The “Voltswagen” April Fool’s prank by Volkswagen’s US subsidiary backfired big time.
Volkswagen’s US subsidiary previously announced that they were “rebranding” to “Voltswagen of America” in a press release on 29 March 2020. Although the press release was removed soon after, it was available to the public long enough for media outlets such as CNBC, CNN and Business Insider to cover it.
A CNBC report stated that the press release stated that the rebranding was expected to take effect in May 2021 and that new electric vehicles (EVs) would carry the new Voltswagen exterior badge. Internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, on the other hand, would still bear Volkswagen’s iconic VW emblem. The press release also mentioned that the change is a “public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility.”
Unfortunately, the April Fool’s prank backfired; the media took the prank as it is and reported it as news. CNBC reported that a person familiar with Volkswagen’s plans confirmed the authenticity of the press release.
Additionally, the report mentioned that Volkswagen’s US spokesman, Mike Robert, said in an email statement that 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.”
The Volkswagen ID.4 SUV is Volkswagen’s first electric SUV available in the US according to Mashable SE Asia. According to Mashable’s writer, Sasha Lekach, the ID.4 is “fun and easy to drive…. it was smooth, quiet and I regenerated some battery charge on downhills and while braking, but it’s the interior features that really make it stand out.”
Written by John Paul Joaquin