By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – German automaker Volkswagen AG (OTC:VWAGY)’s U.S. unit confirmed Tuesday it will rename its U.S. operations as “Voltswagen of America” as it shifts its focus to electric vehicles.
The revised name takes effect in May and the announcement came after several outlets on Monday reported on a draft release mistakenly posted on the automaker’s U.S. website.
“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,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Voltswagen of America in a statement.
The German automaker has committed to sell one million EVs worldwide by 2025.
The traditional VW Dark Blue color logo will remain for gas-powered vehicles and it will use a new light blue logo for electric vehicles. The company will use “Voltswagen” as an exterior badge on all EV models and gas vehicles will only have the VW emblem.
The name change will not impact other VW brands like Audi, Porsche or Bentley.
VW says new exterior and interior signs will soon appear on all U.S. properties and dealerships.
Volkswagen (DE:VOWG_p) in 2015 admitted using illegal software to rig diesel engine tests in the United States, sparking Germany’s biggest corporate crisis and costing the carmaker more than 32 billion euros ($38 billion) in fines, refits and legal costs.
The German automaker, which has operated in the United States since 1955, said on Twitter: “We know, 66, is a unusual age to change your name, but we’ve always been young at heart.”
The world’s second-largest carmaker expects to double electric vehicle deliveries and boost profits for its core brand this year after stepping up its switch to fully electric vehicles.
The Volkswagen brand aims to invest 16 billion euros ($19 billion) in electrification and digitalisation by 2025.
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