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Volkswagen drops 'Das Auto' slogan as it announces re-branding initiative

Volkswagen is to drop its "Das Auto' global brand mantra from its upcoming campaign as the beleaguered car business plots to revitalise its image following the emissions scandal.

The slogan, which translates to simply ‘The Car’, was launched in 2007 under former chief executive Martin Winterkorn however the German auto company’s leaders are anxious to portray a reformed corporate culture and have criticised the slogan as being out of keeping with its goals.

A Volkswagen spokesman confirmed that the slogan would no longer accompany the famous VW badge in future advertising campaigns.

"Wherever our logo appears in future, it will be backed by the new brand slogan 'Volkswagen'," the spokesman said. "The slogan will be rolled out in stages across the world."

The move to drop the logo was decided at a meeting with the company’s group managers who were discussing its future strategy and attempting to turn around a sharp decline in sales in the US and UK.

Reports from the meeting say that Volkswagen brand chief Herbert Diess described the slogan as absolutist while other managers are understood to have agreed that it appeared pretentious.

VW's PR response in the first three months of the crisis drew criticism from regulators, customers and politicians. This led to the chief executive, Matthias Mueller, to publically state that he will be “ruthless” in punishing those involved and announce a five point plan documenting the road to recovery.

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