The ripples from the massive splash that was dieselgate continue to reach out to many Volkswagen executives. Someone who we though was in the clear, current Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, seems to be under investigation from German authorities. Stadler’s home, as well as the home of another Audi board member, was raided Monday.
Stadler is being investigated for fraud and falsifying diesel sales documents. Stadler had remained one of the pillars of consistency in the Volkswagen Group, during the entire dieselgate scandal. While VW went through executives on what seemed like a regular basis, Stadler remained, seemingly keeping everything together at Audi. So it’s surprising to see him being accused of such things.
The other board member under investigation, and whose house was also raided, is Bernd Martens, Head of Purchasing for Audi. Martens was tasked with helming the entire diesel scandal.
What’s crazy is that investigators are going after the entire VW Group, as VW CEO Herbert Diess, Head of Group Sales. Diess is being investigated for market-manipulation, for supposedly failing to notify the board about the diesel scandal as soon as it was revealed to the public.
Since 2007, Rupert Stadler has been in charge of Audi and he’s done an impressive job. However, this is a stain on both his and Audi’s reputation. Whether or not investigators find anything in Stadler’s house, the optics of this are bad.
So I guess timing is better than ever to release the new Audi e-tron. Being fully electric, it would certainly help the four-ringed brand’s green image and help the brand move forward from all of this diesel noise. Not only is the e-tron the brand’s first-ever purely electric car but it promises to be fast, handle well and be thrilling to drive. Hopefully, the VW Group can continue to escape the stigma that’s been following this diesel scandal.