After the chaos of Monday’s accidental leak, which many (Autoblog included) initially interpreted as an April Fool’s misfire, VW of America hurriedly outlined its intent to rebrand in support of its long-term electrification plans. Starting in May, VW’s U.S. operation will be known as “Voltswagen of America.” Still don’t believe it? Here it is, from VW of America boss Scott Keogh:
“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 Keogh. “The idea of a ‘people’s car’ is the very fabric of our being. We have said, from the beginning of our shift to an electric future, that we will build EVs for the millions, not just millionaires. This name change signifies a nod to our past as the peoples’ car and our firm belief that our future is in being the peoples’ electric car.”
The announcement also confirms some details that emerged late Monday amid mounting evidence that the presumed joke was in fact legitimate. “Voltswagen” will be an exclusively American brand underneath the Volkswagen Group of America corporate umbrella, which includes the U.S. arms of Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini, and is itself an off-shoot of Volkswagen AG.
Monday’s leak came a month ahead of the intended announcement, which was planned to coincide with the U.S. launch of VW’s new, all-electric ID.4. crossover, which would have been the first tangible component of VW’s broader pivot to battery-electric vehicles here in the United States. The ID.4 will be a nationwide offering, not merely an offering for California emissions states, signaling what VW claims is an all-in approach to bringing electric cars to the masses.
“That’s been the mission since the larger Volkswagen Group became the first major automaker to support the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement,” VW said in its official announcement. “With an added target of a 30 percent reduction in the company’s carbon footprint by 2025, and net-carbon neutrality by 2050. A resulting commitment to sell 1 million EVs worldwide by 2025 will see more than 70 electric models launched across the VW group brands by 2029.”
VW will preserve elements of its current branding, including its recently overhauled logo and its long-standing color themes, with light-blue elements signifying its new electric models. EVs will wear a badge that spells out “Voltswagen” to distinguish them from ICE-powered cars, which will retain the traditional VW logo in dark blue.
VW says to expect marketing support at local dealerships to begin soon.