Detroit – Volkswagen plans to change its brand name in the United States to “VW” as its production is increasingly focused on electric cars and is trying to distance itself from a scandal due to deception in measuring its car emissions, a person familiar with the matter mentioned Monday of the plans.
The company is scheduled to make the official announcement on Tuesday, according to the person who asked to speak on condition of anonymity because the plans have not been made public.
The company briefly posted a statement on its website early Monday announcing the name change. Correspondent from USA Today Note the statement before withdrawing it. The document is dated April 29.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen is accepting reservations for the new ID.4 electric SUV in the US. It’s the company’s only new electric model to sell in the country, though there are plans for more, including a reissue of Hanin for the company’s Microbus.
Even with ID.4 on sale, only a small fraction of US road VWs will have the name “Voltswagen”. The majority of the company’s vehicle sales in the United States in the near future will continue to be gasoline powered and will continue to be branded “Volkswagen”. Last year, the German automaker sold just under 326,000 Volkswagen-branded cars in the United States.
The person familiar with the plan said the US Volkswagen Group name, which also includes the brands Audi, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini, will not change. Instead, only the “k” in the Volkswagen brand will be changed to “t”.
The person added that electric cars will carry an external badge with the name “VW Volkswagen”, while gasoline-powered cars will still carry the usual “Volkswagen” name, but without brand names.
The statement indicated that the measure was a public statement of the company’s future investment in electric vehicles.
Volkswagen was trying to clean up its image after US authorities discovered in 2015 that so-called “clean” diesel vehicles had fooled emissions tests. The vehicles activated pollution controls during EPA tests, then stopped them while they were being used on the streets.
Volkswagen pleaded guilty in 2017 and agreed to pay $ 4.3 billion in civil and criminal fines, in addition to billions of dollars for auto buybacks. Two people went to jail.