Goodbye, Dieselgate. Hello, new Volkswagen.
Volkswagen has had some trouble in recent years with its image, the emissions scandal known as "Dieselgate" having tarnished its reputation some, to say the least. But it's keen to put that all behind it and present a brave new face to the world. And here it is.
On the eve of the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show last night, the quintessentially German automaker revealed a new take on its iconic logo – a simpler, friendlier version of the widely recognized VW emblem that it's set to roll out around the world by the middle of next year, and much more besides.
The VW letters remain enclosed, as you can see, in a circle like it always has. But where the previous logo was three-dimensional with a metallic look on a blue background, this one's much simpler – just the essential form, flat and two-dimensional, rendered in a darker shade of blue on a blank white background.
It will feature on all the company's buildings, dealers, products, literature, websites... everywhere the brand is represented. But the rebranding – undertaken internally by the automaker's own design and marketing departments – comes down to more than just a new take on the old logo.
There's a new "sound logo" to represent the brand acoustically, marketing materials will be more colorful, videos will be narrated by a female (instead of male) voice, and photography will be less "polished" and more relatable. Light will play a new role, and the logo will be flexibly placed within a "moving frame."
"The new brand design marks the start of the new era for Volkswagen," said sales/marketing chief Jurgen Stackmann. "By formulating new content and with new products, the brand is undergoing a fundamental transformation towards a future with a neutral emission balance for everyone. Now is the right time to make the new attitude of our brand visible to the outside world."
"In the new brand design, we have created an authentic communications platform for the emotional presentation of e-mobility," added chief designer Klaus Bischoff. "We are showing the Volkswagen of the future under the motto of 'digital first' and 'no filter'."
The rebranding effort started last night when Volkswagen unveiled the new logo placed atop its headquarters in Wolfsburg, spearheading the campaign in Europe. China will be next, followed by the Americas next year. By mid-2020, VW will have replaced 70,000 logos at its 10,000 dealers and service centers in 154 countries around the world.