|Company Name||Volkswagen AG|
|Class Period||March 29, 2021 to March 30, 2021|
|Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline||June 29, 2021|
On March 29, 2021, Volkswagen published a draft press release announcing its American subsidiaries’ supposed name change to “Voltswagen.” Media outlets reported that they confirmed with the Company that the name change was real. As reported by CNBC, “Volkswagen accidentally posted a press release on its website a month early on Monday announcing a new name for its U.S. operations, Voltswagen of America, emphasizing the German automaker’s electric vehicle efforts.” On this news, Volkswagen AG’s share price sharply rose.
On March 30, 2021, however, The Wall Street Journal published an article titled “No, Volkswagen Isn’t Rebranding Itself Voltswagen: German car maker says announcement by its U.S. operation was supposed to be an April Fools’ gag.” The article noted that “[i]nvestors have been clamoring for shares of companies involved in electric vehicles and have recently been pouring money into the stocks of established car makers with solid EV plans.” Other outlets reported that the Associated Press was repeatedly assured by Volkswagen that its U.S. subsidiary planned a name change, which was false.
On this news, Volkswagen AG’s share price fell more than 5% over the next two trading days, thereby injuring investors.
The complaint filed in this class action alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose to investors that: (1) "Voltswagen" was never going to be used by the Volkswagen, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. ("VWoA"), or on any relevant vehicle; (2) Volkswagen, VWoA, and their spokespeople purposefully misled reporters regarding the now-purported "joke" and/or "promotion"; and (3) as a result, Defendants’ positive statements about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.
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