UPDATE: VW is now backtracking from changing its name to Voltswagen. In a tweet, the automaker says the whole thing is an April Fool's "effort."
Confirming yesterday's rumor, Voltswagen is officially the new name of Volkswagen in America. The switch officially happens in May 2021.
"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," Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Voltswagen of America said in the official announcement. "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."
Gallery: 2021 Volkswagen ID.4: First Drive
VW will have a distinction between its electric and combustion-powered vehicles. EVs will have a Voltswagen exterior badge, and ICE models will wear the existing VW emblem.
The Voltswagen branding will roll out immediately in advertising, on its Web site, and on social media. Signage with the new name will then start displaying the new moniker at the automaker's properties and dealerships.
"The tone of Voltswagen will be a consistent thread between the branded communications for our growing electric fleet to our gas vehicles. Over the course of the next few months, you will see the brand transition at all consumer touch points," Senior Vice President of Voltswagen of America Brand Marketing Kimberley Gardiner said.
To us, this still seems like a bizarre decision for a company with just one EV in its lineup, but there's no indication that this is an April Fool's joke. In an earlier statement to USA Today, an anonymous VW source indicated the name change would be permanent.
While the ID.4 is VW's only EV available in the US for now, the company has ambitious plans. It wants to sell a million EVs worldwide by 2025. Across all of the group's brands, the business intends to launch over 70 electric products by 2029.