Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
VW admits to "Voltswagen" rebranding was a stunt, issues apology
VW admits to "Voltswagen" rebranding was a stunt, issues apology
Credit: Volkswagen, via Twitter

Volkswagen (VW) has issued a statement saying "Volkswagen of America will not be changing its name to Voltswagen" after announcing the rebranding on March 30.

"The renaming was designed to be an announcement in the spirit of April Fool's Day, highlighting the launch of the all-electric ID.4 SUV and signaling our commitment to bringing electric mobility to all," a spokesperson of the company told NPR.

The stunt had not been taken well by both consumers and investors.

“Volkswagen of America developed and implemented a marketing campaign to draw attention — with a wink — to Volkswagen’s e-offensive and the market launch of ID.4 in the USA,” the company further said in a statement. “The intention was to generate awareness of an important corporate and industry issue in the country. We regret that the announcement rollout may have upset some people.”

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Volkswagen is rebranding as "Voltswagen" in the US
Volkswagen is rebranding as "Voltswagen" in the US
Credit: VW

Automotive manufacturing Volkswagen has announced Tuesday that it is rebranding its US branch to Voltswagen.

"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. #Voltswagen #ID4," the company wrote on Twitter.

The automotive company has since announced that they won't rebrand Volkswagen to Voltswagen.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Norway: 61.5% of newly registered cars are now electric
Norway: 61.5% of newly registered cars are now electric

In September 9,560 new electric cars have been registered in Norway making it 61.5% of the total number of car registrations in that month.

Since the beginning of the year, 48,175 electric cars have been registered in the country. Volkswagen is leading in newly registered cars with 1,989 VW ID.3 in September followed by 1,116 registrations of the Tesla Model 3.

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Volkswagen to pay victims of Brazil dictatorship
Volkswagen to pay victims of Brazil dictatorship
Credit: / Julian Hochgesang

The car giant has agreed to pay millions of dollars in compensation over its collaboration with Brazil's dictatorship. But representatives of the regime's victims have said the deal does not suffice.

"We regret the violations that occurred in the past. For Volkswagen, it is important to deal responsibly with this negative chapter in Brazil's history and promote transparency," VW executive Hiltrud Werner told reporters. 

"Volkswagen is concerned with its image and marketing. The donations to be made are presented by the company as charity and not as compensation for its complicity with the dictatorship. Seen in this light, Volkswagen is getting out of this mess in a clean way," said the victims' representative in a press statement. 

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Volkswagen fires software boss after only 14 days
Volkswagen fires software boss after only 14 days
Credit: Copyright: Volkswagen AG

Under the name "Car.Software.Org" VW aims to develop its own operating system for all VW car models and increase the team to around 10,000 employees. On July 1, Christian Senger officially became head of "Car.Software.Org".

Among other things, he is on the board of directors of the core Volkswagen brand and has headed the development of the electric vehicles series "ID". Since March 2019 he has been working on the "Car.Software.Org" project. Now he was released after only 14 days, due to discrepancies with other VW managers. Audi boss Markus Duesmann will develop the VW software now. Volkswagen did not comment on the conflict.

Business • Media & Advertising
Lego, Pepsi, Mars Inc. and others joining the #StopHateForProfit movement
Lego, Pepsi, Mars Inc. and others joining the #StopHateForProfit movement
Credit: Stop Hate For Profit

More and more companies are joining the #StopHateForProfit movement to boycott Facebook over its hate speech policies. Over the past days, numerous brands have announced they would stop advertising on Facebook platforms, including Lego, Pepsi, Henkel, Volkswagen Group, Target, Chobani, Vans, Puma and Mars Inc.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Volkswagen in talks to acquire French car rental firm Europcar
Europcar in the Hamburg Airport
Europcar in the Hamburg Airport Credit: Hamburg Airport

Reuters reports that German carmaker Volkswagen approached French car rental firm Europcar, that struggles to cope with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The deal, if completed, would signal a reversal of strategy for Volkswagen, that sold Europcar in 2006 for €3.32 billion.

In May, Europcar's competitor Hertz filed for bankruptcy protection.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
World's largest car battery maker announces battery that lasts over one million miles
Electric car charging
Electric car charging Credit: Vlad Tchompalov

CATL, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd, the world's largest manufacturer of car batteries for electric vehicles has announced production readiness of a breakthrough battery.

The chairman of the company that supplies Tesla and Volkswagen has announced that it has created a battery that lasts over 1.2 million miles and can run for 16 years.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Volkswagen names Ralf Brandstätter as the new CEO of its VW car brand
Ralf Brandstätter
Ralf Brandstätter Credit: Volkswagen

Volkswagen announced Ralf Brandstätter as the new CEO of the VW brand, to lead cost-cutting efforts at the company’s largest plants in Germany.

Brandstaetter, current COO of VW, replaces Herbert Diess who will retain his title of CEO of Volkswagen Group.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Bentley to cut up to 1,000 jobs in the UK
Bentley Continental GTC
Bentley Continental GTC Credit: Alexander Migl (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

BBC reports that luxury carmaker Bentley is to cut 1,000 jobs in the UK. The company, owned by German car-maker Volkswagen, declined to comment but is expected to make a formal announcement on Friday.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Volkswagen loses first German 'dieselgate' case
Person holding black Volkswagen steering wheel
Person holding black Volkswagen steering wheel Credit: Julian Hochgesang

Germany's top civil court has ruled that Volkswagen must pay compensation to a motorist who had bought one of its diesel minivans fitted with emissions-cheating software. The ruling sets a benchmark for about 60,000 similar cases in Germany.

The company promised "appropriate offers" to those affected. In a statement, Volkswagen said: "Now aims to soon bring these cases to a close in agreement with the plaintiffs,"

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Volkswagen raises rainbow flags in support of diversity and tolerance

The German car manufacturer has raised the rainbow flag outside their Volkswagen brand tower in support of "diversity and tolerance" for the first time as part of the initiative "Wolfsburg diversity and tolerance week" which stands for "a colorful and cosmopolitan community based on solidarity where social origin, sexual orientation and religious affiliation do not play a role" according to the initiators from the organization Aids-Hilfe Wolfsburg e.V..

Volkswagen executive Gunnar Kilian has stated that the company wants to take "a clear stand on respect, equal opportunity, coexistence, equal treatment of everyone – regardless of their ethnic origin, color, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or gender".

Volkswagen announces donation of 200,000 masks

In a press release, the Volkswagen Group has announced that it'll donate around 200,000 FFP-2 and FFP-3 protective masks. The donation is coordinated with Jens Spahn, the German Federal Minister of Health. In addition to this Wolfsburg, the hometown of the Volkswagen Group will receive medical material donations from the company.