Daimler, owner of major car brands such as Mercedes-Benz, has confirmed that it relieved a senior executive from his role after an altercation in China that was claimed to be racist.
The brand released a statement in which it didn’t name the executive but apologised for his behaviour, stating that he had been removed from his role but remained within the company, with the view of finding him another role.
“The nature of the dispute and in particular the manner in which it was conducted, irrespective of any comments alleged to have been made, is adjudged to be not only of concern to the public but viewed by us as detrimental to the standing of our company, unbecoming of a manager of our brand and prejudicial to our good name,” Daimler stated.
While Daimler hasn’t reported the executive's name, Chinese media has claimed that the person involved in the dispute was Rainer Gaertner, president of Daimler Trucks and Buses (China). According to the Financial Times, the quarrel was about a car parking space and resulted in Gaertner shouting that after one year in China he’d learnt that “all Chinese are bastards”.
Word of the altercation first spread on Chinese social media site Weibo but soon spread to Chinese media and international media, before Daimler released its statement. According to Daimler the altercation ended “amicably” and the police are no longer investigating.