A senior executive from Daimler was removed from his post in China after he was alleged to have yelled racist abuse and used a pepper spray following a dispute over a car park space in Beijing.
Rainer Gaertner, the president of Daimler Trucks and Buses (China) is said to have lost his temper on Sunday (20 November) and shouted: "I am in China one year already. The first thing I learned here is that all you Chinese are b*****ds". He is also alleged to have pepper-sprayed an onlooker who tried to intervene.
Daimler, the parent of Mercedes-Benz, did not identify Gaertner, only saying in a statement that a member of its management team at Daimler Trucks and Buses (China) had been relieved of his position, the Financial Times reports.
"The nature of the dispute and in particular the manner in which it was conducted, irrespective of any comments alleged to have been made, is adjudged to be not only of concern to the public but viewed by us as detrimental to the standing of our company, unbecoming of a manager of our brand and prejudicial to our good name," Daimler stated.
The car maker said that the dispute between its manager and the unnamed individual had been resolved in an "amicable manner" and that the Chinese authorities had closed their investigations, the FT added.
Social media users posted on the Sina Weibo that the police had mediated in the dispute and that the matter was now resolved after the "perpetrator apologised".
Details of the incident were not given by either Daimler or the executive. Gaertner could not be immediately reached for comment.
The People's Daily said that Gaertner's dispute involved a Chinese driver at a residential community in Beijing's north-eastern Shunyi district. It said that passersby tried to defend the Chinese driver and that was when the pepper spray was alleged to have been used on one of them.
The incident, The Guardian said, was a hot topic online, with the incident the top 10 discussed topics on Sina Weibo microblog on Monday (21 November) morning.
The Financial Network website alleged that a Chinese driver was reversing into a parking space when Gaertner is said to have approached and "seized the parking space".
Gaertner's LinkedIn profile said that he started work in Beijing as the CEO and President at Mercedes-Benz/Daimler Trucks and Buses China Ltd in July 2015. Previously, he was based in Korea for six years, also as the CEO and President.