The German automaker Volkswagen is not going to change the name of its US business to Voltwagen of America.
The news, posted on the U.S. media site on Monday and officially announced in a press release on Tuesday, was part of a lengthy April Fool’s joke, the company confirmed in a statement late Tuesday.
“The rebranding should be an April Fool’s joke announcement and highlight the introduction of the ID.4 all-electric SUV,” said Mike Tolbert, US spokesman for VW, in a statement emailed.
The company is expected to release a follow-up announcement by Wednesday morning explaining its marketing strategy, said a person familiar with the plans.
The Wall Street Journal reported the prank on Tuesday and quoted a Volkswagen spokesman in Wolfsburg.
An unfinished version of the first press release was briefly posted on VW’s US media newsroom website on Monday morning before being shut down. Media, including CNBC, reported it as news after it was confirmed by unnamed sources within the company who had apparently lied to several reporters.
The press release said the name change is expected to take effect in May, calling the change a “public statement for the company’s future investment in electric mobility”. It is said that Voltwagen is attached to all EV models as an exterior badge, with gas vehicles only bearing the company’s iconic VW emblem.