Volkswagen supervisory board condemns CEO’s ‘EBIT macht frei’ remark

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Volkswagen’s supervisory board on Friday condemned remarks developed by the company’s main govt shortly right after he appeared to allude to a Nazi-period slogan when he tried using to clarify the carmaker’s earnings very likely.

FILE Photograph: Herbert Diess, CEO of German carmaker Volkswagen is surrounded by media in the class of the once-a-year details assembly at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Germany March twelve, 2019. REUTERS

Herbert Diess this 7 days claimed “EBIT macht Frei” forward of apologizing for the feedback and conveying he in no way ideal to attract a comparison to the Nazi-period slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei”, which appeared on the gates of Auschwitz in the class of the Holocaust.

EBIT refers to a company’s earnings forward of fascination and taxes.

“Experience at Volkswagen displays that model names with far better margins commonly have better independence of variety inside of of the Staff. My assertion referred to this level,” Diess, who developed the remark at an inside assembly for workforce, has claimed.

“At no time was it my intention for this assertion to be positioned in a bogus context.”

Volkswagen’s supervisory board on Friday claimed the group’s qualifications and the obligation is as a end result bears was a most important aspect of its firm id.

“The assertion of the CEO Herbert Diess is in this context considered as inappropriate and complicated to understand. The Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG strongly distances by yourself from this, but at the equivalent time will take detect of the speedy apology from Hr. Diess,” it claimed.

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Analysts at Bernstein claimed administration change at Volkswagen knowledgeable occur to be a sizeable chance following the supervisory board’s assertion.

“For all those seeking for historic parallels, the last time any one particular at VW utilised this language was in 2015, when Supervisory Board Chairman (Ferdinand) Piech claimed he was “at a duration from” (Martin) Winterkorn, the (then) CEO. Winterkorn was promptly absent,” they wrote.

Asked for no issue irrespective of whether Bernstein analyst Max Warburton was proper to suggest that Diess knowledgeable lacking support internally as a consequence of the remarks, Volkswagen’s supervisory board claimed these types of an inference was inappropriate.

“This comparison is nonsense,” a spokesman for Supervisory Board Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch claimed on Friday.

Reporting by Edward Taylor and Christoph Steitz modifying by David Evans

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