AP source: VW plans brand-name change to 'Voltswagen' in US
DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen plans to change its brand name in the United States to “Voltswagen” as its shifts its production increasingly toward electric vehicles and tries to distance itself from an emissions cheating scandal.
A person briefed on the plan said a formal announcement is planned for Tuesday. The person didn't want to be identified because the plans had not been made public.
The company had briefly posted a press release on its website early Monday announcing the brand name change. The press release was noticed by a reporter from USA Today before it was removed. The release was dated April 29.
The premature release comes as VW is taking reservations for the new ID.4 small electric SUV in the U.S. It’s the company’s only new electric model sold in the United States, though there are plans for more, including a nostalgic reprise of the company’s Microbus.
Even with the ID.4 fully on sale, only a small fraction of VWs on U.S. roads will bear the “Voltswagen” name. The vast majority of VW’s vehicle sales in the U.S. will still be powered by gasoline for the foreseeable future and will continue to be labeled simply as “VW.” The German automaker sold just under 326,000 VW-branded vehicles in the U.S. last year.
The person who was briefed on the plan said the name Volkswagen Group of America, which also includes the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini brands, won't change. Rather, only the ‘k’ in the Volkswagen brand itself will be changed to a ‘t.’
An exterior badge with the name “Voltswagen” will be affixed to the company’s electric vehicles, while gas-powered vehicles will still have the normal “VW,” but no brand name on them, the person said.
The premature news release said the move amounted to a public declaration...