Three days after Volkswagen issued a statement reporting the alleged name change of its operations in the United States, the car company acknowledged this Wednesday (03/31/2021) that it was all a publicity stunt, amid outrage and pressure from the press.
In a statement sent to Efe on Wednesday, VW spokesman in the United States, Mark Gillies, explained that the statement was part of an advertising campaign “to draw attention” to the launch of a new model of electric vehicle. Despite the numerous criticisms that the company has received in the last hours, Gillies stressed that the numerous positive responses on social networks show that the company has achieved that goal.
Early on Wednesday, VW tried to calm the waters with a tweet on its official account stating that “what began as an effort by April Fool’s [el día de las inocentadas, que en EE. UU. se celebra el 1 de abril] has become a buzz all over the world “and added that” it doesn’t matter if it’s Voltswagen or Volkswagen, people are talking about electric driving. “(The supposed change replaced ‘Volk’ – ‘town’ in German – by ‘volt ‘–’Volt’ in English– in the company name).
However, the press in the United States has stopped talking about the launch of VW’s first electric vehicle (EV) model to criticize its tactics and remember that the German firm, founded during Nazism, has a history of deceiving the public and failed advertising campaigns. Only after VW in Germany confessed, did VW spokesman in the United States, Mark Gillies, corroborate that he had been lying to the country’s main media, from the AP news agency to USA Today, to CNBC and The Washington Post.
The matter could cause problems for Volkswagen from the stock regulator for market manipulation, as the company’s shares rose 5% on Tuesday after the false statement was issued. (efe / ap)