It's a shocking turn of events.
Remember last month, in the days leading up to April 1 when Volkswagen announced that it was changing its name to Voltswagen? Supposedly, this new name would highlight VW's commitment to electric vehicles like the ID.4 and the rest of the ID. range. This later turned out to be a poor April Fool's joke, and although some customers found it amusing, most just glossed over it and thought that Volkswagen could have done better. But what if Volkswagen was actually very clever and used the ruse of a joke to manipulate share prices? Well, that's exactly what the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is aiming to determine.
According to a report by German publication Spiegel, investigations at the SEC are at an early stage but began almost immediately after the event, with authorities having made a request for information right at the beginning of April. Volkswagen has since confirmed that the request was made and that it has cooperated with the responsible authorities, but the media accused VW of being misleading.
What benefit VW actually would have got out of this hasn't been made clear since the share price of the company hardly changed during the period in which people were told that the brand's name was changing.
It seems like it should just be a harmless anecdote in VW's history, but the media isn't letting it go. The result is that, according to reports, Volkswagen considers the campaign a dismal failure. What was supposed to be a light-hearted if poorly executed joke has now turned into another reason for the media to attack Volkswagen. It seems that the 'Dieselgate' scandal wasn't enough, and VW is being shamed without any consideration. But as harsh as that may seem, Spiegel further reports that some internal guidelines may have been violated by the running of the campaign. VW needs this to blow over soon or its reputation may never fully recover.