A day after Volkswagen said it was changing its name to ‘Voltswagen,’ company now calls it a joke, reports say

The Volkswagen ID.4 EV sport-utility vehicle is the German automaker's new electric car. (Photo: Volkswagen)

About that plan to change Volkswagen of America’s name. Never mind.

The automaker’s plan to change its American division’s name to “Voltswagen,” as part of its investment in electric vehicles was all a joke.

Volkswagen officials at the company’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, have told The Wall Street Journal that a press release about the name change was a joke aimed at getting attention for its all-electric SUV the ID.4, which has just gone on sale.

The announcement was part of an April Fools’ Day joke to build hype for the vehicle, a person familiar with the situation told CNBC.

The company is expected to issue a statement Wednesday – the day before April Fools’ Day – about the name change being a stunt, a company official told the Journal.

“It’s a premature April Fools’  joke. It’s part of a marketing campaign for the ID.4,” the Journal reported a person at Volkswagen HQ saying. “There will be no name change.”

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An announcement about the name change appeared briefly on the German automaker’s media site Monday before it was removed. That was not the result of the site being hacked, or as part of a joke, a person familiar with the company’s plans told USA TODAY Monday on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

An email announcing the name change also went out Tuesday morning to media. It contained a link to a full press release. “We might be changing out our K for a T, but what we aren’t changing is this brand’s commitment to making best-in-class vehicles for drivers and people everywhere,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen of America in the release.

Other major news outlets in addition to USA TODAY reported the purported name change including CNBC, The Associated Press and Reuters. 

Volkswagen of America had not responded to a request for comment from USA TODAY.

Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

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