment.
Despite these anonymous statements, there is good reason to doubt that Volkswagen will change its name to Voltswagen for an extended period. First, searches by the US Patent and Trademark Office and the World Intellectual Property Organization do not show any live trademarks for “Voltswagen”.
Plus, brand changes are costly. Every reference to the company must change, whether it’s online or in one of the many documents dealers use to sell a vehicle. Is all this effort changing a letter in a name?
VW still sells many vehicles in the United States that do not offer any form of electrification. While there are plenty of EVs on the way, the only one currently available in America is the ID.4. In addition, VW CEO Ralf Brandstätter recently said the automaker “will still need combustion engines for a while” and indicated that the Golfs, Passat, T-Roc and Tiguan will form the core of the models. ICE. It seems a bit premature to rename Voltswagen when so many products are not electric vehicles.
One possibility about this upcoming announcement is that it could be a temporary change, rather than a lasting one. It is not without precedent either. In 2003, Wolfsburg, the city where VW is headquartered in Germany, briefly became Golfsburg to mark the launch of the fifth generation Golf.