UPDATE, 31 March 2021: It now appears Volkswagen will not change its name in the US to ‘Voltswagen’, despite earlier assurances.
You can read further about the developing story here.
Volkswagen will change the name of its US division to 'Voltswagen of America', in a push to highlight the brand’s shift towards electrification.
According to US business news outlet CNBC, an incomplete press release leaked overnight suggests the 'Voltswagen' moniker will be used on all zero-emission models from May 2021 onwards, while internal combustion variants will – at least for the time being – retain the existing Volkswagen badging.
A spokesperson for the brand in Australia assured CarAdvice the name change was not an April Fools ploy, however confirmed there would be no rebrand locally: “This is purely a US gambit. Nomenclature is scarcely a consideration in Australia where the overriding concern is overcoming official indifference, indeed hostility, to wider electric vehicle implementation.”
Earlier this month the Volkswagen brand criticised Australia’s environmental regulations, and suggested the country could become an “automotive third world” if existing policy was not reconsidered.
The manufacturer – which has faced its own significant emission scandals in the past – currently offers an ID.3 electric hatchback and ID.4 electric SUV (shown below) in international markets including the US, however is yet to introduce either Down Under.
The mid-sized ID.4 – which costs less than US$40,000 (AU$52,000) in most US states after subsidies are applied – will likely be the first all-electric Volkswagen variant introduced in Australia, with unconfirmed reports suggesting arrival in 2023.