Voltswagen is Dead. ‘Long Live Volkswagen’ Says Automaker After April Fool’s Stunt Fails

By Kurt Stolz on 1 April 2021
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In a move reminiscent of when the International House of Pancakes said it was changing its name to IHOb, the International House of Burgers, a PR stunt that brought that brand great attention, Volkswagen of America said Monday it would change its name henceforth to Voltswagen.

The move, the automaker said, was to call attention to its new lineup of electric vehicles.

While VW intended this to be an April Fool’s Day prank, in reality it became an April Fool’s Day disaster for the company.

The Wolfsburg-based automaker on Monday “accidentally” leaked a news release announcing the change but, by Tuesday afternoon, the company had come clean and admitted it was just a misfire, pun intended, despite, hours earlier, the fact that at least one spokesman for the company confirmed that the change was for real.

“Volkswagen of America will not be changing its name to Voltswagen,” the company said in a statement sent to Frequent Business Traveler. “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.”

The car maker said it would “provide additional updates on this matter soon.”

In the announcement on Tuesday, VW said that it would use the Voltswagen name in ads and on chrome badges on the back of its EVs.  There were no plans to use  the name on any vehicles with internal-combustion engines, the company said in the news release.

In a news release dated the first of April that does not appear to be an April Fool’s Day prank, Volkswagen announced its best first quarter since 2013, with sales up 21% year-over-year.   In addition, March was the automaker’s best single month since 2012.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)