Three days after Volkswagen issued a statement reporting an alleged name change to its US operations, the automaker admitted on Wednesday that it was all a publicity stunt, amid anger and pressure from the press.
In a statement sent to Efe on Wednesday, Volkswagen spokesman in the US, Mark Gillis, explained that the statement is part of an advertising campaign to “draw attention” to the launch of a new model of electric vehicle.
Despite the many criticisms the company has received in recent hours, Gillis stressed that the many positive responses on social media show that the company has achieved this goal.
Early Wednesday, Volkswagen tried to calm the mood with a tweet on its official account stating that “ What started as an attempt by April Fools ‘Day (April Fools’ Day, which is celebrated in the United States on April 1) has become an uproar. Around the world, “he added,” it doesn’t matter whether it’s a VW or a Volkswagen, people talk about electric driving. “
However, the press in the US has stopped talking about the launch of Volkswagen’s first electric vehicle (EV) model to criticize its tactics and mention that the German company has a history of deceiving the public and unsuccessful advertising campaigns.
There are many critical comments published by professional media and journalists.
“If my name bears the history that Volkswagen has, I wouldn’t simply try to attract attention,” Mike Beard, business district journalist for the Wall Street Journal, said on Twitter, referring to its origins in Nazi Germany.
The Wall Street Journal, the main economic daily in the US, was only able to confirm the falsehood of the statements through a company spokesperson in Germany due to a lack of responses from the US subsidiary.
Only after VW’s admission in Germany did a Volkswagen spokesperson in the US, Mark Gillis, confirm that he was lying to the nation’s major media, from the Associated Press to USA Today, to CNBC and the Washington Post.