Volkswagen says it will present a new brand design and new logo at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It also say the presentation of the brand is to become 'significantly younger, more digital and generally more modern'. Any significant visual change to the iconic VW logo that has essentially remained unchanged for many decades is sure to attract considerable interest and possibly controversy.

The brand relaunch coincides with the launch of the all-electric ID.3, which VW maintains 'will usher in a new era for Volkswagen'. The relaunch also addresses the need for an update that works better with digital media and will also include a 'sound logo'.

Ralf Brandstätter, Volkswagen COO said: "With the ID.3 and the new brand design, the results of our work will become visible at the IAA."

Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen Sales and Marketing Board Member said: "The comprehensive rebranding is the logical consequence of our brand's strategic reorientation."

VW said the strategic transformation with a reorientation of content and sustainable products, initiated almost four years ago, is now to become visible with the new brand design.

With the new brand design, VW says "New Volkswagen" will become visible and perceptible in the design of the vehicles, in customer contacts and in the corporate presentation as a whole. The objective is to 'create a new 360° customer experience that is modern and fascinating throughout the world and across all channels'.

Volkswagen's Chief Designer Klaus Bischoff, who played a key role in the development of the new CI, said: "The new brand design reflects a type of mobility that forms a natural part of people's lives. Volkswagen has always been a key element in these efforts. In the new age of mobility, the motto is 'digital first', without any filters."

VW said that in contrast to normal practice in the industry, the new brand design was not developed by external agencies but by a joint team of Volkswagen Design and Marketing. The design was implemented with the full integration of all departments of the company in the record time of nine months using a powerhouse concept developed by Volkswagen especially for this purpose.

VW also said the new presentation 'will not only be bolder and more colourful but will also be digitally oriented from the brand logo through to the world of images'. The brand's visual language will be very different from that projected by Volkswagen to date.

Jochen Sengpiehl, Chief Marketing Officer of Volkswagen, added: "As a general principle, the aim in future will not be to show a perfect advertising world. In our presentation, we want to become more human and more lively, to adopt the customer's perspective to a greater extent and to tell authentic stories." In future, the focus will no longer be so much on the car as on people's lives and mobility experiences.

The new logo, VW said, will be more modern, clearer and simpler. The logo will be 'reduced to its essential elements and presented with a new design that is flat and two-dimensional'. It will allow more flexible use and will be 'outstandingly recognisable in digital media'. This, VW claims, also applies to the new brand signals such as pictograms, typography, colors or layouts. For the first time, the brand will have a sound logo, which will replace the former brand claim. In addition, the Volkswagen brand will have a female voice in the future.

The international roll-out of the new brand design will begin at the IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show in September. The starting signal will be given by the unveiling of the new logo on the high-rise building at company headquarters in Wolfsburg. The changeover is to be implemented in several waves using a cost-optimized, resource-conserving approach. Initially, the brand's locations and dealers in Europe will be changed over, followed by China in October. The changeover will then be implemented step-by-step in North and South America as well as the rest of the world from the beginning of 2020. All in all, 171 markets will be affected. At the more than 10,000 facilities of dealers and service partners throughout the world, about 70,000 logos will be replaced. Volkswagen's rebranding will therefore be one of the largest operations of this type in the industry world-wide.

The new brand design is the result of the Transform 2025+ strategy adopted by Volkswagen in 2015. The brand is now preparing for phase 2 of Transform 2025+, the roll-out of its e-mobility and digitalization strategy. This also includes the fundamental realignment of the company's communications with its customers. As a manufacturer, Volkswagen will be in a position to communicate direct with the customer for the first time via the networking of the vehicle, dealers and customers in a Volkswagen ecosystem focusing on the customer. Volkswagen is being transformed from a pure automaker into a provider of mobility services going beyond the customer's own car. For this purpose, the sales structure of the brand is being fundamentally transformed together with the dealers and marketing is being realigned.

Frankfurt IAA world debuts