By on August 22, 2019

VW logo, Image: Volkswagen

The blue oval. The three-pointed star. The roundel. The four rings. When it comes to cars, some logos are more identifiable than others, but Volkswagen’s glistening chrome emblem ranks near the top of the easy recognition chart.

It’s classic, simple, and maybe a little dusty. Which is why VW plans to change it.

While reports arose last year of a looming, “colorful” change to the highly visible logo, we now have a better idea of what to expect when the automaker shows its new face in Frankfurt next month.

According to Autocar, the brand’s “New Volkswagen” logo aims to look as good on its vehicles as it does on those vehicles’ touchscreens, incorporating a two-dimensional design with no overlap between the “v” and the “w.” Light blue, white, and dark blue are the colors you’ll need to get used to — and so will VW employees, as the automaker plans a company-wide teardown of the old logo in 70,000 global locales following the logo’s September launch.

Blue, of course, is the industry’s go-to color for signifying the presence of electricity, and the Frankfurt Motor Show launch of the brand’s first (of many) I.D.-badged EVs would seem a natural place to kick off the blue-tinged rebranding.

Work on the logo has apparently been ongoing for the past three years. The first vehicle to carry the updated emblem won’t be an all-electric model, however — the eighth-generation Golf, due out late this year, gets that privilege. When the next-gen GTI rolls out, VW fans will be treated to a red logo.

In a release, VW stated that the logo will be “reduced to its essential elements.”

Speaking in Wolfsburg this week, Volkswagen marketing boss Jochen Sengpiehl said the brand’s current logo — last tweaked in 2010 — had “become a bit heavy, somewhat immobile, especially in today’s digital era.”

Ralf Brandstätter, chief operating officer of the Volkswagen brand, said the company’s financially disastrous 2015 diesel emissions scandal was the driving force behind the looming rebrand and the company’s pivot towards electrification.

“What began as a fundamental crisis turned out to be a catalyst for the transformation of Volkswagen,” said Brandstätter. “Now it’s time to boldly move forward. We plan to be the world market leader in electric mobility by 2025, which means selling one million EVs per year by then.”

Europe will naturally be first to see the new logo go up, with China following in October. The new design appears in North America in early 2020.

[Image: Volkswagen Group]

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40 Comments on “Celebrity Makeover: Eager to Rebrand, Volkswagen Readies New Logo for September Debut...”


  • avatar
    whynot

    It sounds like the new logo design will also be how VW will be hiding forward facing radar sensors a la Acura and others.

    I don’t mind shifting to 2D and using color, but I’m curious on how well the non-touching V and W will look.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    If VW from the beginning changed the name (after the war), I might considered their product. As is, VW is associated with NAZI party and no way I buy this.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      As was every company in existence during that time, so I guess any German automotive company that produced vehicles around WWII and still producing would be off-limits.

    • 0 avatar
      Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

      Yawn.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Here’s the problem with the “don’t buy from companies that did bad s**t in a war” argument – AMERICAN companies did their fair share too. Obvious example: who made the planes that turned a large portion of Germany and Japan into smoldering piles of rubble, and nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Boeing. I guess that’s a good reason for Lufthansa and JAL to flip Boeing off, but they didn’t. Good thing, too – lots of Americans work building Boeing planes for those guys.

      That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

      Before too long, no one’s going to be buying anything from anyone, you know?

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        @FreedMike

        Your example is not working. America was attacked. There was Nuremberg trial and Germany has accepted full responsibility, that they were the evil in this war. This wasn’t just a war for land, resources or biblical promises. This was war of extermination and genocide by one side. And Japanese atrocities in China were not far away from what Germans did. Like burying people alive or throwing Chinese babies onto bayonet. And in China today, many people do not buy Japanese goods still.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “This was war of extermination and genocide by one side.”

          Not even remotely true – BOTH sides deliberately went after innocent civilians. The Nazis had death camps; the U.S. used nuclear weapons, and before that, the U.S. and Britain *deliberately* fire-bombed whole cities into rubble. The firebombing of Tokyo alone killed over 100,000 civilians; over 20,000 died in Dresden.

          And don’t even get me started on the s**t the Soviets pulled on Germany. Let’s just say that if Hitler ran up a butcher’s bill during Barbarossa, Stalin paid it in full…with interest.

          And the Allies used armaments produced by American companies to do all of this, which the American companies profited from.

