By on March 29, 2021

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 Germany 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]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

53 Comments on “Superlatively Stupid: Volkswagen Allegedly Changing Name to ‘Voltswagen’...”


  • avatar

    I eye rolled so hard at this. Don’t change your name to something trendy because at the end of the day it means -nothing- for the product.

    And it would just be the US entity changing names anyway, not the company behind it. Hollow gesture, just like you’d expect.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “From USA Today:”

    you don’t need to know anything else.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      A quick Google search shows several news agencies carrying a story about it.

    • 0 avatar
      fazalmajid

      USA Today is the news outlet that disclosed George W Bush’s illegal warrantless wiretapping program spying on Americans, when the New York Times knew and sat on it for a year.

      As for “Voltswagen”, it’s catchy and a break from the unsavory Hitlerian origins of “volkswagen”. It’s also good to see for a change a German automaker that’s not complacent about how quickly gas engines are going to be consigned to dustheap of history, along with automakers that cling to them.

      VW owns Porsche and Porsche dealers are telling HQ they don’t think there is a point in making ICE Porsches any more given how good the Taycan is.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Do it you cowards.

  • avatar
    aero1

    The only thing I eye rolled eye at was this article.. more drivel from TTAC

  • avatar
    Rocket

    It’s nothing more than an elaborate publicity stunt, no doubt influenced by the success IHOP had doing something similar about three years ago. Even VW isn’t THAT stupid.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Posky bites hook, line, and sinker. Well done, VW PR.

    For those who haven’t been paying attention but are reduced to red-faced sputtering by the very idea of battery-powered cars, this isn’t even a new trick. IHOP did it a couple of years ago to promote burgers. Google “IHOB.”

  • avatar
    Cicero

    The KdF Wagen name has been nearly forgotten but maybe now is a good time to consider bringing it back.

  • avatar
    Stanley Steamer

    This is genius marketing to the next generation of consumers. No American kid can say Volkswagen. They all say Voltswagon. Familiarity is everything!

  • avatar
    erlebo

    Did you post this three days early?

  • avatar
    da-jonesy

    Um… April… Fools?

  • avatar

    It is nothing compared with how America and American society and even history changed last year, which to say the least is scary. Changes just happen for better or worse. Yes Volkswagen is associated with Hitler, fascism and racism and they would change the name, sooner or later.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Americans are not woke enough to realize that Porsche is a bad thing to have on the road. Where is Antifa? They have not destroyed a single Porsche dealership

      • 0 avatar
        Old_WRX

        “Where is Antifa?”

        I thought Aunt Eefah was the replacement for Aunt Jemima. Shows how much I know:) But, why would antifa attack Porsches? Antifa is fascist. Which is exactly why they call themselves anti-fascist. I’d say things are getting really confusing, but it’s more like really stupid.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      Wouldn’t that have already happened by say the late 60’s? The greatest generation who fought fascism and obviously knew how bad it was just wanted a quality inexpensive to operate vehicle. Same with their boomer generation kids who saw their quirkiness. I don’t think there were any premature anti fascists and red diaper babies hankering to buy a Soviet built Lads or a Zil. Just look at the lack of success of the Yugo.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        There is a problem there. Soviets popularized fascists. Germans were Nazis, Italians – fascists. But soviets did not like that Germans were members of National Socialist party, that gave socialism a bad name. So they slapped them with fascist label and everybody else bought the product.

        • 0 avatar
          Stanley Steamer

          uhhhh hmmmmm whaaa?

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          slavuta,

          Personally I don’t care what they are called — communists, socialists, nazis, wokeys… A violent bullying thief is a violent bullying thief no matter what the denomination. I just wish they’d go play somewhere else.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Old_WRX
            They are playing right here, right now. I wonder, will they let me leave this s#it#0le of what used to be the best country, without Covid Passport?

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      slavuta,

      “They are playing right here, right now.”

      So, is Chauvin going to be found innocent or guilty? If they go with not-guilty it will be Armageddon in Minneapolis-St. Paul. I have a strong feeling it won’t just be there, but will be countrywide.

