Volkswagen AG’s U.S. unit issued a false news release claiming it would rename its U.S. operations as “Voltswagen of America” in a marketing stunt designed to call attention to its electric vehicle efforts, the carmaker said.
Volkswagen came under criticism on social media for its misleading news release, with some commentators recalling the company’s diesel emissions scandal and years of misleading customers and regulators.
The initial news release, posted on its website and accompanied by tweets, was reported by Reuters and other outlets globally and included a detailed description of its purported rebranding efforts and new logos.
The company pulled it late Tuesday.
“Volkswagen of America will not be changing its name to Voltswagen. The renaming was designed to be an announcement in the spirit of April Fool’s Day, highlighting the launch of the all-electric ID.4 SUV and signaling our commitment to bringing electric mobility to all,” a VW U.S. spokesman said in a statement.