"Independent. Investors have raised questions about the future. Volkswagen's chief executive Herbert dece after he evaded Nazi phrase in a management meeting last week. John many brand discusses the controversy with Patrick gave. Patrick what exactly did Mr. d say the private meeting to w clock badgers, and he was explaining that the twelve brands within Volkswagen that includes Porsche Audi Skoda's yacht. They're managed differently. And he was saying that Porsche because it has seventeen percent margins doesn't really have taught managing breathing down their neck about how to get things done. And he was basically saying if you are a different brand, and you want to have that same kind of freedom prophets will set you free. And so he said Yvette maxed fry which is really similar to our by MAC fry which was in blazoned at the Auschwitz concentration camps. So VW has unfortunate links with the Third Reich because we know is it possible that the head of a company that was founded at the behest of Adolf Hitler and relied on concentration camp labor during its early days could be unaware of the offense his remarks might have caused. I do think it's possible. The question is whether that. That means anything maybe that falls towards negligence or being Bolivia's. But you know, you're supposed to be super aware of these comments and of the history. And actually he's made a point of saying that he's aware of the history he visited outfits last year, he visited yet but shown in Jerusalem last year who was actually one of his first access CEO. So he is conscious of this. And this is just a major blunder. But I have spoken people who are in the room and more than half of them have told me they didn't make the connection either in part because what he was saying was really such a sort of benign comment that, you know, prophets will sort of help you. Nobody was thinking in terms of historical connections to folks against darkest days. Then again, a hassle going to people who say as soon as he said, I recognize the historical blunder, and it's worth knowing that Mr. de said the comments to an even five times, according to some people. So I think he was rather oblivious to it. I don't think he was putting on it. But it's hard to say, and I get inside his mind. So how did misdeeds explain it? Itself. Mr. has a pretty active linked in page where he puts up sell fees with join Adela from Microsoft, and that sort of thing that's actually working chose to write his apology. He basically said I apologize unreservedly Inouye was I trying to make this connection, and it's worth knowing that that came immediately. There was no hesitation on his part or anything and welcomed by multiple parties. And what's been the reaction of shareholders and investors? So when we talk about investors with Volkswagen it's worth knowing we're almost exclusively talking about minority shareholders because three groups hold ninety percent of the shares of the ten percent that's held by you know, you and I'm on pop investors institutions I've spoken to several who were outraged and defended and some of them as we've written in the have called for him to go. They think that this represents a really big misjudgment and calls into question some of his other decision making. But he's also made a lot of enemies within Volkswagen by trying to lift margin by. By going after the cost structure wanting to lay people off wanting to shift Volkswagen into a new direction focused on electric occasion, which will reduce the workforce over the next ten years. And I think there's a lot of people who weren't necessarily offended by the statement. But they see this as an opportunity to either hurt dece or to get rid of him because they're already against him when did Mr. deeds joined VW, and how'd you think his performance is rated currently by shareholders? He was a BMW board member for a while he joined Volkswagen in July two thousand fifteen now that just three months before the diesel scandal was exposed it's pretty unfortunate timing because it's not late enough to be fully cleaned from the diesel scandal. So he's actually been under investigation since two thousand sixteen by German prosecutors because there's a big big shareholder case that still hasn't gone to court or just in the early stages of going to court now where shareholders are seeking damages of nine billion euros because they believe. Board told them too late about the diesel scandal. They needed to be informed earlier. So DC's was the head of the VW brand not the head of the W group at the time. But he's implicated in that ended remains to be seen whether that be troublesome for him later on. He was only promoted to the Volkswagen group kief executive eleven months ago. So do you think he'll survive this latest scandal and give them the company's ownership structures? You explain it who would have the power to remove him basically to forces that could have the power. So one is the portion peac family that owns fifty three percent of the entire company so far from awful sources, I know that they still back him entirely, and he has such a big job to do right now. They've been very pleased with him. I would be pretty surprised that they turned on him over this comment. The other however is a little more contentious so Volkswagen supervisory board who really has all the power has twenty seats. Ten of them Gherman law, go to the labor union and then two of them come from lower south. Axes state where they have their headquarters. So that gives a majority right twelve out of twenty two basically the workers because Lower Saxony size of the workers because of the way politics works. So if they really turn against him than that's how you could see Mr. being ousted. So finally, Patrick VW has a history of unforced errors, and given this latest blundered, you think Mr. DC's really the man to turn around Volkswagen's fortunes. I can tell this blunder. It would be a really simple answer. And you would say yes shareholders have generally been big cheerleaders of Mr. dece in large part because he's known to be a very tough negotiator with the unions. He wants to cut costs here there and everywhere and Volkswagen under his leadership is making a full throttle turn towards electrification on a level that you're just not seeing with the groups that rival them in terms of car sold. So that would be renault-nissan Toyota General Motors, so electric vacation really is the future of automotive. Volkswagen has. Lake over everyone else. Nobody else is really willing to take that sort of risk. But the other question, of course, is corporate governance and cultural reform, and with this kind of comment, I suppose that gets put into question, but there are a lot of people who think that this whole episode was sort of silly. It was obviously an unfortunate error, and it doesn't have wider implications to really depends where you fall into that question. And I think one interesting parallel is that when the Volkswagen scandal was exposed Martin vinter corn the CEO step down within a week and the head of Porsche. But he has Mueller took over within a few months. He went to the Detroit auto show and was asked about this scandal by NPR, and he said, very clearly we didn't lie, and I would think that was actually a bigger gaffe than actually what just said because it was just months after the diesel scandal. It was a really sensitive time. And it was already clear at that point that Volkswagen had engaged in a cover up for a year after more than ten years of cheating. So to say. We didn't lie was just such a big thing. So I do think dis has a strong credibility with investors. Even with this gaffe, and in general, he does have the credibility to take this company in new direction. He's really got the portion peac families on board. And you know, they're often seen as the problem for Volkswagen being to your credit ads not looking after shareholders. So so long as these surprise next week. I think he'll be there for quite a bit more time at least a year or"