After making headlines for a name change, the car maker Volkswagen will not be changing to "Voltswagen" in an effort to highlight it's commitment to electric vehicles. The Associated Press reports company spokesman Mark Gillies, confirmed Tuesday that the statement had been a pre-April Fool's Day joke after having insisted Monday that the release was legitimate and the name change accurate. The company's false statement was distributed again Tuesday, saying the brand-name change reflected a shift to more battery-electric vehicles. The report of the name change was more than just a prank however, the company went as far as sending out emails with a statement from the CEO Scott Keogh:
"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."
The fake news release of the name change made Volkwagen stocks jump 5% Tuesday, which could cause problems with U.S. securities regulators. The market has been reacting well to companies that are moving towards electrifying operations, making this prank seem so believable. The company then backtracked and said the name change was not real:
"The renaming was designed to be an announcement in the spirit of April Fool's Day."
The name change prank is widely seen as a bad move on the company's part because Volkswagen has image issues following a 2015 scandal in which it cheated on government emissions tests and allowed diesel-powered vehicles to illegally pollute the air.2015 scandal in which it cheated on government emissions tests and allowed diesel-powered vehicles to illegally pollute the air. The company's fake news release was confirmed Tuesday by the media, has resulted in articles about the name change in multiple media outlets, including The Associated Press.In falsely announcing a name change, the company went beyond telling reporters that its news release was legitimate.