          This obviously isn’t the same thing as herding people into concentration camps and working them to death, but the result is the same: innocent people deliberately killed for a political objective. And American companies made money on it…just like German companies did.

          Sorry, your moral outrage is rather one-sided.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            @FreedMike

            Nuremberg trial decided that criminals were Germans, not US, UK and Soviets. Of course, you wasting paper description these things to me. I know. Just focus on which government was accused of crimes by international community. I personally disgusted by things like bombing of Dresden. However, Germany declared war on US, and not wise versa. German soldiers burned people alive, threw them down mine shafts, etc, in USSR and not vise versa. If Russians did something bad, it was their personal revenge, not the policy, unlike Germany. Also remember, many people understand German army by behavior in the west, like in France. In Russia they did completely different things

          • 0 avatar

            @FreedMike Yeah you are sitting in your chair and BSing about WWII from the safe distance. I would like to hear what would you say if you were drafted and were sent to fight and die during WWII just because Germans and Japanese decided to destroy Western civilization.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      @slavuta: How does a mere name change break the association with a wartime past? Some people would say that it’s deceptive to do so.

      By the way, the war ended 74 years ago. Just how long does the statute of limitations last for wartime animosity?

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        @SCE to AUX

        1. War crimes have no expiration date.
        “Murder, genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crime of aggression have no statute of limitations… The limitations were abolished altogether in 1979, to prevent Nazi criminals from avoiding criminal liability.”

        2. VW is owned by different people from those who owned them during the war, which was Nazi party. If they only wanted to build cars and not keep the Nazi heritage, they would rename this company. Actually, company was supposed to be destroyed but was saved. Its a long story, “…[VW] liable for destruction under the terms of the Potsdam Agreement…”

        In my view… look they taking down statues of General Lee, they want to destroy great painting of G.Washington because it has slaves on it. But somehow, it is OK to have a car named after one of the top Nazis – Porsche! And Nazis were condemned by Nuremberg trial as absolute evil. Then why not call car – Hitler? Would be same thing!

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I hear what you’re saying. But here’s a short list of companies that a) made arms for Axis powers, b) used slave labor, c) made items used to slaughter civilians, d) were led by Nazi sympathizers, or e) all of the above, by any side in WWII:

          1) Mitsubishi, which built the Zero fighter.
          2) Boeing, which built the bombers used to level dozens of cities, including two nuclear strikes.
          3) Rolls Royce, which built the engines used in the P-51 Mustang, which enabled said Boeing bombers to successfully kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
          3) Fiat, which supplied any number of vehicles for Mussolini.
          4) Nakajima Aircraft Company (the parent of Fuji Heavy Industries, better known as Subaru), which built airplanes for the Imperial Japanese Navy.
          5) BMW, which built engines for Messerschmidt fighters.
          6) Hugo Boss (yep, that Hugo Boss)- the fashion designer behind all those super-stylin’ Gestapo and SS outfits.
          7) Henry Ford, Nazi sympathizer.

          Oh, and yeah…since you like Mazdas, you might be interested to learn the forerunner of the company, Toyo Kogyo, was an arms supplier for the Japanese military.

          Good news, though – I’ve just narrowed down your buying choices for any number of consumer goods.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Out of this list, Henry ford is my biggest concern. War is war, I don’t mind when soldiers kill each other. But when soldiers are sent specifically to reduce population, this is different.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike Beranek

      Then you also can’t buy a Ford, GM, or any of the German brands. Also, the Japanese brands are off because they were on Germany’s side. And since Chrysler is now part of Fiat, I guess they’re out too.
      What’s left? South Korea.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    I know the marketing types get all artsy-fartsy over logo design…but really, at then end of the day, will a logo that looks a bit more pleasing on a smartphone screen…will that really move the metal?

    • 0 avatar
      JoeBrick

      As evidenced in another thread, modern corporate philosophy is not about ‘moving metal’…that is until your very existence is in question…like Deutche Bank or Volkswagen,

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      Well, if they changed their logo to a big middle finger and the text, “F*CK THE CUSTOMER” it would probably hurt. So we know that a logo can have an impact – the question is, what has *what* impact? Not many people are going to look at a logo and think, “Oh, that logo sucks; I won’t buy from them”, but people *do* make subconscious judgments about a company based on the look and professionalism of its logo and branding.

