German automaker Volkswagen will soon be known as Voltswagen in the United States, marking a move to highlight the company's growing focus on electric cars.
The change, which the company officially announced on Tuesday, will go into effect in May of this year. And no, while the news comes awfully close to April Fools Day, the rebrand is no joke.
"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," Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Voltswagen of America, said in a statement.
"The idea of a 'people's car' is the very fabric of our being," Keogh continued. "We have said, from the beginning of our shift to an electric future, that we will build EVs for the millions, not just millionaires. This name change signifies a nod to our past as the peoples' car and our firm belief that our future is in being the peoples' electric car."
The popularity of the electric car only seems to be growing. Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, carmaker Tesla — which, unlike other companies, does not make a single gas-only vehicle — sold 499,550 electric cars in 2020, a 36 percent increase from its numbers in 2019, per the New York Times.
Voltswagen recently launched its ID.4 electric SUV and has plans to deliver 150,000 by the end of the year, according to The Driven.
"As our newly launched ID.4 campaign demonstrates, the humanity at the core of this brand remains its enduring legacy," said Kimberley Gardiner, senior vice president, Voltswagen of America brand marketing. "The tone of Voltswagen will be a consistent thread between the branded communications for our growing electric fleet to our gas vehicles."
She added: "Over the course of the next few months, you will see the brand transition at all consumer touchpoints. This is an exciting moment for us, and we have been working through every avenue to make the transition clear, consistent, seamless and fun for all."
As of now, the ID.4 is the company's only long-range electric vehicle available in the U.S., The Verge reported.
The "Voltswagen" name change isn't the first (nor will it likely be the last) rebranding effort by car manufacturers to bring attention to their electric vehicles.
In January, General Motors unveiled a new logo that features a lowercase "m" with a line underneath it to evoke an image of an electric plug. The company also announced it was bringing back the Hummer — a symbol of excess fuel consumption in the early- to mid-2000s — as an electric vehicle for 2022.
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