A German automotive executive has lost his job following an alleged racial tirade that he made inside a luxury Beijing residential compound which has since gone viral on Chinese social media
German auto giant Daimler AG, has decided to remove Rainer Gartner as the head of its Daimler Trucks & Buses China Ltd. subdivision following his explosive response to a dispute over a parking space in the exclusive Shunyi District neighborhood.
“I am in China one year already. The first thing I learned here is: All you Chinese are bastards,” Gartner allegedly shouted at another driver.
According to a post that has gone viral on Chinese social media, the incident occurred at the exclusive Beijing River Garden. Behind the wheel of a Mercedes Benz, Gartner “stole” a parking space from another resident and then launched into his racist tyrade. When other residents tried to get involved he allegedly sprayed them with pepper spray.
Obviously, this isn’t exactly the image that Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, wants to be sending to its Chinese customers. Yesterday, the company issued a statement, apologizing for the incident and indicating that Gartner had been fired from his post in China and will be reassigned elsewhere.
“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 said.
The company added that it has resolved the dispute with the driver in an “amicable manner” and that Beijing police have closed their investigations into the case.
It’s not clear how much one racist outburst will hurt business for Daimler in China. While there were a few Chinese netizens who announced they would be boycotting Mercedes, most simply wanted the company to apologize and for Gartner to be unceremoniously kicked out of the car.
Perhaps Gartner will return home where he’ll find that he has a lot in common with fellow countryman Guenther Oettinger, Germany’s EU commissioner, who also found himself under fire this month after calling Chinese “slit eyes” in a speech.
Oettinger responded to accusations of racism by telling the German newspaper Die Welta that his remark was “somewhat sloppy” but “in no way meant to be disrespectful to China.”
[Images via Weibo]