German carmaker Volkswagen has had to pull a racially-insensitive promotional video from Instagram earlier on Thursday, but not before it had sparked concern and spread on other social media platforms.
The ad was in the promotion of VW’s new Golf 8 car. It showed the over-sized hand of a white person shoving a black man around the car, in front of a café called Petit Colon or Little Colonist.
On Thursday, the company’s head of sales and marketing, as well as, head of diversity respectively, Jürgen Stackmann and Elke Heitmüller, said via social media: “We posted a racist advertising video on Volkswagen’s Instagram channel. We understand the public outrage at this. Because we’re horrified, too.”
The men apologized “in particular to those who feel personally hurt by the racist content because of their own history.”
VW posted another statement after the two men had apologized, noting that in view of the company’s own history, “it does not tolerate any form of racism, xenophobia or discrimination.”
VW utilized labor from Nazi concentration camps in the early years of its existence. Today, the car manufacturer makes cars under the names of Audi, Skoda, Seat and Porsche, apart from VW.
In 2019, Volkswagen sold more than 19 million cars, making it the biggest automobile manufacturers in the world.
Meanwhile, attention has come in for Pasi William Sachiti, a Zimbabwean serial entrepreneur, who is building driverless cars in the UK, using a combination of advanced robotics and driver-less vehicle technology.
His UK startup, Academy of Robotics has been working on “Kar-go”, a driverless car to solve the last-mile delivery problem.
His autonomous vehicle was launched in 2019 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK.