Volkswagen’s leaked press release has left many reporters, including those from the Associated Press and USA Today, feeling angry. The press release obtained by the Washington Post and USA Today on March 29, 2021, indicated that the company was changing its name from Volkswagen to Voltswagen in a renewed effort to bring the public’s attention to their lineup of electric cars.
Volkswagen’s Social Media Posts
Volkswagen also tweeted about the name change on their social media account, where they posted that “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.”
Stock Prices Rose
USA Today spokeswoman Chrissy Terrell says that Volkswagen is part of the misinformation problem that is very evident in the United States today.
Volkswagen stock rose by about 5% after the initial press release leaked but soon fell to pre-release levels. Some suggest that this should prompt an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Musk and Tesla
Some compare this prank by Volkswagen to one attempted by Elon Musk in 2015 when he announced that he had secured the funding to take Tesla private. Stock prices rose on the news. Musk had to admit that he did not have the funding needed. In that case, the Securities and Exchange Commission forced Musk and Tesla to each pay $5 million.
Reporters may not have found Volkswagen’s press release funny, but word is still out on rather the Securities and Exchange Commission will investigate. Companies may want to follow these examples, however, and not become part of the miscommunication problem.