Arrested Audi boss Rupert Stadler could be replaced this week

Rupert Stadler

Brand chief executive is being held due to risk that he could withhold evidence

The Volkswagen Group could replace Audi CEO Rupert Stadler with the brand’s sales and marketing boss, Bram Schot, while Stadler is under arrest for matters relating to the diesel emissions scandal.

Stadler was arrested yesterday and has since been placed on leave by Audi. An unnamed source told Automotive News Europe that Schot could be temporarily promoted to Audi’s helm this week.

While he has not been suspended or dismissed, Stadler’s future is uncertain following a six-hour-long meeting held by the VW Group supervisory board, although the board has delayed any final decision until further notice.  

Leading Audi since 2010, 55-year-old Stadler was taken into custody by the German police on Monday morning following an investigation on charges of fraud and misrepresentation.

“The accused was brought before the investigating judge, who ordered the execution of the pre-trial detention,” the Munich public prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

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 is currently being questioned by the Munich public prosecutor’s office and will testify this week, according to information obtained by Autocar.

He has continuously denied any wrongdoing in the Dieselgate emissions manipulation scandal. Another Audi board member, Bernd Martens, was named as a key suspect by the same office on 30 May.

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

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

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Source: Autocar Online

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