Superlatively Stupid: Volkswagen Allegedly Changing Name to 'Voltswagen'

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
superlatively stupid volkswagen allegedly changing name to 8216 voltswagen

Volkswagen is either hellbent on destroying its brand appeal or we appear to be on the receiving end of an early April Fools’ prank because there’s a rumor going around that the automaker is going to be changing its name to “Voltswagen” to better encapsulate what an absolute cringe festival it has become.

Known best for offering unassuming but exceptionally nice to drive automobiles with styling that ages rather well, Volkswagen has been bending over backward to present itself as an EV manufacturer that’s chasing down all the latest trends. But your author is convinced that the initial feedback will be so overwhelmingly negative, VW will ultimately make some excuse and fall back to highlighting its more traditional aspects.

According to USA Today, Volkswagen published a news release dated April 29th on March 29th that outlined its decision to change the corporate moniker. Someone at the company either screwed up royally or just saved the company a fortune by teasing out a decision before it had an opportunity to truly regret it.

From USA Today:

In the errantly published news release, the automaker said that “more than a name change, ‘Voltswagen’ is a public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility.”

“The new name and branding symbolize the highly-charged forward momentum Voltswagen has put in motion, pursuing a goal of moving all people point-to-point with EVs,” the automaker said in the release.

According to the announcement, electric models would get an exterior badge with the name “Voltswagen,” while gas-powered vehicles will have the standard “VW” badge. It was not immediately clear Monday whether any details of the plan are still subject to change.

Considering I would rather read two dozen of the most vapidly apologetic posts VW has ever released acknowledging its historical ties to Nazi German y than utter the phrase “ Voltswagen,” my gut tells me the plan will be subject to change. Something absolutely has to because this is getting legitimately sad. The electric landscape is not only littered with well-financed EV companies that don’t appear to be working on much more than fluffing their share price but also ends up constantly subjecting us to the least thoughtful marketing imaginable. The solution is always to throw in an electrical pun, or chuck an E somewhere in the name and hope for the best while the physical products they represent become increasingly derivative.

We’re now reaching the point where the segment is becoming a parody of itself. And it’s gradually turning mainstream buyers away while only serving to create more obstacles for an industry that claims to want to normalize EVs. Automakers need to stop worrying about how they’ll be branding their push into electrification and profiting off customer data and start worrying about whether or not consumers are going to be interested. Volkswagen has botched the launch of more than one EV and its current lineup doesn’t exactly boast what we’d call desirable electric ranges. Perhaps now would be a good time to focus on the fundamentals and stop farting around with the logo.

[Image: nrqemi/Shutterstock]

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  • Here4aSammich Here4aSammich on Mar 30, 2021

    If this stupid idea is for the US market only, shouldn't it be "VoltsWAGON" instead of "VoltsWAGEN"? Or maybe "VoltsVAGON" to reflect the likely Mexican build location? I mean, if you are going to pander, go all in....

  • Thegamper Thegamper on Mar 30, 2021

    I will believe it if they are still maintaining the change is happening in May.

    • Matt Posky Matt Posky on Mar 30, 2021

      I still think they'll walk it back. People really seem to hate the decision and the timing allows them to remain silent and then say "nah, it was just an April Fools goof we launched 3 days early."

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?
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