Volkswagen has always generated excitement among devotees of the brand and those who critique the automotive industry. Their continuous efforts to offer more EV options to consumers and lower the number of harmful emissions released into the earth’s atmosphere are remarkable, to say the least. Currently, there are many consumers who are looking forward to the 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 Electric Vehicle. And while the excitement over a new EV has certainly been brewing, so has a fair amount of controversy.
In an age where artists, actors, and musicians are held accountable for their actions, especially those that were committed several years ago, Volkswagen has recently been taken to task by Antifa for its ties to Nazism and the Third Reich. Maxwell Dworkin, an Antifa spokesperson who has been very vocal about the boycott, insists that Volkswagen be held accountable for its past and effectively be “canceled.”
“You sheeple need to wake up!” Dworkin said at an Antifa rally last month. “All you need to do is look at their Wikipedia page! They were streamlined into production by Hitler and the Nazis, and if we can cancel directors because they tweeted an offensive joke eight years ago, then we have every right to cancel a manufacturer who once had ties to the Third Reich!” The response among those who are affiliated with Antifa has been swift. All over social media, #CancelNaziCars has been trending, and the grassroots movement has certainly brought some negative attention to the company and the several dealerships that carry the current Volkswagen fleet.
Historian James Simmons has been dismissive of Antifa’s actions. “There’s no denying that the “people’s car” was once a product made for the people who inhabited the Third Reich. However, in an age where everyone’s quick to cancel everything and boycott anything that doesn’t jive with their soaked-underpants worldview, it needs to be reiterated that several businesses have had shady dealings in the past. I don’t hear these college dropouts making a big deal about them.”
When we asked him why he was so harsh in his comments, Simmons appeared to be the voice of reason. “Look, many of the manufacturers that we rely on today have ties to being on the wrong side of history. Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, and Mercedes-Benz had ties to axis military factories; if we condemn one, we need to condemn them all.” We then asked the professor if he drove a vehicle that had once been on the opposition’s side during the second world war. “Hell no, I drive a Tesla.” was the response that we were emphatically given.
While Dworkin and his ilk are hoping the boycott will make a noticeable impact on the automotive market, the desired effect Antifa had hoped for hasn’t exactly come to fruition. As a matter of fact, it’s been quite different. Volkswagen has reported that sales of the ID.4, Golf, and Jetta have all skyrocketed since the controversy began. “Our sales have been on the rise since Antifa began their negative campaign,” Joel Hendrix, a marketing executive for Volkswagen, confirmed.
“My team has been trying to come up with a new way to reach customers and expand our demographic. The negative attention has made people want the vehicle even more. We assume it’s what’s known as the ‘OJ Simpson’ effect.” Hendrix then went on to talk about how after OJ Simpson’s high-speed chase, Ford Bronco sales exploded overnight, and the controversy resulted in sales figures that hadn’t been seen in years. “We hope they keep this up; it’s the best thing for Volkswagen since we introduced the Beetle to the North American market.” We reached out to Dworkin for comment, but he was at a gender reveal party and couldn’t be found.