It’s hard for people to move on from a big, headline-grabbing scandal, and while Volkswagen remains the largest carmaker in the world, the company still can’t quite seem to shake off the legacy of its “Dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal. To clear its name once and for all, Das Auto is embarking on a comprehensive rebranding exercise that will kick off at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.

Front and centre of this corporate revamp is the new logo. While the iconic “VW” logo isn’t expected to be replaced, it will become flatter and simpler, making it more recognisable and allowing for more flexible use – an approach that will also be taken for other elements such as icons, fonts, colours and layouts. It mimics a similar redesign for the MINI brand that was introduced in 2015.

The new logo will be accompanied by a new “sound logo” that replaces the “Volkswagen” exclamation in adverts, and the brand will also make use of female voices in the future. The idea is to make the brand appear “significantly younger, more digital and generally more modern,” with a bolder, more colourful image that will be oriented towards digital branding.

The rebranding will be unveiled at the same time as the new, all-electric ID.3

The rebranding was developed in-house by the company’s design and marketing arms, and was integrated across the organisation within nine months. The rollout of the new brand image will be conducted in a cost- and resource efficient manner, starting with the unveiling of the new logo at its headquarters in Wolfsburg.

The changeover will first be implemented in European locations and dealers, followed by China in October. It will then take place step-by-step in North and South America and the rest of the world, beginning in 2020. All in all, 171 countries will take part in this exercise, at more than 10,000 dealers and service centres worldwide and with around 70,000 logos expected to be replaced.

Volkswagen’s new corporate image is the result of its Transform 2025+ strategy, which sought to align the company towards a cleaner electric future, in the wake of the scandal. The unveiling of the new logo and branding will take place concurrently with the ID.3, the company’s first mainstream electric model.