Volkswagen has suspended Audi boss Rupert Stadler and announced an interim replacement on Tuesday, seeking to steady its most profitable business after German authorities arrested Stadler as part of an emissions probe.
Audi said Stadler (55) had requested to temporarily step down from his position, and named sales executive Abraham Schot as an interim replacement with immediate effect.
Stadler's arrest has thrown VW Group back into turmoil almost three years after it admitted to using illegal software to cheat US emissions tests on diesel engines.
Analysts said the arrest raised questions about whether Europe’s biggest carmaker had done enough to reform in the wake of the crisis, and that it threatened a delicate truce among the group’s powerful stakeholders, who had previously clashed about whether Stadler should remain in power.
Schot joined the VW group in 2011 after having worked as president and chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Italia. He has been Audi board member for sales and marketing since last September. – Reuters