Oops: VW accidentally upstages own rebrand with premature press release

Someone at the automotive brand hit “publish” a month too soon.

VW: logo appearing on the company's HQ in Wolfsburg. Germany
VW: logo appearing on the company's HQ in Wolfsburg. Germany

Volkswagen accidentally announced the new name of its US operations, Voltswagen of America, with a now-unpublished press release on its website on Monday morning. 

The pun on the original name is meant to emphasize the German automaker's efforts to prioritize electric vehicles, according to the release, which was dated 29 April and has since been taken down.

The statement called the change a “public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility" and said Voltswagen will be placed as an exterior badge on all electric models. Gas vehicles will still have the company's iconic "VW" emblem. 

A source familiar with the company's plans confirmed the release's authenticity to media outlets, staving off accusations of a corporate April Fool's Day joke gone awry. 

The press release was not finished when it was published, with notes for an additional quote and photography from the company's Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant to be added.

Voltswagen of America will remain an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America and a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, with US headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, the release said.

The name change is set to take place just weeks after Volkswagen held a "Power day" to discuss its latest electric vehicle tech and announce its goals of increasing electric vehicle sales over the next decade. 

This story first appeared in PR Week