Saturday, 25 May, 2019

Volkswagen chairman apologises for unintentional Nazi reference

Anger as VW chief executive plays on Nazi slogan at company event Volkswagen CEO apologizes for evoking Auschwitz slogan at company meeting
Jean Garcia | 17 March, 2019, 03:57

Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess Wednesday apologised for making a play on words with a Nazi slogan at a company meeting, insisting he was keenly aware of the German firm's roots in the Third Reich.

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess is in hot water for what he's now calling "definitely an unfortunate choice of words" he used at a company event Tuesday: "EBIT macht frei".

EBIT is an acronym for Earnings Before Interest and Tax, a key indicator of a company's profit. If that sounds familiar, it's because it echoes "Arbeit Macht Frei", or "work sets you free"-the slogan on the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp".

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has apologised for comments made which appeared to play on a Nazi-era slogan, capping a rough week for the automaker battling a United States government lawsuit.

Volkswagen was founded in 1937 by the German government with a mandate to mass-produce affordable vehicles. Volkswagen is betting its future on electric cars He said his comments were meant to highlight Volkswagen's strong profits, not cause offense.

New Zealand shooting: Australian senator egged after controversial remarks
Several of Anning's supporters intervened tackled the boy to the ground while the Senator slipped out a side door. British journalist Piers Morgan also lashed Senator Anning, saying he felt "blind fury" at the remarks.

Volkswagen, whose factory was repurposed during World War II to build military equipment and vehicles, is today the world's biggest automotive group with brands including Audi, Bugatti, and Porsche.

Diess apologized, explaining he was trying to make the point that VW's more profitable units had more financial freedom. The CEO's comments were first reported by German news outlets.

VW's powerful works council welcomed Diess's "swift clarification and unequivocal apology" for the remark, adding that remembrance and responsibility are part of the company's DNA.

Analysts at Bernstein said management change at Volkswagen had become a significant risk following the supervisory board's statement.

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