      If you want evidence of this, look no further than the people seeing glowing reviews of the Kia K900 or Stinger and vowing they’ll never take the brand seriously because its logo looks ‘cheap’.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        “Well, if they changed their logo to a big middle finger and the text, “F*CK THE CUSTOMER”

        –Funny, that is what I think every time I see the GM logo.

        That said, your points are 100% valid. I agree with you. Thanks for the thoughtful response!

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    I guess that their internal marketing numbers told VW HQ that the youngsters thought VW was an old fogie’s brand—as the new hip, extreme logo will debut on the Golf.

    eh, whatever. the biggest problem for VW in the US isn’t their logo.

    though i do find it funny that Twitter will have a stroke over certain historical figures on statues/paintings/money—-but a car company (as the comment above mentioned) literally founded and named by that guy—-doesn’t get a peep. lol. humans are weird.

    • 0 avatar
      JoeBrick

      @m&msreeses- ” internal marketing numbers told VW HQ that the youngsters thought VW was an old fogie’s brand”
      I wonder if any other carmakers conducted a similar survey*coughCadillac*coughBuick*
      >New logos for Everybody !<

  • avatar

    Perhaps they’ll go with some heritage?

    https://miro.medium.com/max/353/1*0OOiykpyN-3VkpzrN1TzdA.jpeg

    Interesting how that’s now called the “sunwheel” logo, with no mention of the stylized hakenkreuz.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      Hah, Ronnie! Great minds think alike. After I saw this article I immediately researched “KdF wagen insignia” and found this same “sunwheel” logo. LOL!

      • 0 avatar
        JoeBrick

        Hey, guys ! I like this one:
        https://s17-us2.startpage.com/cgi-bin/serveimage?url=https%3A%2F%2Fencrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com%2Fimages%3Fq%3Dtbn%3AANd9GcTDEtnHpbsWrk4ZHy0dWjKYYIuZA5MwfncyRRBvWGzFoDlogTmSQA&sp=4d76d4914c1042701dc52623dbe29aa0&anticache=638750
        or this one will be available soon:
        https://s16-us2.startpage.com/cgi-bin/serveimage?url=https%3A%2F%2Fencrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com%2Fimages%3Fq%3Dtbn%3AANd9GcQ7r-wM1z-NHcxtHgvRjTHU35Z2DVtgyyYFYXXKpWfs03NsX3QH&sp=882a6a4220dc8121df977f941f0dfb51&anticache=768793

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      I had never heard of the sunwheel logo and looked it up. Somehow I dont think this would be in the running for a new logo…..ever. Interesting bit of history though.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Lotus just changed their logo and frankly no one really cares. It’s all about the cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      “It’s all about the cars.” That’s the last thing the top brass wants to hear. If it’s about the product, they’ll have to let engineers and designers make decisions instead of executives. The bureaucracy has spent years trying to take engineering and design out of the equation, and putting emphasis on product will undo all that work.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    This will be the biggest thing since New Coke.

  • avatar
    JoeBrick

    They could use the Lucent “Ring of Quality” logo. It was like the ring left on your coffee table when someone forgot to use a coaster.

    I am sure that VW spent millions on their new logo. Will a NEW LOGO make people forget about the diesel-cheating scandal ? Figure the odds.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Hope they are more careful than these guys.

    (delete)https://gizmodo.com/swastika-ride-shut-down-at-german-amusement-park-after-1837467136

  • avatar
    Steve203

    Oh good grief! How much did some “management consultant” pocket for this one? I’m still laffing at their changing the font used for the “das auto” slogan a few years ago.

    Steve

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Well…..those management and/or image consultants must be laughing all of their way to the bank.

    It is amazing how much money and effort corporations spend polishing their images, forgetting that your product’s reputation actually carries it for you.

    • 0 avatar
      TheDumbGuy-formerly JoeBrick

      @Schmitt trigger- “It is amazing how much money and effort corporations spend polishing their images, forgetting that your product’s reputation actually carries it for you.” TRUE !
      These people are not like us. They think that they are always the smartest people in the room, and that their excrement smells pretty. They all go to the same schools, join the same clubs, and drink the same brands. They send their children to the same schools that they went to, and teach them the same lessons that they were taught. Their “management styles” consist of new buzzwords backstabbing, and gimmicks. They move subordinates around like chesspieces, and sometimes kick the board over. Later they are replaced by someone just like them, only younger. They will be the same whether their raison d’être is raising the stock price endlessly, or some new BS.
      “American Management”.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Farfrumoilin.


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