Volkswagen not changing name for North America – April Fool’s Day joke meant as US promo for ID.4 SUV

Despite reports earlier this week that Volkswagen was set to adopt the ‘Voltswagen of America’ rebranding for the North American market, the automaker has since confirmed that the move was intended as an April Fool’s Day joke to get conversations started on the arrival of its ID.4 fully electric SUV for that market, reported Reuters.

Volkswagen of America earlier this week stated that its change in brand name to Voltswagen was to stress its commitment to electric vehicles, and was subsequently reasserted that the name change reflected the automaker’s switch in direction to producing more electric vehicles. Company spokesperson Mark Gillies confirmed after that the statement was a pre-April Fool’s Day joke, according to The Guardian.

The original release purported that the name change was to come into effect from May, and the rebranding of its advertising, websites and social media channels would take place immediately.

“We might be changing out our K for a T, but what we aren’t changing is this brand’s commitment to making best-in-class vehicles for drivers and people everywhere,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen of America in the initial statement with the Voltswagen name as sighted by Associated Press.

The “Voltswagen” publicity stunt was aimed at drawing attention to the brand ahead of the ID.4 SUV’s arrival in United States. The ID.4 is Volkswagen’s first SUV built on the fully electric MEB architecture, which also underpins the ID.3 hatchback; the firm’s first pure EV. At the ID.4’s debut, the SUV was priced to start from US$32,500 (RM135,412) after the US$7,500 (RM31,248) US federal tax credit for EVs.

The ID.4 made its debut with a rear axle-mounted drive motor that produces 204 PS – the same as that from the ID.3 hatchback – and gets up to 520 km on the WLTP test cycle from a 77 kWh battery pack. A higher-performance ID.4 GTX is set to premiere in the first half of this year, and this will supplement the base model’s 204 PS rear axle motor with a 102 PS/140 Nm front axle motor for a total of 306 PS.

GALLERY: Volkswagen ID.4

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