Volkswagen apologises for car ad with racist overtones

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India May 22, 2020, 03.45 PM(IST)

Volkswagen Photograph:( AFP )

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Volkswagen apologised in a statement and said that, given its own history, "it does not tolerate any form of racism, xenophobia or discrimination."

Volkswagen has apologised for and pulled a social media ad for a new car after an outcry over its racist overtones. 

The ten-second spot posted on Instagram and Twitter shows a massive white hand pushing a black man away from a new yellow Volkswagen Golf 8 parked on the street, before flicking him into a restaurant called Petit Colon, which translates from French as the Little Colonist or Little Settler.

Volkswagen apologised in a statement and said that, given its own history, "it does not tolerate any form of racism, xenophobia or discrimination."

"We posted a racist advertising video on Volkswagen's Instagram channel. We understand the public outrage at this. Because we're horrified, too," the VW brand's head of sales and marketing Jürgen Stackmann and group head of diversity Elke Heitmüller said in an apology posted on social media.

"On behalf of Volkswagen AG, we apologise to the public at large for this film. And we apologize in particular to those who feel personally hurt by the racist content because of their own history."

The company is now the world's biggest automaker, delivering nearly 11 million vehicles in 2019. The group makes cars under the VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat and Porsche brands.

Stackmann and Heitmüller added, "We're ashamed of it and cannot explain how it came about. All the more reason for us to make sure we clear this up. And we will make the results and consequences of the investigation public."