Eric Mayne's Blog

“VW” Verboten?

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Some volks never learn.

Despite GM’s failed experiment in formality last year, Volkswagen is playing the name game, according to an internal memo obtained by Ward’s.

In an apparent bid to align its corporate identity with its pending status – Volkswagen is vying to become the world’s largest auto maker by 2018 – the time-honored “VW” handle has been outlawed within the German company’s ranks.

“Whether you’re talking to a dealer, reviewing dealer advertising, or speaking with friends and family, please refer to our brand as Volkswagen moving forward,” says the April 1 email, signed by marketing manager Ima Lügner.

“'VW' is verboten,” writes the Wolfsburg-based Lügner, whose name in English means “liar.”

What about 'V-Dub?' “Definitely nicht!” she adds.

The radical move recalls a failed attempt to refine the image of GM’s core brand, Chevrolet, by nixing ‘Chevy’ and ‘Chev.’ But the ensuing outcry from a loyal public prompted a reversal.

If your best friend’s name is Charles, you likely call him Chuck. Same thing with Chevrolet and Chevy, critics said.

Only a fool would buy into this.

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