On Tuesday, German auto manufacturer Volkswagen announced that its US operations would be renamed. And as well the company's spokespeople confirmed the same and major news publications quoted them, social media users were thrown for a loop. Voltswagen of America, netizens were convinced, was here to stay.
"We know, 66 is an unusual age to change your name, but we’ve always been young at heart. Introducing Voltswagen. Similar to Volkswagen, but with a renewed focus on electric driving. Starting with our all-new, all-electric SUV the ID.4 - available today," said a promotional tweet on the company's official Twitter handle.
This purported change however posed quite a conundrum. While the new name gave many who had thus far persistently mispronounced the brand hope, others were baffled. "Cool, now is it pronounced Volts-wagen or Volt-swagen? I’m asking for a friend," jibed one Twitter user.
"Is it pronounced Voltswagen or Fau-ltswagen?" asked another.
The joke however was on those who hopped onto the Voltswagen train to mock the company. You see, this was supposed to be an April Fool's day prank. And while we're not sure if it was amusing enough, it has certainly achieved it's purpose.
“We didn’t mean to mislead anyone. The whole thing is just a marketing action to get people talking about the ID.4," a Volkswagen spokesman in Wolfsburg told The Wall Street Journal. The publication had earlier quoted a spokesperson to break the news about the purported name change.
Well, people are certainly talking. But not everyone is appreciative of the idea. "Turns out 'Voltswagen' was actually an April Fools Day lie. It's not April Fools day...or even the day before April Fools Day. This was awful," lamented one user.
"If a Volkswagen spokesperson lied to you on background yesterday about this you should absolutely name them. It’s one thing to do a stunt, it’s another thing to just lie about it and publish a full press release with no nod to the bit," countered another user.