      As I recall it was reported that the autopsy showed that Chauvin’s knee was not the cause of death — for what that’s worth.

      ” will they let me leave this s#it#0le”

      Where would you go where this madness won’t follow you? If I’m right about the post Chauvin trial riots then we’ll be under marshal law or some such before long.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Old_WRX

        of course, those who saw the full video would see that new American hero, golden coffin drug addict and pregnant woman terrorist Mr. 5-prison terms criminal.. was resisting the arrest, did not want to go into police car, and went to the hospital on his own feet. At least the good news, he is 6 feet under. One problem solved.

        “If they go with not-guilty it will be Armageddon”

        The “Freedomhouse” says
        “The United States has a deeply rooted rule-of-law tradition, and legal and constitutional protections for due process are widely observed. However, the criminal justice system suffers from a number of chronic weaknesses, many of which are tied to racial discrimination and contribute to disparities in outcomes that disadvantage people of color, particularly Black Americans.”
        So, I say – policeman walks free because he is white. haha. Armageddon!! Many of burned cars.

        “Where would you go where this madness won’t follow you?”

        Options are there actually. Spain, for example. Living there is cheap. I can still WFH as I do now. I can pay $1000/year into their healthcare and be covered. In Europe, a lot of people retire in Spain. Actually Europe is awakening slowly. US is way behind in trends. Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, France – all started to curb immigration. Right parties gain support everywhere. Eastern European members of EU are totally against wokeness. And because left loses positions on popular issues, they suddenly start supporting right point, well, to keep holding power.

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          “US is way behind in trends”

          Probably at least in part due to the fact that ‘merkins tend to be painfully politically naive.

          Spain is nice — at least it was in 1974 when I was there. Beautiful country.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Hey TTAC, here’s another hot tip for you. Run with this story before any of the other sites:

    https://www.sci-nature.vip/2019/11/breaking-researchers-at-cern-break.html

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    I heard that Ford’s electric pickup will be named the Henry.

    An all-electric AC Cobra could be renamed as the AC Cobra.

    Hertz is all set [outside of the whole bankruptcy thing].

    Stellantis is considering a name change to Maxwell – the decision is still in flux.

    Gonna step-down now (with some reluctance).

  • avatar
    Steve203

    My first take when I saw this was April Fool. Then I remembered VW paying some management consulting company a bucket of loot to change the font on the “das auto” slogan, then paid out another big pile to make an even more imperceptible change in the VW logo.

    Then I remembered, VW rehired Johan De Nysschen, the king of pointless rebranding programs in 2019, after Cadillac tossed him.

    Why don’t they go all in on compounding failure and hire Jim Hackett, so he can vacantly blather about “fitness”?

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    One could say, that was a POS move.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    If it isn’t a ‘wagon’ won’t this be false labeling?

    https://newsroom.vw.com/vehicles/the-golf-sportwagen-and-alltrack-close-a-five-decade-run-of-vw-wagons-in-america/

    https://www.stimmel-law.com/en/articles/false-advertising-or-labeling-rights-and-remedies

  • avatar
    stuki

    Welcome to the DumbAge. The Caliphate couldn’t come to our rescue soon enough….

  • avatar
    13kRPM

    Here I fixed that introduction to the brand:

    Known best for offering unassuming but exceptionally poorly built and unreliable automobiles with styling that ages rather well which can be admired parked on the streets and in the yards of this country in a highly depreciated and inoperable condition. . .

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Whether an April Fool’s gag or not, there is no doubt in my mind, whatsoever, that this is directly related to VW calling their upcoming, retro EV microbus the ‘I.D. Buzz’…

  • avatar
    here4aSammich

    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….

  • avatar
    thegamper

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

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      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.”

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Inside Looking Out: May be EBFlex is Biden.
  • dal20402: “Most long-distance over-the-road trucking will be gone by 2030.” Cannot possibly imagine this...
  • 28-Cars-Later: That’s why they do it that way, otherwise it looks like they are raising prices. No we...
  • 28-Cars-Later: Sounds about right.
  • brn: Which raises the price for you and me.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber