Auto: VW invites to annual general meeting – criticism from shareholders

Auto: VW invites to annual general meeting – criticism from shareholders

After the protests at the annual general meeting a year ago, VW is now inviting its shareholders to a purely virtual meeting. There will still be actions by climate activists.

At Europe’s largest car manufacturer, Volkswagen, shareholders are meeting today for the annual general meeting. Unlike last year, when VW boss Oliver Blume welcomed his shareholders in the CityCube in Berlin, the meeting will now take place entirely digitally. There will therefore be no protests in the hall like there were a year ago. VW officially justifies the return to the purely digital format with cost reasons.

A year ago, climate and human rights activists seriously disrupted the annual general meeting. VW supervisory board member Wolfgang Porsche (80) was narrowly missed by a cake thrown at him on the podium, and an activist later protested topless against the Chinese plant in Xinjiang province. There were climate protests and road blockades on access roads in front of the assembly building.

Criticism from campaign representative

Shareholder representatives criticize the decision to hold purely virtual meetings again after two face-to-face meetings. “In Berlin you had to duck away from the cake flying towards you, and today – in virtual space – you are ducking away from your shareholders,” says Ingo Speich of DekaBank, according to a speech manuscript published in advance. “This is very regrettable and is damaging not only the corporate culture, but especially the shareholder culture in Germany.”

Janne Werning of Union Investment agrees. Both called on VW to invite shareholders to face-to-face meetings again in the future. “Only there is a lively general debate possible, only there can shareholders reach the entire Executive Board and Supervisory Board with their questions and concerns,” says Werning, according to the speech manuscript published in advance.

There will still be protests in Wolfsburg. Climate protection activists want to hold an “alternative general meeting” in front of the factory gates. The climate movement is calling for a fundamental shift in transport away from cars, according to the organizers’ statement.

Source: Stern

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