Volkswagen accidentally posted a press release on its website a month early on Monday announcing a new name for its U.S. operations, Voltswagen of America, emphasizing the German automaker’s electric vehicle efforts.
A spokesman for the company declined to comment on the release, which was dated April 29 and has since been taken down.
A person familiar with the company’s plans confirmed the authenticity of the release to CNBC. They asked to remain anonymous because the plans were not meant to be public yet.
The release called the change a “public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility.” It said Voltswagen will be placed as an exterior badge on all EV models with gas vehicles having the company’s well-known “VW” emblem only.
To “preserve elements of Volkswagen’s heritage,” the release said the company planned to retain the dark blue color of the VW logo for gas-powered vehicles, while using a light blue to differentiate “the new, EV-centric branding.”
The release said Voltswagen of America would remain an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America and a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, with headquarters in Herndon, Virginia.
Volts are the derived units for electric potential, also known as electromotive force, between two points. General Motors previously used “Volt” for the name of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle between 2010 and 2019.
The VW press release was incomplete, citing the need for an additional quote and photography from the automaker’s Chattanooga plant in Tennessee.
A name change would be the latest EV news from Volkswagen, which earlier this month held a “Power Day to discuss its EV technologies. It also announced goals of significantly increasing sales of EVs through the end of the decade. It expects more than 70% of its Volkswagen brand’s European sales will be EVs by 2030, up from a previous target of 35%. In the U.S. and China, it expects half of its sales to be EVs by that time frame.
GM earlier this year didn’t go as far as changing its name but announced a new logo and ad campaign focused on EVs. The Detroit automaker’s new logo features its “gm” initials in lowercase letters with the “m” underlined as a nod to its Ultium battery cell platform that will underpin its new EVs The blue letters are inside a rounded box of the same color. It replaced a white “GM” underlined within a darker blue block.
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