Daimler fires top executive accused of race-fueled tirade in China
Chief of automaker's Chinese truck and bus division accused of starting argument, yelling insults about Chinese people
BEIJING—A top executive at German automaker Daimler’s China operation has lost his job after being accused of yelling insults about Chinese people and using pepper spray in a dispute over a parking spot.
Rainer Gaertner, chief executive of Daimler’s Chinese truck and bus division, was accused of starting an argument in an upscale Beijing neighbourhood last week.
A post that circulated on Chinese social media alleged that Gaertner said all Chinese were “bastards,” then used pepper spray to push back onlookers confronting him. The story generated hundreds of angry responses.
Daimler said Nov. 21 that it considered the incident “detrimental” to the company regardless of what Gaertner might have said.
China is the world’s biggest automotive market, and Chinese consumers and media are particularly sensitive to stories about perceived Western arrogance.