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Coty boss quits over Golf scandal

2014-02-11 09:02

DODGY SURVEY RESULTS: Adac's president Peter Meyer has stepped down after it came to light that the organisation had inflated the results of its German Car of the Year poll, allowing VW’s Golf to win. Image: AFP

FRANKFURT, Germany - German automotive association Adac has announced that its chief has quit over revelations that the body manipulated a survey on the nation's favourite car – Volkswagen’s Golf.

Adac's president Peter Meyer resigned after the 19-million-member auto club admitted that it lied about the number of people who took part in its "Yellow Angel" Car of the Year poll.

The club had inflated the number of survey participants tenfold, saying that more than 34 000 people voted for the VW Golf as "Germany's Favourite Car" when the true figure was only 3400.


Wheels24 is running our own Readers' 2014 South African Car of Year poll which has so far garnered over 12 000 votes. Leading the pack is Volvo's V40 with 4159 votes followed by Lexus' IS 350 F-Sport.

VW's Golf, which is at the centre of the Adac scandal, is in third with 1855 votes.


Adac still insisted, however, that the overall order of the ranking, in which the VW Golf was declared the 2014 winner, was accurate.

The statement read: "Adac takes note of the resignation of its president Peter Meyer, who is taking responsibility for the various criticisms levelled at Adac in recent weeks."

Deputy president August Markl will take over until a successor is named at the club's annual meeting in May 2014.


Adac, founded in 1903, claims to be Europe's biggest automotive club; its magazine ADAC Motorwelt claims Europe's biggest circulation at 13-million and the club is known best for its "Yellow Angel" roadside assistance patrols and rescue helicopters.

The club is also a major lobby group and a corporate entity that tests vehicle safety and sells commercial services from car rentals and insurance to holidays and long-distance bus services.


When the scandal came to light in January 2014 the magazine editor and former head of the communications, Michael Ramstetter, claimed responsibility for the dodgy survey and quit.

In its statement, ADAC praised Meyer's leadership under which "Adac has grown strongly and members and employees have benefited over the years" but since the scandal broke the club has embarked on a "far-reaching process of reform which doesn't shy away from taboo".

Markl said: "We want to restore confidence in the club as quickly as possible."

Adac management has pledged that in future the Motorwelt readers' survey will be under the supervision of independent legal observers.

Which vehicle do you think should be crowned the 2014 SA Coty? Vote for your favourite in our home page voting booth! Wheels24 will collate the results in our Reader’s Car of the Year competition.
Read more on:    vw  |  germany  |  golf  |  car of the year  |  survey

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