Chief of German carmakers association to be replaced following diesel, cartel scandals: report

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-31 20:45:58|Editor: Song Lifang
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BERLIN, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Matthias Wissmann, president of the Association of the German Automotive Industry (VDA) will be replaced under pressure from leading car executives, the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) reported Thursday.

According to RND, the personnel change is to take place following national elections and the International Automotive Exhibition in Frankfurt in September. The process is being coordinated by Daimler Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche and is motivated by a desire for a new approach to the diesel emissions and cartel scandals which have engulfed the industry.

Wissmann and Zetsche have clashed publicly over allegations of illicit collusion between carmakers. Wissmann demanded a change in corporate culture, as well as a "zero mistake tolerance" in response to related revelations in German media, leading Zetsche to express his "surprise" over the VDA leader's comments.

Political and business representatives have both voiced fears that the automotive industry's current woes could cause long-standing reputational damage to German manufacturing as a whole.

"Made in Germany is a brand name and cannot be associated with fraud and deception," Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere (CDU) warned in the newspaper Heilbronner Stimme on Thursday.

Nevertheless, the CDU politician rejected calls for general driving bans as a means to lower nitrogen oxide pollution levels in cities. Carmakers are worried about the potential implementation of such measures which have been proposed in cities such as Munich and Stuttgart.

Wissmann has held the position of VDA chief for over 10 years. The former CDU minister's contract was prolonged for another two years as recently as November 2016.