Daimler on Monday apologized and removed a senior executive after he was accused of making derogatory comments about Chinese people over a parking space in Beijing.
Local media reported that Rainer Gartner, who headed Daimler's local trucks and buses unit, lost his temper during a quarrel over a parking space, and made insulting comments about Chinese people. He also used pepper spray to disperse people angered by his remark.
"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 Greater China said in a statement.
"Therefore, we have immediately relieved the manager of his position," it said.
"Such an incident reflects in no way the values of Daimler AG and we sincerely apologize for the concerns raised by this matter and the views that people have felt obliged to express following the reports of this regrettable matter".
The incident received wide public attention after two local newspapers－the Beijing Times and Beijing News－reported it on their websites on Sunday and Monday respectively. It also became a hot topic on China's popular Sina Weibo microblog.
A Chinese was backing his car into a parking space in River Garden Villa in the capital's Shunyi district when a foreigner drove his vehicle into the space, the post on Sina Weibo said.
When the Chinese confronted the foreigner, the latter said: "I have been in China for a year. The first thing I learned here is that all Chinese are bastards," according to the post.
Established in Beijing in September 2012, Daimler Trucks and Buses (China) Ltd is responsible for Daimler's business operations involving imported trucks, special trucks and buses in China.