While the April 1 joke about the name change of Volkswagen’s North American unit seems to have gone off the agenda, US officials disagree. The SEC has launched an investigation into this joke.
Recall that Volkswagen made an April 1 joke by announcing that it would change its name to ‘Voltswagen’ in the North American market at the end of last month. It looks like this joke of the German brand has opened a new job for him.
According to reports, the SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) has launched an investigation into this joke of Volkswagen’s North American unit. Within the scope of the investigation in question, it will be examined whether there is an increase in Volkswagen’s stock prices after this statement, which was not understood to be a joke at first.
The details of the review are not yet known, but if there has been an abnormal increase in the company’s shares between the Voltswagen statement made and the announcement that this was a joke, the German brand may face a serious fine.
How did the April Fools start?
So how did Volkswagen’s joke get so big as many brands are remembered with various April 1 jokes every year? The company first shared an incomplete press release called ‘Voltswagen’ on March 29, pretending to have accidentally shared a very important story. This bulletin was removed shortly after, but was reissued the next day, this time as complete.
In the process, many guessed it was a joke – taking the timing into account. But it changed the color of the matter when trusted media outlets asked the company if this was a joke and Volkswagen executives told them that the name change was real. Because, international media outlets shared this as a real news based on the statements of the executives.
Later, when Volkswagen removed the press release it had published from its official website and announced that the whole ‘Voltswagen’ incident consisted of April 1 joke, it became the target of criticism arrows. Supported by the statements of the executives, it was stated that this situation became a ‘lie’ rather than a joke, and it damaged Volkswagen’s reputation rather than making people laugh.
Authorities then stated that this was just an innocent joke for fun, but the SEC seems to want to make sure there was an unfair gain during this time.