What exactly happened? On March 29, Volkswagen of America ‘accidentally’ leaked a press release about a name change. In the US, the Volkswagen brand would be renamed Voltswagen. Various media outlets reported on it and asked Volkswagen for comment, to which Scott Keogh, president of the US branch, continued to claim that it was not a joke, but that it was really going to happen.
Newspapers and news sites appeared naive
Newspapers and news sites – also in the Netherlands – were surprisingly naive and took Keogh’s confirmation seriously. Volkswagen would really become a Voltswagen in America, they wrote. Nonsense of course, as we pointed out at the time, because a day later the whole Voltswagen thing turned out to be a badly executed April 1 joke.
The lying of Volkswagen spokesmen did not go well
The cheating (not to say lying) of various Volkswagen information officers and managers did not go well. After all, Volkswagen doesn’t have the best reputation for telling the truth. In 2015, it came to light that the German car manufacturer had circumvented strict emissions regulations with a piece of cheating software in its diesel models. The multi-billion dollar diesel gate scandal.
Stock market watchdog is investigating Voltswagen joke
Anyway, the American stock market watchdog SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) is also not happy with Voltswagen gate. Because just after the announcement of the name change and the ‘confirmation’ that it was not a joke, Volkswagen’s stock price shot up by 12.5 percent.
SEC previously criticized Tesla boss Elon Musk
The SEC wants to find out whether Volkswagen has broken stock market rules or laws with the Voltswagen debacle. Earlier, the organization went after Tesla CEO Elon Musk. He had written on Twitter that he was going to take Tesla off the stock exchange and that he had the money for it. Shortly after that announcement, the Tesla share price rose sharply. Musk has been punished for his stunt.