Stadler has been suspended since arrest in June in connection with Dieselgate scandal; he remains in pre-trial detention in Germany
2 October 2018

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, who is currently in prison awaiting trial in connection with the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal, has officially left the firm.

The supervisory boards of Volkswagen AG and Audi AG said they had reached an agreement with Stadler to terminate his employment, effective immediately. Stadler, who began working for Audi in 1990, had been chairman of that firm since 2007 and served on the Volkswagen board since 2010.

Stadler was suspended by both firms following his arrest in June in connection with the Dieselgate emissions scandal

A statement from Volkswagen AG said: “Mr Stadler is leaving the companies with immediate effect and will no longer work for the Volkswagen Group. Mr Stadler is doing so because, due to his ongoing pre-trial detention, he is unable to fulfil his duties as a member of the board of management and wishes to concentrate on his defence. The contractual execution depends on the course and outcome of the criminal proceedings.”

Stadler remains in prison after an appeal to be released was rejected by the Munich court in August. In a statement, the court said: "The chamber emphasises that danger of obstructing justice remains. The release of the accused from custody was therefore rejected.”

Stadler is one of a number of Volkswagen Group executives past and present giving evidence in a Stuttgart court case between September and November.

Mooted replacement

Stadler will be replaced by former director of purchasing at BMW, Markus Duesmann, according to earlier reports in Germany.

Newly appointed Volkswagen Group board member Duesmann, reports Automobilwoche, will take the helm from 1 January 2019, taking over from interim CEO and sales and marketing boss Abraham Schot. Audi has not commented on the matter.

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Announcing Duesmann's appointment to the Volkswagen Group board last week, the group said in a statement: "Mr Duesmann, currently board of management member for purchasing and supplier network at BMW, will take up his new position as soon as he is able to do so. An agreement to this effect has already been signed."

The statement described Duesmann as "one of the automotive industry’s most experienced and distinguished experts", with "a wealth of knowledge in different areas of the industry". Duesmann is said to be an expert in engine development.

Reaction to arrest

The arrest of Stadler earlier this year following an investigation on charges of fraud and misrepresentation as part of the Dieselgate emissions scandal was a "massive shock" for Volkswagen Group boss Herbert Diess, who described his colleague as a "problem solver".

Diess told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag: "The arrest of a CEO of a major car brand – that's never happened before."

Audi temporarily placed Schot at the helm. But a source, speaking to Automotive News Europe, said that the 55-year-old Stadler was not expected to return to the company, regardless of outcome. Since his arrest, Stadler had been placed on leave by Audi.

"Should the accusations of the state prosecutors prove to be true, then it's a clear decision," said Diess.

Reasons for arrest

Stadler’s detention came after German police and members of the Munich public prosecutor's office raided his private residence in Germany.

German media reports suggested evidence obtained in the recent questioning of other former Audi officials link Stadler to possible diesel emissions manipulation from 2012 onwards. 

As a reason for Stadler's arrest, the Munich public prosecutor's office cited "evidence suppression". It added: "We cannot comment on the substance of our background in the light of the ongoing investigations. For Mr Stadler, the presumption of innocence continues to apply."

Stadler has continuously denied any wrongdoing relating to the Dieselgate scandal.

Read more

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Dieselgate: Stuttgart court orders testimonies from Volkswagen executives

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Comments
19

18 June 2018
Somewhere in Stutgart, Muller must be saying in dramatic overtones: "O, my prophetic!"

19 June 2018
They'll pass him around like currency!

3 October 2018

!! He won't be bending down to pick up the soap in the shower any time soon

2 July 2018

This just gets better, here we have a prestige car making CEO being arrested, held in custody  and still  people buy from this very corrupt group Amazing .  It appears there is more to  come out this utterly unbelievable story  about to show how V W group has lied mis lead authorities and still they appear to think the world is against them  Shameful .

2 July 2018

This just gets better, here we have a prestige car making CEO being arrested, held in custody  and still  people buy from this very corrupt group Amazing .  It appears there is more to  come out this utterly unbelievable story  about to show how V W group has lied mis lead authorities and still they appear to think the world is against them  Shameful .

3 October 2018

Cannot believe that this guy was solely responsible, have they jailed the software engineers, other board members, Bosch employees who designed the cheat.

Can't help wondering how much VAG have parked in a Swiss bank account for this guy to take the blame.

There's an awful lot of teflon-suited, shit resistant Germans sleeping easy in their beds tonight while this fella is sleeping with one eye open in case "Big Helmut" is feeling fruity

2 July 2018
What heinous act has VAG got to do to make the scales fall from their disciples eyes?

3 July 2018

I get the impression from commentsprovided, that the alledged breaking of the rules is already proven and we should all move to punishment.It is a massively complicated problem.I don't know, but are imported cars from the USA,China,Korea etc meeting the EU regulations 100%?Conversly,are imported,say Audi's imported to the US,not required to meet US regulations which I believe are "less stringent" than Europe?As I understand the regulation for emissions is that the "fleet of cars" from a manufacturer must achieve an average emission level target for the range,not specifically one model.Am I right in this assumption or not?

To me the agenda is to work against ICE,especially diesels,for no other reason than to push for electric vehicles,which we all know produce more bad emissions during production than what comes out of an exhaust.

So as the chiefs of the EU get into their A8 limos to go to the next meeting will they focus on the emissions from their car.I don't think so.

My analagy of this is like watching a close football game when the referee is the focus of attention because of his/hers interpretation of the rules,and not the players because the game was not allowed to flow.Why not work with the companies istead of against them.

garage man

3 July 2018
Gargae Man wrote:

I get the impression from commentsprovided, that the alledged breaking of the rules is already proven and we should all move to punishment.It is a massively complicated problem.I don't know, but are imported cars from the USA,China,Korea etc meeting the EU regulations 100%?Conversly,are imported,say Audi's imported to the US,not required to meet US regulations which I believe are "less stringent" than Europe?As I understand the regulation for emissions is that the "fleet of cars" from a manufacturer must achieve an average emission level target for the range,not specifically one model.Am I right in this assumption or not?

You're not.

4 July 2018

 Jason-recliner,there is an international group called ICCT who do group manufacturers into a band with "average" emission levels set.The word is average,and in addition as I have said previously,types of fuel,maintenance and driving habits will make any "level" irrelevant if the testing environmenmt is not met real time.Human nature will ensure this doesn't happen.In relation to fuel,ICCT work closely with petroleum manufacturers to improve the product to reduce emissions.

Reading the report the other word which jumps out at you is "accused".There has been no due process yet, so why not wait for this process to be completed.

ICCT also say imported vehicles to the EU sector have to met these emission levels,but I haven't heard of any other manufacturers being investigated the way the VAG group has.Does  this mean all imported diesels fully met the regulations? It's a hugely complicated problem,which on the surface, the arm chair critics will think it's immediately solveable,but the real fix is very difficult to achieve due to the complexity of the problem.

garage man

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