Daimler Removes China Truck Executive After Parking Lot Argument

  • Daimler says dispute was unbecoming and prejudicial to name
  • Social media reported on executive making racist remarks

Daimler AG apologized for a parking-lot dispute between an executive of its China trucks and buses unit and a resident in Beijing, removing the manager from his position after the spat aroused anger among social media users and prompted critical commentaries in state media.

Daimler said that even though the spat was a private matter, the manner in which it was conducted was “detrimental to the standing of our company, unbecoming of a manager of our brand and prejudicial to our good name.” The Stuttgart, Germany-based company apologized for the concerns raised and said that authorities have closed their inquiries into the matter.

While Daimler declined to identify the executive by name, local media identified him as Rainer Gaertner, president of Daimler Trucks & Buses China. The German executive was reported on social media postings to have made racist comments while fighting over a parking lot. Attempts to reach Gaertner through Daimler were unsuccessful. The company declined to make him available for an interview.

Daimler counts China as its biggest market, accounting for about one-fifth of global sales of its Mercedes-Benz brand in the first 10 months of this year. The company set up Daimler Trucks and Buses China Ltd. in 2013 as a standalone unit to increase its focus on commercial vehicles in the country.

— With assistance by Yan Zhang

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